Every new business owner has their checklist. Get a website. Learn advertising. Learn marketing. Learn sales. Learn invoicing. Do I go LLC or sole proprietorship? What bank do I use? Do I accept checks? What payment platform do I use? Should I be using Square? Stripe? Paypal?
As you can imagine, the answer to one question brings about another 10 questions.
I’ve worked in the business world a long time, and there’s a hidden secret to business that isn’t always front and center, but any seasoned business owner knows it.
If you’re a veteran yourself, you figured it out a long time ago. It can be summed up in four words.
“What’s your time worth?”
It’s coincidentally the question I asked my friend, Sarah, who had just started her own business. She had been an entrepreneur for only a few months, but already she felt like she was underwater.
Many business owners think that they must do everything for the success of their business, and Sarah was no exception.
In fact, she had spent the last month attempting to perfect her WordPress website, and since she didn’t have a background in web development, she was attempting to learn it herself.
Spending enormous amount of time on this was one thing — I knew Sarah was just scratching the surface for everything she’d have to do for her site. She would be handling client data and when I asked her about upkeep for the website, specifically managing the cyber security of her site, she looked at me with a blank expression and replied, “Well, I hadn’t thought of that…”
As you can probably guess, Sarah spending another minute of her time on any of this equates to tremendous lost revenue for her business. Here’s what I mean.
Whatever industry you’ve joined with your business, by now you’ve figured out that you have a set of strengths that have made you competitive at what you do. On the flipside, you’ve probably learned there’s a handful of things you don’t do so well.
Or, maybe they aren’t things that you aren’t great at. Maybe instead, they’re things that aren’t worth your time.
For the growing business owner — especially the ones who break the 7-figure barrier and beyond, time is their most precious resource. You can’t multiply it. You can’t buy more of it. What you have is exactly what everyone else has.
So what makes business owners most successful? It’s the combination of maximizing their time and understanding that if time is a limited resource, then it’s a precious resource that’s worth allocating in the best ways possible for your business.
Unfortunately, a multitude of business owners miss this. As you’ve probably seen, the majority of businesses go on to fail. Statistics show anywhere between 50% to as high as 80% won’t make it to the five year mark, much less the one year mark.
Why are so many businesses failing?
Because owners struggle with the same thing my friend Sarah has struggled with in her first month of business.
It’s the issue of spending entirely too much time on things that don’t matter for your business — or, they matter, but they equate to an incredibly low ROI for your bottom line.
Salespeople understand this. If the average salesperson has 8 hours in a day to sell, they understand that every minute wasted actually has a dollar sign associated with it.
Why should it be any different for business owners? Your time, and how you choose to spend it for your business, has a dollar sign next to it — and each day you’re choosing to either maximize or minimize that return on investment.
So let’s talk about how you can maximize your time. For starters, stay in your lane. That means recognizing what your time is really worth.
Sarah had put together a WordPress website and had spent about a month designing it, revising it, and really trying to put something together that would serve as a great storefront for her digital customers.
“What’s your time worth?” I asked.
I tried to imagine what she could have been doing for her business in 30 days. What could she have sold? What big decisions could she have made for the strategy of her business? How could she have positioned herself for scale?
Instead, she was spending valuable business time in front of a company, going back and forth between different fonts.
And that wasn’t even the worst of it.
Remember how I asked her how she was going to handle the security of her website? I sat down with her a few days later and she told me she had been reading a blog on, “Google’s standards for how a website should be delivered.” She was going to be handling customer data, and was also trying to learn about cyber security.
In Sarah’s mind, loading these things off to someone else would cost a fortune. But this was a common misconception.
For the cost of a few cups of coffee a week, Sarah could have paid someone else to do it.
Your time is valuable. Don’t waste it on things that you can easily offload to someone else. Stay in your lane. After all, what’s your time really worth? Are you offering something of immense value to your customers? If so, then every minute of your time has that exact same value.
Your time isn’t worth a few cups of coffee — remember, you’re building something great. So value your time accordingly.
So what does this mean for the average business owner?
For starters, the great news for today’s entrepreneur is you don’t have to be an expert at everything. You just need to know the right people.
That means you can stop trying to become an expert. You don’t need to understand Google’s standards for a website, page optimization, or cyber security.
You don’t need to become an expert in WordPress maintenance, WordPress security, or even learn how to upkeep your website.
You just need to know the right people to call on who you can trust.
When you find the right people, you can focus on spending your time on what really matters — directly growing your business.
Do you own a WordPress website? Are you handling all of the things I’ve mentioned?
Hand that off to experts who can provide incredible value.
For how inexpensive a WordPress maintenance plan is, you’d be crazy not to.