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TIME and MONEY

Everyone is familiar with the old saying, “time is money.” The quotation is attributed to a 1748 letter titled “Advice to a Young Tradesman,” written by Benjamin Franklin. His original quote was “remember that time is money” and was meant as business advice. That particular piece of advice seems as relevant in 2021 as it must have in the 1700s.

TIME and MONEY

 

FINDING THE BEST WAY TO USE YOUR TIME TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS MORE PROFITABLE

By Fran Carville, CRM, CARCO AWARDS/CARCOAWARDS.COM

Everyone is familiar with the old saying, “time is money.” The quotation is attributed to a 1748 letter titled “Advice to a Young Tradesman,” written by Benjamin Franklin. His original quote was “remember that time is money” and was meant as business advice. That particular piece of advice seems as relevant in 2021 as it must have in the 1700s.

Time management, as a good business practice, is a given in today’s workplace. With all of the things we have to do on any given day, we could not function if we didn’t regularly practice good time management. We follow to-do lists. We schedule our workdays. We keep an eye on the clock so we do not get bogged down with a task. We live our lives trying to manage our time more effectively. Day in, day out—time matters.

As interested and as involved as we seem to be in time management strategies, many times we don’t seem to actually use Mr. Franklin’s advice to increase our profits. Although we keep track of budgets, cash flow, pricing, and sales goals, we may not have thought about “time” as a way to improve our profit and loss statements. That’s about to change! Time can serve as an important component for improving our financial bottom lines. How? I’m glad you asked...

ASK ONE QUESTION

If you want to give “making more money” a priority-one ranking in your business day, ask yourself one simple question on a regular basis: “How can I best use my time right now to make my business more profitable?” The question is not, “what fires do I need to put out?” The question is not, “what’s in my comfort zone?” The question is not, “What can I do that I enjoy or that’s fun?”

Many times, we will avoid this question because the true answer will not be the one we want to tackle. How many times have you put off what would increase your bottom line because it isn’t comfortable?

As an example, we put off making the dreaded collection calls as long as possible, hoping we will get paid. Rather than being proactive about collecting our money, the tendency is to just ignore it.

How many sales calls have you avoided over the years because it isn’t what you enjoy doing? Even when you know one call could bring in additional sales dollars, it is easier to sit and wait for a potential customer to contact you. If you are not actively looking for and acting on ways to increase your profits, you are probably not using your time to make money.

By asking, “how can I best use my time right now to make my business more profitable?” you will be able to focus on the best ways to continually turn time into money.

INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY

When was the last time you brainstormed about ways to increase productivity without having your quality and service suffer? When was the last time you made a change to operate more efficiently? If you identify and implement strategies to make your work flow smoothly, you can create extra time to make more money.

After our store lost an employee right before busy season a few years ago, we were forced to get creative about increasing production without decreasing service. One change we made was to switch to precut brass plates to avoid all the hours of cutting brass. Our suppliers offer prebuilt trophies and plaques, resins that take less time than conventional trophies, preassembled acrylic and glass awards, and equipment to increase productivity. Some will even do the actual work for you on a large order.

There are many ways to save time and increase the productivity of a shop. If you know that you typically assemble 2,500 honor roll trophies during busy season, consider building them during a slow time. If you struggle to engrave a piece of jewelry, job it out. If you spend your days assembling low-cost trophies, consider hiring a parttime student to perform this task, while you use the time to focus on making money.

TURN TIME INTO MONEY

How can you use the hours in a day to make more money? Every one of us can probably list a few things we could do without even thinking. The problem is, most ideas require an effort to change the way we are currently spending our days.

Unless you are lucky, the next big job won’t just appear while you are in your office playing computer games or shopping on Amazon. The next big job might come as the result of spending your time actively marketing your business. It might come as the result of updating your business social media accounts or making a sales call before your store opens in the morning.

It might result from attending a professional group meeting now that things are getting back to normal. It might come from taking the time to follow up with current customers. It might come from volunteer work, where you develop relationships with other community leaders.

That next big job could come from a lot of sources, but you will have to use your time to market your business to make more money.

12 MONTHS OF MONEY

We all know how to ramp up our operations during our busiest times of the year. We work faster and more effectively. We are more creative with our time. We work longer hours. We will produce more awards in a few weeks than at any other time of the year. We will amaze ourselves with how much we can do.

And then, our busy season will be over. And boom … our time management skills will take a vacation. We will relax, we will slow down, and we will forget that time is money.

We will fall into the trap of Parkinson’s Law, a time management concept developed by a British historian. The law says, “work expands to fill time.” An award that takes 30 minutes from start to finish in busy season suddenly takes 40 minutes to complete when you aren’t busy.

We find ways to fill the time, rather than keeping a busyseason pace that would allow us to be more profitable. We fill our time with unimportant tasks, rather than finding ways to increase sales in slow months.

It has become easy to fall into the trap of Parkinson’s Law since the start of the pandemic last year. We became content to work at a slower pace, and it may have become the norm for many. But that’s over! The R&R period is over, and it is time to gear up, get moving, and make more money.

TIME IS MONEY

Time can help you make money if you use it wisely. Time can cost you money if wasted. But once time is lost, it cannot be recovered. Starting today, let’s use our valuable time to increase our profits. Time IS money— so go make some!

Fran Carville, CRM, is an Awards and Personalization Association past president, educational speaker, 2008 Speaker of the Year, a member of the Hall of Fame, and winner of an Award of Excellence from the APEX Awards for Publication Excellence. Fran and her husband, Tom Carville, CRM, own Carco Awards in Baton Rouge, LA.

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