Is time management in business really that important? Most entrepreneurs feel that they are the only ones who know exactly how to get things done, therefore they have to do everything themselves. This is a telltale sign of bad leadership.
To be a great leader, you must at least have certain entrepreneurial characteristics such as self-confidence, emotional intelligence, unique perspectives on marketing your products or services, know how to engage employees, and have strong management skills.
Even though you know more about your business than anyone, believing there’s no one out there who can get the job done is one of the most damaging perspectives you can have.
In the beginning, every activity probably could be done more eﬀectively by you. You probably also feel that only you will provide the necessary attention to detail. This may all be true, especially in the early stages of your business.
However, this can stunt your growth. In this article, we will show you how to view time management in business and share some practical tips on how to manage your time and team.
Importance of Time Management in Business
In our previous post about how to lead a company, we asserted how important it is to manage your time effectively to aid growth. However, most entrepreneurs get stuck in bad habits.
Understandably, there are limited resources in the early stages of most companies and entrepreneurs tend to do a lot more of the work themselves. This strategy can work for a while until you want to grow. Here are a few reasons why doing everything yourself is bad leadership:
- You Stunt Growth. You become the bottleneck. It is impossible for a business to gain any momentum when everything waits for you. You see your passion, dedication, and attention to detail as a huge plus. Others see it as detrimental to the growth of the business.
- Employees, Investors, and Customers Question Your Leadership. When sophisticated individuals hear “I’m the only one that can do this,” they question your ability to lead the company. At the early stages of the business, many people you are interacting with are putting you in one of two buckets:
- The passionate entrepreneur that can’t ultimately lead the business.
- The entrepreneur that understands how businesses grow.
Change Your Perspective
When you say, “I’m the only one that can do these things,” people put you in the first category. It is not that they don’t appreciate your passion—it is one of the reasons they want to work with your company.
However, these individuals are getting involved with your business because of the potential for growth. When they hear this perspective, investors think,
“How are we going to get someone that can run the business going forward?” Employees think, “We won’t grow if he needs to have his hand in everything.” Customers will not see your passion. They will see you as a single point of failure: “What happens if he gets hit by a bus? Does that mean I am left out in the cold?”
- You Undermine Your Ability to Engage Employees. Senior employees will question whether your management style will give them the authority and accountability to execute, or will they be micromanaged instead. Senior employees don’t want to work in a company that looks like a “solar system”—where you are the sun and everything revolves around you. They want to join a team with a chain of command that allows them to naturally execute in their area of expertise.
Tips For Managing a Business Effectively
1. Accept the Harsh Realities
One of the first steps to take in managing a business effectively is to first accept the harsh reality that your own lack of managerial experience is a likely cause of this issue. Managers everywhere are tempted to dip their hands in every issue.
It is not until they teach their teams to “fish” that they operate more eﬃciently. The same is true of the entrepreneur, but for some reason, it seems almost to be a badge of honor—as opposed to a management flaw—for the leader to take on everything.
2. Only Focus on Critical Items
You have limited time and bandwidth. All Entrepreneurs do! With that being said, it is important to focus your attention on and to preserve your energy for, priorities.
When you allow yourself to spend time on non-critical items, you begin a domino eﬀect that harms your entire organization. Imagine saying to your employees, “I can’t pay you anymore because I didn’t focus on financing for the last three months because I had to proofread the PowerPoint.”
Since you know more about your business than anyone else, start to impart this knowledge into others. In no time, you’ve created the very situation that you are trying to avoid—you doing everything.
When you teach, don’t do it five minutes before something is due or you will simply take on the task yourself. Schedule time each week that is dedicated to teaching. You are not “allowing” people to take on more, you are “enabling” them to do so.
4. Let People Make Mistakes
If you want things oﬀ your desk, you are going to have to accept some errors in the process. Let your team know that you expect this as part of the learning process.
Summarizing Time Management Techniques in Business
Enable others to do more and the benefits will be exponential. Focus on your ability to apply your talent to areas that need it. The ability to contribute your knowledge to an area without having to own everything.
As we noted above, this does not happen on its own—you must drive it. As soon as you see some success in this area, you will think to yourself, “Letting go goes a long way.”