[Opinion Piece] Time is Money in a Franchise Business
It is said when you own your own business that ‘time is money’, and that the amount of time you put in will determine the amount of profit you make. Time management in business is, however, one of the most challenging aspects when running a business, with many owners struggling to strike a balance between the tasks that are essential to success and those that are less so. The business of franchising proves no different, even with a franchise manual that can be used as a guideline. Managing Executive of The Fish & Chip Co, Jan de Beer, shares more on how to practise proper time manage ment in the franchising business, to ensure the most is made of every day.
Even though there are many definitions as to what time management actually means, the most common definition is to understand the act of taking conscious control over time spent on various activities. Spending too much time on one activity is not time management, it’s wasting time.
To help franchisees maximise productivity in their day, the following recommended time management do’s should be considered:
- To keep a business running smoothly, business and franchise owners need to understand what time is and how much of it they really have. We recommend drawing up and implementing a daily time schedule that suits both the owner and their staff, to be able to plan the entire day’s activities as well as the necessary staffing requirements.
- One of the biggest tasks to overcome in most businesses, is managing electronic communication (emails) effectively so that it does not become a constant distraction. Especially when you know you have a hectic schedule at work, plan time throughout the day to return emails and non-business phone calls, and avoid checking an email just because it’s come through as this will rob you of your time. To manage ‘offline’ communication in the office, try and turn your office into a distraction free zone. If you have a door, close it occasionally or put up a sign to allow yourself the time to complete any tasks that need your attention.
- Decide if daily/weekly meetings are absolutely necessary as these take out big chunks of time in your diary. If you are going to set up meetings, decide on a specific day in which the majority of meetings can be scheduled. That way, instead of spending the majority of your days in and out of travelling and attending meetings, you will have one or two designated days allocated to only meetings.
- Good time management at work goes hand-in-hand with doing high quality work, not high quantity work. It is always best to work smarter than faster, as a job half-done will steal more of your time eventually. It is also advisable that when you’re working on a timely task to think of the results you will achieve instead of how busy you are or how long it will take you to complete it.
- When you need to utilise your time better on a task, always plan for interruptions and unforeseen issues that might pop up, by allowing yourself extra time. That way, should something else arise, you have made a space in your diary and it won’t affect your progress. Procrastination is a big no-no when trying to manage your time better and it is best to avoid it altogether, as it is usually when you have the least time available that something unforeseen will arise.
- Whilst many people dread using timesheets, it is an effective measure to use that will indicate how long you are working on certain tasks. Challenge yourself to start keeping time when working on a task and evaluate the findings at the end of each day/week. If it takes you three hours in one time frame to respond to emails something needs to be changed to free up more of your time.
At the end of the day, success in any business cannot be achieved without each team member (business owner and staff) taking responsibility for managing their own time productively. If someone has poor self-discipline and a lack of leadership skills to delegate other tasks effectively, a high success rate cannot be expected of the business.