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Haines Watts Exeter Phone icon 01392 260310

It’s about time…

When asked what single resource they are most short of, I suspect most business owners would reply ‘cash’. This would be a perfectly valid answer as the lack of cash is the single biggest reason businesses fail.  However, in my experience of dealing with owner managed businesses for over 20 years, the resource of time is very often over-looked. Time is a very limited resource; very often business owners are what is called ‘time poor’ and this can manifest itself in the following ways:

  1. Working very long hours
  2. Not being able to take a holiday
  3. Undertaking basic business tasks
  4. A lack of family or leisure time
  5. Working ‘in the business, not on the business’

Do any of these sound familiar? “Ah yes”, I can hear you say “but isn’t this the lot of a business owner?”  Well, my answer is that it doesn’t have to be.

Free up time by delegating to your employees

Many business owners are undertaking tasks that their staff should be handling. So what’s stopping you delegating more to your employees?  Normally there are 2 main factors holding back the process:

  1. “I want the job done properly so I have to do it myself”
  2. “It will take too long to explain to someone else”

The answer is to properly train the staff so they are able to carry out the task, brief them properly so they know your instructions and make them accountable. Empowering your employees this way will not only release more time for you but should make them happier and more productive also.

As for point 2, you are just going to have to bite the bullet here, spare some time but with the knowledge that it should be a one off.

Free up time by outsourcing

The other way out is to outsource tasks to a third party; the advantages are that for specific tasks a third party may be better at this task then you. Take credit control for example, do you have the patience to follow a credit control plan for every client or customer?  You should be developing sales not cash collection.

Of course there are downsides of outsourcing; primarily the cost – if you outsource everything you may find you are working to keep all your suppliers busy! By its nature there is also the loss of control over the particular process that you have outsourced but this is necessary in order to give you time to focus on what is important, both in your business and your life generally.


Keep in mind the endgame for many owner managed businesses – a disposal of the business to a third party as a going concern. For this, you, the business owner needs to be removed from the day to day running so that a third party can effectively step in or get a manager to run things.  If your staff and outsourcing can cope with the day to day running of the business, you will find your business much easier to sell when the time comes.

Should you want to discuss this in more detail, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Want to know more? Call us on 01392 260310 or email

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