If You Don’t Have Time, Your Competitor Does
by Janette Blanco
April 10, 2017
Having no time knowing what is going on in the community – where your industry is going, what the government is doing for small businesses in your area, what the latest technology is and how it is affecting your industry – is the most common mistake small business owners make.
They are so busy working in their business that they forget to work on the business. They forget that there is a whole world out there evolving, constantly changing and as that changes, consumer tastes change, as well as their needs.
Small business owners often feel they have no time to find out what’s changed, and what is worse, they have no time to build relationships and/or adjust their marketing campaigns, products and services to be more effective. The truth is, if you do not do it, your competitor will, therefore putting yourself at a disadvantage.
The answer is you must make time and you must plan it. For most small business owners time is the most valuable asset; therefore, time management and planning is crucial to succeed. Paying attention to what is going on in the world will put you in a position where you can see clearly the changes, and evolve accordingly.
Technology may also be an ally for time management, finding the right technology to run your business in the most efficient way possible. Humans are also a big component of the equation. Choosing the right team – one that you feel comfortable delegating tasks, the right hires and the right outsourcing team – will also make a big difference.
There is no magic formula as how to manage time. It depends on the kind of business; however, if your business is organized in such a way that you as an owner can work on it and not in it, that will make a world of difference.
Keep in mind business is about people. First, you get the people, Then, you get the sales. I can recommend a 30, 60, and 90 day plans with feasible goals measuring results at the end of each quarter and adjusting as you go. Short and long term planning will help you save time and will help you to do it right the first time, which translates to spending less money and getting more return.
It is very important that you as the business owner spend time thinking about the future, develop future market scenarios that will help you stay ahead. Make sure that you understand the pros and cons of repeating behavior even when what you are doing is successful. You do not want to be so predictable, and more importantly, this tendency tends to keep you in a comfort zone where innovation seems unnecessary. Guess what? Your competitors are probably innovating.
Remember as a business owner you want to be ahead on the game. Use the local resources available to you to get started on the right path.
Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County Economic Development Department
Specialty: Construction Industry Regulations and Licensing, Contract Compliance, Strategic Planning
Janette Blanco has extensive knowledge in doing business with the government and specializes in assisting minority and women-owned businesses with the government bidding process. She also teaches workshops, provides one-on-one consulting assistance to business owners in English and Spanish, and does community outreach throughout South and East Tampa. Prior to joining the Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County, Blanco was a cost estimator on engineering projects as well as owned and operated her own business for 15 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts. She is a Contract Compliance Administrator, a Profit Mastery Facilitator, and certified in Strategic Management Performance Systems. Blanco earned Florida SBDC at USF Regional Consultant of the Year honors in 2016 and 2017. Blanco is also bilingual.