So you think you can go pro ? :) #3: TIME !!!!!

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Blog entry by sawblade1 posted 12-05-2010 07:19 AM 1405 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Until you spread your wings (only then you know how far you can walk ) Part 3 of So you think you can go pro ? :) series Part 4: Burnout »

Good Evening LJ’s
One of the biggest challenges facing small businesses in my eyes is not money but time. Time? but why well after starting my business I learned the most valuable asset is time And also one of the most mismanaged ones also.
My father put in plain English Time will buy you money, but money will not buy you time. Time comes and it goes never returns or goes back, is never recovered or recycled, once it is gone you can’t change it or bring it back, but you can control what you do with the future time you get!!!! Most small businesses utilize cost savings but fail anyway!! Why? TIME!!! misused time is a waste of resources and a great way to not grow take example ME :)
I get approx 4-5 hours daily in my shop depending how I feel or 16-20 Hours per week translated Into a job that takes 60 hours to complete may take me upwards of 4 weeks to complete Customers in this society may wait or most likely not.
So how do I remain successful without a lot of time?

1. Limit projects to one you know you can accomplish in a reasonable amount of time and without rushing through them.

2. If you get a customer who insist on you doing the project ( they won’t accept no and have the cash at hand)
Then inform them upfront about the time needed and have them (in writing) accept it.

3. Enlist family and friends to help you in your venture you don’t have the time in most cases to handle everything Read the Book Of Nehemiah when he rebuilt the wall, Even if you don’t look at it from a biblical point it still explains how to get great Task completed without doing everything yourself.

4. Set aside time for tasks, such as e-mail responds, facebook postings, Customer relations (callbacks) You do call back in a reasonable time don’t you? Marketing and bookkeeping task as well if you are doing everything right you shouldn’t be over 45 hours a week ( unless you want to) Resist the shut down and run projects allover town routine set aside a day to do all of your deliveries or cleaning task.

So my final question to you is How are you using your time??

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path

13 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5300 posts in 3131 days

#1 posted 12-05-2010 07:24 AM

Many times folks I have worked with have wanted me to either consult or work in their consulting business, but my time management skills suck so I know that I would be a lousy consultant. As I get older the time management thing is getting better but I agree with you that time is a crucial aspect to having a successful business. I’ve done some project management work and really have to stay on top of the time aspect, the more tangible elements like stock delivery, task completion etc are far easier to manage than time.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17573 posts in 3094 days

#2 posted 12-05-2010 07:52 AM

You have hit the nail on the head. TIME MANAGAMENT. I have been told by contractors who run very large organizations that there is no way I can do what I have done for the last 25 years, but I continue to do it. What they don’t know, is I don’t even spend 40 hours a week doing it ;-)) Efficient use of time is the key.

Never waste a motion. Always be thinking 5 steps ahead of where you are. Maximize every short cut you can think of without sacrificing quality.

My first ever full time employee worked for me for 2.5 years. During that period, I did job costs on every job we did. I discovered I was 30 to 40% more productive on every job than he was. He was as good as anyone I would ever be able to hire. In the market we were in at that time, I could not use average electricians and stay in business. It all boils down to motivating maximum efficiency. The alternative most businesses use is doing what it takes to stay in business which is working 60-80 hours a week.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View cjohnson's profile


13 posts in 2187 days

#3 posted 12-05-2010 03:55 PM

This is a great post! And it is so true. WWe can sell our time and managing time is much much more difficult than one might think. This post makes some very important points and I could not have written it any better.

Mind your time and manage time well!

View CampD's profile


1459 posts in 2904 days

#4 posted 12-05-2010 04:34 PM

Ahhhh, I got plenty to add, but I dont have enough time!

-- Doug...

View CoolDavion's profile


419 posts in 3242 days

#5 posted 12-05-2010 05:30 PM

Time management is important in any job weather it is woodworking or office work.

Even just checking email can waist your time, if you have your email set to check every 5 minutes, then you get interrupted every 5 minutes from the little ping. A better practice is to set your email check to 15 minutes, most email does not need immediate response, it is all about prioritizing what needs to be done.

I’ve read allot recently that multi-tasking is not as helpful as most people think, when you spend little bit of time working on this and that, you will not get as much done as if you focus on one thing at a time. If you get stuck on some part of a project/task try and find another part you can work, some times that break is all you need to come to that “a-ha” moment to solve the problem.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

View Bluepine38's profile


3336 posts in 2503 days

#6 posted 12-05-2010 10:31 PM

I agree, now that I have all kinds of free time, I do not have any. When working for someone else, I spent
the time easily, without thinking about efficiency. Now I want to get in shape, work in the garden, in the
shop, on the house, and spend time with the kids and grandkids. When you plan and concentrate, a lot more
gets accomplished, and you enjoy it more. One electrical contractor would arrive at a job walk around for a
while marking his box openings and connections, then he would drill his holes, hang a special built reel from a
rafter and start pulling wire. Those minutes he wasted walking around and planning enabled him to get way
more accomplished than I thought was possible, yes he did retire early and the last I heard of him he was
busy enjoying himself.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17573 posts in 3094 days

#7 posted 12-05-2010 10:50 PM

I do not know how people survive with email on mobile devices. I refuse to use it. If it is that important, call. I do not have time to type on tiny key boards, It is bad enough trying to correct all the mistakes I make due to post Topamax Poisoning side effects. Spell checker doesn’t know what to do with scrambled words.
(Just thought I’d nip the spell checker comments in the bud :-)) )

I could see heart attacks by 50 and burn out coming when i started, that is why I did not be come a multi-national controls company. God knows I certainly had the opportunity!! :-) I am elated that I stayed small. Most will find there are only 2 models that really make sense. one man band with occasional help and Go & Grow Model where you do just that until you have at least 100 employees. In the No Man’s Land in between is where most will get stuck, either giving up, going bankrupt or working 100 hour weeks

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3310 days

#8 posted 12-05-2010 11:55 PM

It took me a couple of years to teach myself to say no. As a one man shop, I was easily swamped with work and I didn’t think it was appropriate to turn down business. All it did was stress me out and I found myself cutting corners to meet deadlines. When I finally took control of my time management and learned to say no when I was at my limit, my mental well being improved significantly, as well as the quality of the work.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View Russ's profile


142 posts in 2617 days

#9 posted 12-06-2010 06:27 PM

Great post, as I try to make my business grow it is the one aspect that is most important. As a professional cook time management was my greatest asset, how to assign myself work to complete a meal for 100 was very important for production of a quality meal. It has now been 4 months since my retirement and every day a little of this ” cooking knowledge” gets translated into the shop but even this takes time. haha. Every day I try to relate this time management from one craft to another.

-- Happiness is being covered in sawdust

View nate22's profile


453 posts in 2293 days

#10 posted 12-06-2010 08:38 PM

This is a great post. Time is an important thing in owning your own business. There are two things to remember if you learn how to manage your time your business will grow but if you don’t your business will fall apart. For me thats why I always decide what I am going to do the next day before leaving my shop for the day. That makes it a lot easier that way you just go to your shop and start. Rather than take up the first 30 minutes deciding what to do. I even write it down on paper sometimes so I won’t forget. Thats just my imput on the situation. Good luck in your business sawblade1.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

View dbray45's profile


3147 posts in 2195 days

#11 posted 12-06-2010 09:36 PM

In going hand in hand with time management is when you use your time. Pick you times the you are to make sales and marketing calls, returning calls, purchasing materials. Pick times that you are scheduled to be in your shop and someone else takes messages – return them near the end of the work day. I used Tuesday morning and Wednesday afternoon for sales calls (cold calling), Thursday, Friday, Monday afternoons between 3:00PM and 5:00 PM to return calls and purchasing. The rest of the time I was either at a customer site or in the shop.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17573 posts in 3094 days

#12 posted 12-07-2010 12:04 AM

My wife used to be the receptionist. She knew I was not productive answering my pager. I had industrial accounts who called when the equipment went down and production stopped. I got them back up and running within hours. I had a yellow page ad to attract that kind of business.

One day a guy calls up saying he needed an electrician right now to connect a piece of equipment. We were all very busy with contract work. My wife told him we didn’t have anyone to send. He said the ad said, “Emergency service.” She told him that was not an emergency since he had known for several days the machine ws coming. He ask what he would have had to have done to have an electrician out there today. She told him, “Call about a week ago.” ;-) There is a real time manager!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17573 posts in 3094 days

#13 posted 12-07-2010 12:48 AM

Bluepine38 That story reminds me of a fellow I used to work for. He sent me out to a commercial job telling me to lay it and wire it. I went out and proceeded to do what he said. By mid-morning I called the shop with a material order. That about noon he showed up with a part of the material. I was setting in the middle of the room pre-fabbing boxes. He looked around, saw nothing done yet, rolled his eyes and left. By quitting time, I called the shop again to tell them him if he wasn’t gong to have that material out there by 9 the next morning, I may as well stay home until he got it out. After that, he brought everything I called for right now!! ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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