Do you really optimize your time?

It is very common to see how some entrepreneurs try to keep low fixed costs by avoiding to hire certain key personnel or hiring an inadequate (cheaper) person to lead certain processes.

Recently the manager of a company with 160 employees told me that the approval of payments and treasury management was consuming 70% of his time. In other companies, managers do everything from servicing a vendor of non-strategic value, delivery products to clients, to performing safety training at work.

The question is, is that the best use of your time? Does washing the dishes at home, performing maintenance on your car or going to the bank generate value for your business and your life?

I looked for help! Returning to the example of the previous Manager, would it be worth it to hire a person of US $2000 per month (eg. In Colombia) with benefits to lead treasury management and free 70% of your time? Of course, and if you do not have the cash to hire this person you need to analyse the finances and operations of the company immediately.

Let the treasurer prepare the payments and you simply review and approve, establish control mechanisms, redesign the processes and delegate. Do you trust nobody? Maybe you have not found the right person, but they do exist, and it is your mission to find them.

I personally delegate the simple tasks of requesting a dental appointment or making a call to confirm an invitation and invest my time in activities that generate value such as serving my clients, executing certain parts of my projects, thinking, creating, learning and passing time with my family.

Use your time better, when possible, make meetings with your customers or suppliers over the phone with the help of tools such as www.join.me or Skype, try not to drive during peak hours, start working from home early in the morning (after exercising) and leave for your office when the traffic is light. If you are spending more than two hours a day driving hire a driver and take advantage of the time in your vehicle to make calls, review information and think.

Invest 95% of your time in strengthening the income of your company, create competitive advantages, improve your products or services and only 5% in saving little relevant expenses as a treasurer that will avoid big headaches.

Do not try to be CEO, CFO, director of technology and human resources, shoemaker to your shoes, hire the right people to lead these processes or outsource some of them, today many of these activities can be outsourced.

In some companies not having a financial manager or a qualified accounting team ends up being more expensive, the accounting has problems, the costs and margins are not correctly calculated and in the end the company ends not only with operational and management problems, but also with problems tributaries (eg. they can not request refund of withholding tax to the government for fear of an inspection visit).

Another problem arises when the owner or founder of a medium to large company does everything due to a poor team around them, the company then becomes difficult to sell or is of little worth.

If you or someone you know suffers from these kinds of problems, you probably do not have a qualified board of directors to make you aware of your mistakes.

Conclusion: focus your time on activities that really create value, no employee or contractor is expensive if the time they create for you allows you to make more money for your company, making it like a machine where you can step away and let it function itself.

Author: Simón Restrepo Barth, Master in Finance, Professor, Investment banker and Partner of ONEtoONE Corporate Finance.

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