Buying time

Buying timeJohn Lennon once said, “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

This is as pertinent today as it was then. As we all strive to make our lives and businesses successful, often we forget to stop and take a step back and wonder what it’s all about. Or is it that we don’t seem to have the time for reflection?

It’s an inescapable fact that everyone gets 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week to get everything done, and achieve what they want to achieve and that’s it. But what if you could buy a little extra time? What would that mean to you? What would you do with say, an extra day a week if you could literally buy an extra 24 hours each week?

Well here’s the thing- if you own and run your own business you often have that option.

Business owners have the option to engage additional team members – to pay for someone else to do what they do. Or to invest some of their precious operational time to actually work on their business to identify process improvements or efficiency gains. Or to engage a trusted advisor to assist with identifying new opportunities that may result in increased profits for the same investment of effort.

All of those things can be seen as literally buying time.

A recent study by Deloitte highlighted that a lack of external guidance from a third party strategic board, divorced from day to day operations, was significantly impeding Australian small family businesses from realising their full potential. Family businesses are best placed if they have two layers of governance – the first at a family level that operates within the business, and an external board that reports to the family.

Implementing such a framework obviously has to involve an investment of hard dollars but the return on investment could well be realised not only in the financial terms to which Deloitte allude, but also in freeing up the business owners most valuable resource – time.

Peter Morgan
Manger, Special Projects & Xero Facilitator

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