Self Employment - Time Management

'Time is money'. Heard the clich? at least a hundred times? Maybe it is time to apply the concept to the self-employed person.

Wasting time
Certain actions cause time wastage when you are self-employed for example, calling the client or arranging a meeting when you can state your proposal in an email. Telephone calls and meetings are useful for building personal relationships with your clients, but long meetings and phone calls not only waste time, but also lead to higher monthly expenses. Keep in mind that most of your valued clients and business partners also prefer emails most of the time, since they can attend to the matter discussed in the email, at their own time and answer when they have done their homework.

The opposite may also be true. If you spend too much time typing emails when one call is all that is needed to get to the bottom of a problem or reach a solution, then you should consider making the call.

Another major time waster is the routine of going to clients to get checks. Even though as a self-employed person you may want to keep personal contact to get payment sooner, it really is wasting your valuable time. Try to get the clients to make electronic transfers or direct deposits. In this way you don't have to drive around and wait on clients in the reception area while you can close a deal or spend your time in a productive way.

Calculate the value of your time
You can calculate the value of your time by dividing the total income a year by 2000. If you want to know what the maximum value of your time is calculate the average income from the different hours for which you invoice clients. If you are doing the accounting, web design and maintenance, secretary work, house cleaning, gardening, deliveries, data control and all types of tasks that you can outsource, you should consider which ones you should delegate. Your billing hour may be worth but you don't get to enough clients because you pick up checks, answer calls, do the filing and try to run the business. Do the work that pays the most and outsource the rest. As a self-employed person you may fear that someone else will not be able to do those tasks or even that you cannot afford a secretary, but as long as you have to do everything, you will not be able to generate enough income to employee more workers. Learn to delegate and outsource.

Short meetings
Keep meetings with clients and your workers to a minimum. Get to the point right at the outset of the meeting. Minimize paperwork which generates additional filing. Get in a routine of doing the bank reconciliation once a week or month, filing on Fridays, personnel meetings on Mondays etc.

The only resource that is severely limited is time. If you have an 8 hour work day, and you work alone, there will be a limit to your income. If you outsource as much as possible or employ assistants, your income potential grows. The more you as a self-employed person value time, the more of it you will have to share with friends and family.