What would you do with 200 hours of free time?
In that same span of time, Jack Kerouac and Charles Dickens wrote On the Road and A Christmas Carol, respectively, while Picasso painted Guernica in under three weeks. This is what time can buy you.
Sure, you might not write your Great American novel or create a world-renowned work of art, but you could be doing a lot with 200 hours—like growing your business.
We bring up the 200 hours figure because that’s the amount of time the average business owner spends keeping up with government regulations and tax compliance each year.
With the regulatory and tax environments growing more complex, employers are increasingly bearing the burden of time and energy needed to stay in compliance. This means less time available to grow your business.
Working On Your Business, Not In Your Business
For many small businesses, the workday is an endless cycle of putting out fires and making sure the business functions on a day-to-day basis.
While it might feel like productivity, it’s more often just a series of unprofitable time sucks that keep you from concentrating on your long-term goals. Like the captain of the Titanic missing the iceberg, it’s hard to keep an eye out for hazards when you’re paying attention to other things.
According to an Alternative Board study, the average small business owner works about 50 hours per week but spends only 32% of this time growing their business. The remaining 68% is spent on daily problems and tasks, including email and administration.
Furthermore, Paychex found that 45% of small business owners spend a full workday each week dealing with administrative and human resource issues.
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you started a business because you wanted to enjoy the independence of being your own boss, not because you wanted to spend 8 hours per week completing administrative tasks.
As the driving force behind your business, your talents are best served planning for the future and ensuring success for you and your employees. But getting bogged down with administrative tasks only leads to more stagnation, allowing you to merely “get by” without any time or resources to steer the ship. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself swimming in circles before long.
Balanced Lifestyle = Balanced Business
Many entrepreneurs equate their life with their business. When their business is running well, their life is running well, and vice versa.
But small business owners need to care for themselves properly if they hope to be in business long term. With the stress and time needed to grow a business, burnout is frequent and crippling.
These feelings of burnout can have tremendous impacts on one’s health. A number of studies from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health found that overwork can lead to problems such as depression, diabetes, impaired memory and heart disease, not to mention the ubiquitous sleep difficulties that plague 70% of small business owners.
In light of this research, small business owners need to set boundaries in order to keep their home and work lives balanced. This starts with gaining more free time. Sure, the business is important, but so are family, friends and leisure.
You Can’t Open Doors With a Closed Mind
A lack of time can easily lead to a lack of opportunity if you’re unavailable to stop and take a look around. When an employer is strapped for time, it’s difficult to recognize the multitude of opportunities that emerge around them each day.
After all, how are you supposed to grab something when your hands are full?
Brent Hoffman of Black Label Agency dubs this situation the “I don’t have enough time” paradox. When a business owner doesn’t have time, they can’t take advantage of opportunities outside the immediate needs of the business.
The “I don’t have enough time” paradox creates a vicious cycle where the business owner is stuck on a perpetual treadmill, unable to make a forward move. Hoffman calls this type of myopic strategy “the bubble” and states that:
The only things that will get done are the things already within that bubble. Anything else is met with the statement “I don’t have enough time”. This prevents growth. This prevents productivity. Most importantly, this prevents opportunities to free up your time.
Don’t let yourself get trapped in the bubble of “I don’t have enough time.” Liberate your time!
Outsourcing to the Rescue
One way to gain back some of your time is by outsourcing key administrative functions in your business. Take, for example, Human Resources.
Sure, you could hire a full-time HR manager to solve your time crisis, but this will set you back an average of $75,000 plus benefits each year. Fortunately, there is a more affordable solution for the time crunch afflicting so many small business owners.
Outsourcing your human resources to a professional employer organization (PEO) like Focus HR can help you free up time, hire better people, stay in HR compliance and provide the kind of benefits that attract good employees.
In addition to saving time, small businesses using a PEO like Focus HR report growing 5-7% faster while enjoying 10-14% lower turnover. Small businesses have also proven to be 50% less likely to go out of business when using a PEO.
Focus HR provides you with a dedicated team of experienced HR professionals ready to take the busywork off your plate. We partner with businesses to provide benefits administration, payroll solutions, time management systems, retirement plans, workers’ compensation and more.
Basically you’re getting an entire human resources department for one affordable price. Still think you can afford to do it yourself?
How much is your time worth? How much would you pay to get those 200 hours back?
Remember, being busy doesn’t necessarily mean being productive. Working smart means delegating tasks to others so you can gain more time to focus on growing your business. We can help you get there.
Contact Focus HR today for a free consultation to find out how we can help your business grow by saving you time.