“Time is money” is an old idiom, but an accurate one.

Consider this: does everyone in your business understand how their working time relates to business profit and prosperity? In our quest to ensure that every member of an organisation understands how they can personally impact working capital, we must never ignore or forget this old saying.

Taking too long to complete a task means that the total cost of the product or service is higher. It is hard to quantify, but a job that takes too long means less product produced or fewer customers served and ultimately means we have less to sell. Our costs are also higher and so our prices have to be higher or our profit smaller.

Every person in your organisation should be thinking of ways to do things quicker without comprising quality or customer service. 

For example, things take longer because of time wasted having to ask questions, waiting on parts, or adding in detail that is unused. When asked to identify things that waste time, most people will pretty much know how they could complete things more quickly.

It is all about working smarter, not harder. If everyone is engaged in finding ways to work smarter, this can only lead to a more productive outcome. Any wasted time removed will then naturally turn into money.

It’s a simple concept, so why don’t people always think like this? Generally, I think the answer is pretty simple too. Businesses can try to be too clever. They can wrap the message up in business improvement initiatives, give it a fancy name, or make it a management task, but the fact is working as effectively as possible is everyone’s job. We just need to ensure people have the skills and motivation to do it.

Here are some examples that can help save time:

  • Standardise an email, a form, or a proposal so that you don’t have to start from scratch each time.
  • Provide systems that fire up quickly, so you are not waiting on them.
  • Ensure that you only have to fill in one form instead of two.
  • Ensure that all the tools and any information are needed are close to hand.
  • Start meetings on time and ensure they are productive.

Making small changes such as the examples listed will reduce the time it takes to complete tasks and reduce frustration. We’ve been helping companies to achieve this goal for over 20 years, and I’m always astounded that so little focus and effort is put into this. If we can get everyone to remember the direct relationship between time and money, we will transform our businesses.