What is a business’s most valuable resource?  Is it the millions of dollars a company has amassed in cash reserves?  No.  How about a level of brand recognition that has created an ever-growing percentage of market-share? No. Is it Human capital?  Important but… no. A leader’s strategic vision? Sorry. No.

Stumped?  Like a riddle-hint?  Ok.  Your business’s most valuable resource doesn’t appear on its balance sheet, yet it is possessed equally by you and every member of your team. 

Here’s another.  Your business’s most valuable resource can’t be found on its profit and loss statement but how you spent it directly determines your success or failure. 

So, what is this most important and valuable of resources?  The answer: TIME. 

There is a saying that “time is money”.  Time, however, is much more than money.  In business Time is everything – the only thing.  And all businesses exist to do just two things (profitably):

Time, properly invested, is what generates, compounds, and catapults growth.  The fact that all businesses share this common purpose makes increasing profitability and growth relatively easy: focus and sharpen the return on your business’s most important investment: TIME.

If you’re a business owner or manager, take an honest look at your time-choices.  Can you draw a straight line between each of your each daily activity and your business’s purpose?  If you can, try to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of that activity.  If you can’t, work to minimize that activities time-print and, if possible, remove it altogether. 

This simple exercise is especially critical for those who own small businesses – their very survival is directly related to the choices the owner makes with a very scarce amount of time.  The ability to recognize and focus on actions that make current customers happy and get new customers is absolutely crucial.  At the same time, however, small business owners face a second challenge – managing or delegate activities that are important but not directly related to their business purpose.

If your business is a bit larger, extend this process each team member of your organization.  Can you draw a straight line between each member’s daily activities your business purpose: 1) Making current customers happy and, 2) Getting new customers?  Work with each member to maximize the effectiveness of activities that you can, while minimizing or removing those you can’t.

Don’t be surprised if you discover a large number of activities, or even entire positions or processes that have no relationship, either directly or tangentially, to your business purpose.  Many such activities may be easily rationalized as necessary.  Each instance, however, is an opportunity to restructure and realign your business’s most valuable resource, time, with what is really important: Making current customers happy, and getting new customers.


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