By Jordan Dovanaka / September 12, 2018
Every day, businesses incur profit or loss depending on their relationship with customers; their service delivery and particularly how they use their time. Time management is a crucial element especially for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) because resources are scarce to begin with. So the question becomes: How can you deliver the most customer value in the shortest amount of time and with the stingiest use of resources?
Time management, productivity and the related challenges of project management became the subject of my attention on my way to work one morning. As early as 6:00 am, my CEO and I decided to stop at a coffee shop for a hot cup of coffee in Westlands only to be told that the coffee machine was being set up for operation and we needed to wait 20 minutes for it to be ready. Unable to wait that long, we decided to visit another coffee shop and found their machine was already dispensing coffee.
I wondered how many more customers the first coffee shop we visited had lost and its effect on sales revenue so I did some math. Let’s assume that at a busy location 20 people were unable to wait the 20 minutes needed for the machine to fire up each morning because it wasn’t ready to serve tea. At 300 Ksh per cup of tea, that is 6,000 Ksh of squandered sales in one day – not to mention the potential loss in additional food sales. Over a seven-day week, it would be 42,000 Ksh lost and in a year the revenue loss could be 2,184,000 Ksh. No doubt some customers would not make the same mistake twice but new customers could easily fall into the trap.
You can see that in addition to frustrating customers, not having your product ready to sell when the doors are opened for business – even if it’s just for 20 minutes — can hurt your sales and even more long-term your reputation. This is just one example of how adhering to deadlines, keeping your focus, planning for the unexpected and other time management techniques can bolster your bottom line.
How well do you understand the challenges your business faces getting its product or service to customers in a timely and cost-effective way? Do you practice time management techniques yourself? Do you and your colleagues hold yourselves to high standards for delivering work on time or do deadlines seem to always slip?
These are questions we need to ask ourselves as we look to grow businesses and influence the economy at large. There are no shortage of tips, tricks and time or project management methods to consider for your SME but here are a few collections through which you might like to browse.
Jordan is an Associate within the BlueInventure Service Delivery and Projects team and works on various client assignments that enable businesses to create or maximize value by leveraging his competence in business analysis and strategic thinking.
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