5 Time-Management Tips for Entrepreneurs

In this presentation, SwissMadeMarketing CEO, Sam Hänni, shares his own time-management hacks to improve his productivity at work. 

Time Management for Entrepreneurs

One of the hardest part of running your own business is building the discipline to actually focus on projects that matter. 

When we first started SwissMadeMarketing, I was the main developer for all of our products and I also focused on getting more users to the platform - not an easy task to do both.

I would have a long list of features and innovations that I want to develop for our software. And, I would also have an equally long list of ideas that I have to get more people to sign up for our tools. But naturally, I couldn’t do both with the same pace. One will always lag behind the other.

Chances are, you also have these long lists of ideas in your basecamp, or trello, or asana or whatever task management flow you have.

They say there are two types of entrepreneurs:

1. The Cash-rich, Time-poor Entrepreneur
2. The Time-rich, Cash-poor Entrepreneur

The first one is simply an entrepreneur who can afford to invest a lot in their business. Often, these entrepreneurs hire people to do a lot of the ‘dirty work’ that they don’t want to concern themselves with so they can focus on more strategic tasks. They would also use a lot of platforms and tools to automate areas of their business to free up their time.

The second one, most probably, the ones who are just starting their business have more time than money to invest. Like me, these entrepreneurs would invest more time doing manual stuff because time is what we have.

Because, you’re the one running your business, you don’t have anyone monitoring how you’re spending your time, treating it as an unlimited resource you don’t need to manage. Whereas, you’d expect this of people you’re working with.

Or is it?

Let’s do a little exercise to assign a value to your time. This will give you a better idea of why you should be treating it as a valuable and very LIMITED resource. The same way you would be tight on money.

I want you to think of two numbers:

Number one: the amount of money your business brings in every month
Number two: the amount of hours you put in every month

These numbers don’t have to be exact, a rough estimate is fine.

Let’s take Joe for example.

He makes about $10,000 and puts in about 160 hours per month. That’s 40 hours per week. But knowing most entrepreneurs, 40 hours per week is small. A lot of us spend extra hours figuring a lot of the little stuff. Not to mention all those hours thinking about our business whether you’re driving or even in the shower.

Coming back to the number, if Joe makes about $10k every month with 160 hours, this means he has an earning power of $60 per hour.

The time you invest working on a project or sitting on a meeting has a monetary value.

How much is your hourly rate worth?

Keep that number in mind.

The question is are you spending it in areas of your business that will give you bigger returns in the long run?

Think about how you spend most of your hours working.

Do you end up jumping from one project to the next because you heard of the latest marketing craze?

Are your meetings productive or do you have tons of brainstorms that never lead to execution?

Do you have piles of ideas that could explode your business but never seem to have the time to get to them?

The Solution:
Now, I want you to remember that magic number again - your hourly rate. That is the investment you’re making.

I made this presentation because I want to give you five tips on how you can free up YOUR time so you can focus on projects that will give you better returns.

#1. Every meeting should have an agenda and an agenda keeper

I know a lot of people who have agendas in their meeting, but sticking to these agenda is the tricky part.

Meetings tend to run wild sometimes, especially with creative people. The best way to avoid this is to have an agenda keeper: someone who can veto unnecessary conversations. Appoint someone who is meant to ensure that the team is following the agenda and will raise a flag if you (especially as the CEO) is getting sidetracked too much.

#2. Value-rank your ideas

Click here to check out a post we did about how we value-rank our ideas in SwissMadeMarketing.


#3. Consider hiring or outsourcing certain tasks

This might not be for everybody. But for those of you who are bogged down with a lot of repetitive work, you might be losing valuable company time that you can instead invest in more strategic matters.

What you’ll find is that you can hire somebody to take a lot of your manual work and you can focus on generating more income for the company. There are many websites that you can find freelancers like Odesk.

#4. Time Yourself & create real deadlines

This is not about time-logging, but instead about setting goals you have to reach.

One of the methods we used were webinars. On a live webinar we’d demonstrate a new product to our existing customers. We agreed on a live webinar date and started inviting customers to that webinar BEFORE the product was finished!

I tell you - the closer that webinar date approaches, the more everything else which isn’t relevant fades out.

You have no other choice! People have been invited and you’d risk your own reputation if you don’t reach it. That’s how we’ve continually pushed ourselves & in my opinion this has been one of the most important keys to our success.

#5. Free up your time by automating certain areas of your business

I do a lot of manual tasks that take hours every week. One of them is tracking some performance of our products. What I did was use an online software that will notify me when something is wrong. Currently, it does over a thousand checks. If i had to do that myself or have my developer do that, it will take up so much of our time.

Thanks for watching, leave a comment below and share with us your own time-management tips!