Pin Me

How Time Factors into Running the Business

written by: W. A. Swan•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 12/3/2010

Time is precious to the business owner - especially the small business owner. This is because more than half of the time spent doing business is spent away from the customers. It's important to understanding how time factors in running a business help ensure business success.

  • slide 1 of 8

    Both retail and service oriented business owners become quickly aware of time constraints once they get into the daily operations of their new business. Time factors in running a business to a large extent, can affect those time constraints. Often successful business owners spend up to half of the day, nearly every day, maintaining the operation in various ways.

  • slide 2 of 8

    Time Sinks

    Where Does the Time Go One of the larger time factors in running a business is the amount of time wasted on things that should only take a few minutes. While talking to customers or friends is desirable to build up intangibles such as good will, this can also become a serious time sink that can destroy schedules and eliminate chunks of time that can be used for other duties. Checking email, looking through catalogs or websites for the newest item or tool are among the biggest time sinks that suck time from the day.

    Image Credit: (Freedigitalphotos)

  • slide 3 of 8

    Public Operations

    This is what the general public and your customers see. Often the opinion is that you should be doing other things along side of this; while this can be true to get some tasks done such as inventory analysis and phone calls, it's not always the case. Public operations include direct customer relations such as sales and returns, addressing concerns, and delivering products or services.

  • slide 4 of 8

    Back Office

    This is where the most important portion of business operations occurs. This is also where at least half of the time factors into running the business. Paperwork such as ordering, bookkeeping, filing and getting forms to the appropriate agencies is where a large chunk of time goes in back office operations. Banking and accounting often take up another large chunk of time; this includes sales projections, budgets and financial statements and vendor payments as needed.

  • slide 5 of 8

    Employee Issues

    Employees Take Up A Lot of Time New business owners may think they have hired all the staff they need to keep their business running smoothly. Unfortunately, dealing with employees on a multitude of issues will take up a lot of your time. It's important to have a good policies in place for employee issues such as handbook guidelines, suggestion boxes, and perhaps even a facilitator who your employees can go to first instead of bombarding you with issues that will take up more time you don't have. Often, new business owners find themselves in a "babysitter" mode when it comes to employees. This is especially true if your business is not large enough to have its own human resources department.

    Image Credit: (Freedigitalphotos)

  • slide 6 of 8


    Suppliers are an important part of running a business. You must stay on good terms with these firms and people to continue receiving goods and services you need to maintain the business. Taking the time to maintain relationships with suppliers is equally important as taking inventory and ordering the supplies. Getting to know the suppliers by name and maintaining a friendly business relationship requires time on the phone or in person spent talking about both business concerns and possibly other issues not business related such as weather, sports or news.

  • slide 7 of 8


    Inspections, while not the largest of the time factors in running a business, is one of the most important. These inspections can determine if you stay in business and for how long depending on any issues the inspectors find. This brings up time required for maintenance, both scheduled and unscheduled. Maintenance is another issue that takes up chunks of time, but is required if you intend to stay in business. Vehicle inspections, health inspections, fire and code inspections all involve interaction between the business owner and the inspector while the inspection takes place. This interaction takes time away from other parts of the business operation.

  • slide 8 of 8

    Practice Good Time Management As you can see, some amount of time is always wasted during the day because of interruptions or distractions. Much of the time spent running a business is done out of the customers view and is why customers never grasp the total amount of time you spend on the business. Before taking on any type of business venture, be sure to understand the complete picture in relation to the amount of time you will be spending on the business. Learning good time management skills can help, but you will most likely need to design a good way to manage your time based on the type of business you own.

    Image Credit: (Freedigitalphotos)