No one likes to waste time and money. When you run a business, the stakes become even higher when you’re trying to optimize these two assets. Money is valuable of course, and time is something you can never get back.
If you want to take your business to the next level and thrive, it should be your top priority to avoid wasting these precious assets. Still, lots of distractions can set in along with communication and time management issues.
Here are the top 10 ways businesses waste time and money along with tips to help you avoid these time and money drains.
1. Not Tracking and Analyzing Expenses
Tracking your expenses is such an important part of managing a business. It’s best to track your expenses regularly and not just when you’re preparing to file taxes. If you don’t have a clear understanding of what your expenses are, you won’t know if you’re overspending or paying for the wrong products or services.
When you are faced with a new business expense that seems like it would be valuable, you won’t have any idea if you can truly afford it or not. This is often a recipe for disaster and can even cause you to get into a ton of debt.
Make it a habit to record and track your expenses at least once a week so your records stay updated. From there, you can analyze your spending over time by comparing it to previous months. This will let you know where you can save money or switch things up.
2. Skipping Out on Free Marketing Methods
Marketing your business doesn’t have to be expensive. Some entrepreneurs want to rush to Facebook ads and paid SEO campaigns often before they really understand how it works. These types of paid marketing methods require a bit of testing before you can actually see results.
In the meantime, don’t rule out free marketing strategies and methods like social media marketing, organic SEO, and leveraging your email list.
3. Having a Complex Hiring Process
It’s no secret that hiring employees and onboarding them can be a time-consuming process. However, some business owners waste too much time with their hiring process. Last year I applied for an editor role and it took at least a few months to get through the process which felt too long for me.
I was fine with completing a detail application and providing some video responses. Then I did a few video interviews with team members. After that, the process started seeming a little excessive. Several more interviews with people followed along with an editing test that never came.
Overall, I felt like the process had a thorough start, but then it just seemed very tedious and the whole time, the company didn’t have an editor. It’s best that business limit their hiring process to just 3-4 stages at most. That way, you can efficiently vet prospects and find the right team members.
4. Paying For Too Many Separate Services
Another common way that business owners waste money is by buying too many separate services when some services can actually serve multiple purposes. For example, you may have invoicing software that also tracks and organizes your expenses. In that case, it doesn’t make much sense to pay for separate bookkeeping software.
If you have a calendar system that also allows you to book and schedule meetings, there’s no need to pay for these two services with separate companies. This can be a sneaky unnecessary expense if you don’t keep track of what you’re paying for and which features are included with the products and services you buy.
5. Having Too Many Ineffective Meetings
Team meetings and other types of meetings can be super helpful when you run a business so long as they are effective. It’s estimated that businesses waste $37 billion on ineffective meetings every year. That’s a lot of money to waste.
Meetings themselves may not really make you any money but it’s crucial that you structure your meeting to be timely and effective. The results of the meeting should boost your business in some shape or form.
6. Not Allowing Employees to Meet Their Full Potential
If you hire a great team, you might as well challenge them and have them work on projects that meet their potential. Too many times, business owners hire team members then don’t give them real work to do.
Realize that you pay people to work with you and it should be getting you results while saving you time. Your employees shouldn’t have tons of extra time to get distracted to fail to perform. If you don’t have the time or energy to properly manage the team, hire someone who can. At first, it may seem like you’d be spending more money out of pocket. However, the right person can help maximize your results and minimize your overall costs.
7. Failing to Automate
So many things in your business can be automated and you’re wasting time by doing a ton of manual work. There are so many free and low-fee ways to automate your business. You can automate email newsletters, marketing promotions, follow ups, social media posts, scheduling meetings and so on.
Automating is often easy and will save you a ton of time in your business so you can do other things. Start seeing how you can integrate different automated systems and strategies into some of the everyday tedious tasks that you get stuck doing.
Out of these 7 ways businesses waste time and money, you may likely resonate with at least one or two. That means it’s time to re-evaluate where your time is going and what you’re spending your money on.
What areas of your business are you going to improve so you’re being more efficient and spending only when it’s necessary and justified?
Choncé Maddox is a professional writer who recently left her job in the web design industry to produce killer content and manage her own writing business full time. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs be more productive and create a life they love by doing fulfilling work. On the side, she runs a podcast and blogs about getting out of debt at MyDebtEpiphany.com.