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Time is Money in Workflow | Part 3

Time is Money in WorkflowTime is Money

“Time is money”. How often do we hear this expression? Weekly, monthly? I hear this phrase almost daily from just about every business I consult or have conversations with. The funny thing is, especially with creative businesses, the majority of them do not value their time. Now, before every one starts sending hate mail my way, just let me explain. If I asked what your hourly rate is could you tell me? In other words if you were just sitting at your desk working, how much is your rate per hour? If you can’t calculate a hard number then you can’t value your time.

Time is the most important resource you have. Time is the one thing you can’t ever gain and is the one thing you will always lose. Without a sense of your value related to time, you lose respect for your time. Case in point, I was consulting with a local photographer and was trying to help her with pricing. She was charging only $300 for a family session and giving digitals and everything else in her package. I asked her why she charged so little, based on her educational experiences and years working. She told me because her cost of goods was so low she could charge that much and still make a profit and it made her clients happy. I then asked her how much time it took her to complete a family session and she replied only an hour. I could tell, she was only thinking about the hour to take the pictures, not any time it took to acquire the client, cull pictures, edit the photos, or anything else. After bringing these points up to her, she analyzed her time again and realized it took about five hours of her time per family session. This means she valued her time at about $50 per hour (this does not include cost of goods for he session). Needless to say she was shocked and raised her prices to an adequate amount that would value her time.

Assigning Time to Workflows

In today’s article we are going to assign time to our workflow. Here are the steps:

  1. Take your multi color markers and put the time it takes to complete the step under each sticky note (If the step is automated you can put a zero).
    1. To make it easier, use only one unit of time throughout this whole thing (I would recommend you just use minutes).
    2. Ensure, you assign a marker to each color sticky note (remember, each sticky note coordinates to some who has responsibility in your workflow).
  2. Once you mark down all of those times, then I want you to put time between each step.
    1. You can just use a black marker but this is a general number about how much time goes in between each step.
    2. This may be hard to do based on your business but just remember this is your ideal circumstance with no outside influences, how much time would be in between each step.
  3. Once this is complete add up the time for each color sticky note. This will let you know how your time is being distributed. The goal is this will show where most of your workflow time is being utilized.
  4. Lastly, add up the time between steps to see how long your workflow should take.
  5. Convert all of your times from minutes into a useful measurement such as days or hours (whatever is easiest for you)

So we have accomplished a lot in our workflow journey.  We started off with identifying our mission and vision and then we just laid our current workflow on paper last week (here). If this is your first time joining us please look at the links below and start at the beginning of the series.  Do you see anything that surprised you? If you did, tune in for next week as we start to discuss how to analyze that time and start to construct an action plan.  If you missed last weeks post then check it out here.









Jason is a Arbinger, Spectrum, and Crucial Conversations Coach as well as a workflow specialist.



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