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How to Calculate the True Value of your Time

Time is money – you’ve heard it a million times, but how much money? Time is a finite resource, we all only get 24 hours a day, however money is not. In the words of Grandpa George from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, “There's plenty of money out there. They print more every day.”

We live in a world of exchanging the finite resource of time for the infinite resource of money. So how do you work out how much YOUR time is worth?

Your hourly rate

You may think it’s easy – your hourly rate is simply whatever your salary is worked out by the hour. However, this puts a cap on your potential earnings. There are only so many hours in a day and you still need to do all the non-income producing tasks, like administration and marketing. This is when you start to think about scaling – the more you scale, the more you can earn and the higher your hourly rate.

Minutes Count

Understanding the value of your time helps put things in perspective. You are less likely to waste time once you realise how much you could be doing and/or making in that time.

You have probably heard the savings trick of working out how much the cost of an item you wish to purchase is in regard to the time it takes to earn that amount of money. The same can be done in reverse. How much money could you earn by freeing up some time?

The Value of Others

You may think that hiring staff or outsourcing is just too expensive, but once you have run through the exercise of determining your own value, you may realise that it is actually more financially viable to pay someone else to perform the non-income producing tasks.

If you have determined your hourly value is $100 per hour and someone can handle your administration tasks for $40 per hour, it makes sense to invest in someone else and free up your time to make more money.

The variable of being ‘busy’

The value of your time can also depend on how much of it you have. A busy person is more likely to value their time much higher. Someone who has time on their hands may not think too much about it, but someone who feels like they are constantly running out of time will pay good money to gain some free time.

Free Time

Do not forget to allow for time for things that do not bring monetary value but are still invaluable to your life. Things like family, your health, even your hobbies. What is the point in making your time worth more money if you are not spending it doing things you enjoy and bringing meaning to your life.

Every hour is a unit of your life. You can not get a refund on time. People who spend their time in more profit making activities are going to make more money, but try to find a balance and do not undervalue time spent on other things that make you happy.

The more you place a value on your time, the more you will accomplish.

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Going for Gold: Setting S.M.A.R.T Goal

Goals are part of life and business, they provide direction and motivation. They help you prioritise what you want to accomplish – even if it is not a conscious decision. Without setting goals, life can become chaotic and everything comes down to chance. If you want to realise your Vision, you must have goals.

Setting goals provides the target, but how are you going to get there? How can you gain clarity and focus on a determined outcome?

S.M.A.R.T Goals

You’ve surely heard the term and you may even know what it stands for, but why are they so important?

SMART Goals give you structure, clarity, focus and the ability to track your progress toward your goals. They help to ensure that everyone on your team knows where you are headed AND how you are going to get there. In short, they will increase your chances of achieving your goals.

S.M.A.R.T stands for

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R – Relevant

T – Timely

S – Specific

This is like the Mission Statement of your goal. Create simple, yet significant goals that are well-defined and clearly set out. Specifying your goals helps focus your efforts and motivate you toward achieveing them.

Think about what you want to accomplish and why is it is important. If you want to know more about “Why you should start with Why”,

Get specific about things like who should be involved and where this is all going to happen as well as which resources will be involved. Also bring into consideration any limitations or conditions.

M – Measurable

Being able to measure your goals is a true motivator as you progress through them. Measuring your progress helps you stay focused and gets everyone excited about getting closer to the main goal.

Think about your metrics and how you are going to determine if and when you have met the goal. Set milestones for bigger goals so as you accomplish one task, you are motivated to continue on to the next.

A – Achievable

The goal is supposed to inspire and encourage you to achieve it. If the goal seems impossible, you will only get discouraged and continue to procrastinate. The goal needs to be realistic, have you got the resources – time, effort and finances – to achieve the goal. You should stretch your ability and aim to improve, but the goal must be possible otherwise you may simply ‘give up’.

Do an analysis of past performance in the area of the goal and base your goal from that. If your goal is to boost sales by 100% in one month, but previous months have increased by an average of 5%, the goal probably isn’t attainable.

R – Relevant

Your goals should be relevant to your overall vision. They should be driving you toward your ultimate ideal of your business and your life.

Think about if your goal is worthwhile and if it matches well with other goals or efforts, it should make sense within the broader business goals.

T – Time-bound

Create a clear and defined timeline for your goal, create a start date, any progress update dates and an ultimate deadline. Ensure the goal deadline is realistic but create some sense of urgency to create motivation. This prevents everyday tasks from taking priority and getting in the way of the goal.

Keep the deadline flexible as being too stringent can make achieving the goal nothing but a race against time, causing undue stress. Then, if you don’t achieve your goal within the timeline, consider why. Was your timeframe off? Were there external factors or unexpected roadblocks involved?

Creating SMART Goals should be a motivating experience if you approach them with positivity. They will help keep you motivated an on track. They give a sense of direction to help you achieve all your goals and bring your closer to the overall vision for your business.


Why Start with Why

We all know that goals are an integral part of business. They are what give us clarity, focus, make us accountable and increase potential, as individuals and as businesses.

So, how do we go about setting business goals…

You may have seen the TED Talk or read one of the books by Simon Sinek where he talks about “The Golden Circle”. This simple but powerful model states that leaders should always start with “Why”.

Once you have the “Why” or purpose of your business, or goal, then you can strategise about How to achieve it and then finally What it is you actually want to accomplish.

The problem is, most people start with “What”. We start building a goal by determining what the goal is, then we wonder why we can’t stick to it. Think about New Years Resolutions; how many people do you know set a resolution to go to the gym, then by February, their membership card is sitting at the bottom of their unused gym bag never to see the light of day again.

The reason these What goals don’t work is because there is simply no feeling, no purpose behind them. There is no reason to keep going when the hard days come along, you are not even sure why you tried. That is why whatever your goal is, you must first ask yourself, “WHY?”

Keep asking yourself why until you find the true meaning or purpose of the goal. Find the why that will motivate you to keep going when things get tough, the why that will inspire you to take action and push past your comfort zone. With a well determined purpose behind your goal, you will find it much easier to push yourself to places you never even thought possible. In fact, it becomes almost impossible to turn your back on your goals.

You will also find it is easier to motivate the people around you with a well determined why. Being able to demonstrate why you want the company to move forward and giving your staff that emotional connection to your business goals will empower them to drive faster growth.

Just remember that determining and even communicating your Why is just the start, you still need to put in the work to achieve your goals. Strategise How you are going to achieve them and put a plan in place, your What. You still need to take the action, but with a powerful Why in place you may just find it so much easier and much more fulfilling reaching your goals.


Using Checklist for Selling

If you want to increase your average dollar sale, it’s a really good idea to create a checklist or a questionnaire. Similar to add on selling, you simply run through a checklist with your client whenever they purchase a particular type of product.

This list should, of course, be prepared in advance and used with as many different products as possible. For example, let’s say that you are in the construction materials business. If a customer buys a can of paint, run through the list to see if they need brushes, thinners, drop sheets, stirrers, etc.

Here are some useful hints and tips on creating and using a checklist:

• Make sure every team member has the list.
• Check to make sure it’s being used with every customer.
• Have a reward system in place that acknowledges team members who make additional sales off the list.
• Test and measure – if they aren’t working change the questions.

Use a Questionnaire:

Dig as deep as you can. Make sure you ask enough questions to leave no stone unturned. The more questions you ask the more chance you have of finding another need or want that you can fill.

Also, if you’re unsure of any additional products or services that you could sell, a simple questionnaire can be effective. Use it to ask your customers what else they would like you to sell. Don’t limit yourself too much. Ask the customers to get a little creative. Maybe there is a whole new opportunity just waiting to be suggested.

Here are some useful hints and tips on using a questionnaire:

• Make your questionnaire simple but effective as a sales tool.
• Offer customers an incentive to participate, or just explain how what you’re doing will help them.
• Fill it out on the spot with you acting as a sounding board, don’t be afraid to ask more questions to dig deeper.
• Ask for their suggestions and act as quickly as possible.

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