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What is your time worth? It sounds like a deep and meaningful existential question. After all, time for all of us is running out. We all have hopes and dreams, family and friends, and with a finite amount of time, knowing how to balance your time between the things you want to do and the things you have to do is a key question in life.

However, you can also ask this question in a purely quantifiable business sense. If you run a small business or a start-up then you’ll know that time is one of the key commodities. Almost as much as funding and staffing, having the physical time in the day to get things done is one of the biggest challenges facing any small business.

So, how do you value your time? And what price would you put on access to more of it?

The stats

According to Forbes magazine, in a study America’s small business owners said that they worked on average 53 hours a week. This is compared to the 40 hours a week that most salaried employees clock up. That’s an extra 13 hours a week, or a day and half. Over the course of the year that’s more than 75 extra days.

What’s more, they also said that in order to get done everything they need to do to successfully run their business, they would need around 69 hours.

So, as you can see, the price of being an entrepreneur is often spending a healthy amount of extra hours a day, week, month or year behind your desk. And even then, the risks for small businesses are still astronomical.

The study then went on to ask the business owners the exact price of an hour of their work, in terms of value to the business. The average answer was $170 dollars, or about £140. Now, of course, every small business owner knows that that is way above and beyond what they can afford to pay themselves. But in terms of the value of their time, that’s a fair assessment.

So, with the time pressures of running a business added to the high value of every hour they are at work, is it any wonder that small business owners are desperate to reclaim hours wherever they can. And yet, sometimes it just doesn’t seem possible. There are things that need to be done, jobs that you have to take care of just to keep the business running. But what if there was a way to get back some of this precious time?

Help where it’s needed

Part of the problem that many small business owners face is that they don’t think they have the money to pay for help. When margins are so tight, there is no extra cash lying around to pay for expert assistance. Some business owners also find it hard to let go and relinquish any aspect of their project.

However, just look at those numbers above. As a small business owner, you are already working an extra 75 days a year. 75 more days you can’t go on holiday, see the kids, or just go to the gym.

More importantly, each one of those hours is worth £140 to the business. So, there must be a better way of using your time.

One of the key areas where you could save time and get great value for money is social media and digital marketing. You might not think you have the budget for this but let’s just do some simple maths.

The time vs value equation

Social media is a key part of modern business and no new organisation can be without Facebook account, at the very least. This gives you a platform to connect with your customers and a place to display content and drive marketing. Of course, an Instagram and Twitter account would also be highly recommended. In fact, the more visible you can be on social media the better it is.

However, all of this takes time. Just keeping on top of social media enquiries, putting up the odd post and picture, connecting with people and using the marketing tools available on these platforms can easily take a couple of hours a day. Even small companies often employ a full time member of staff to deal with this aspect of their business.

Let’s just say it takes two hours a day of your time. At the average valuation of your time it’s costing you £280 a day. More than that it’s taking up 10 hours a week. That’s 520 hours a year you’re spending on social media. If you do the big numbers, it’s costing you the equivalent of £72,000 a year just to stay on top of social media.

Of course, this money is only theoretical, but the time is real. Imagine being able to spend that extra 500 hours a year actually running your business. If you work 50 hour weeks, that’s an extra ten weeks of working time where you could be focusing on your business.

Even if your time is worth a lot less than £140 or you only spend an hour a day doing your social media, we’re still talking about big numbers here. Two hours a week still adds up to 104 hours of your time. Or in real terms, two weeks where you could be developing a new product or meeting customers

So, does doing your own social media still seem like such a cost saving exercise? That’s not to mention then fact that without the required skills you may not be using the platforms to their maximum. It’s not just time used, it’s time potentially wasted.

That’s why it makes good sense to outsource your social media operations to someone who knows what they are doing. Not only does this free you up to focus on other areas of your business – namely, the ones you do know. But it will also start to pay for itself in a very shout amount of time.

If you would like to know more about social media management or you would simply like to get your time back, give us a call at Juiced Marketing.