All of us pay attention to metrics within our businesses and careers but very few of us are paying to attention to ourselves, the driver of those things.
This article is my personal reflection on how I measure my performance and track my time to inform me how to scale and review my performance to achieve more.
I’ve personally made copious amounts of errors in my own startup but one of these three errors seem to be missed by 99% of people I talk to.
Not Tracking Your Time Accurately
Not tracking your time is like starting with a blank canvas every day, you’re essentially starting from scratch because you didn’t save the work you did yesterday. I track my time using a tool called Toggl and measure my time against what my hourly rate should be as a business owner. As a new business owner, you should be working on the tasks that generate the most money per hour or working on the tasks that only you should do.
This is a screenshot of what I worked on a few months back and I have roughly 5 good hours of work in me per day. I then measure this against what it would cost per hour for me to hire someone else at the end of my day. This system then automatically fills into a Google sheet using Zapier (another article at a later date) and I can then review my day. Here’s an example of a bad day:
From this example, I can tell it would have cost me $179.17 to free up my entire day as the tasks I worked on would’ve cost me only $50 an hour for someone else to execute them. As a new business owner, you may not have the capital to outsource this but as you scale you want to be focusing on tasks that generate $500 – 5000 + per hour or the things only you can do. Again, not all of us will have the luxury at the start you need to outsource but pay attention to this on a daily basis to avoid getting bogged down in shitty work.
Hire Offshore For Tasks That Aren’t Worth Your Time
One of the errors I see in the implementation of a new business or a new area for an existing business is the lack of automation (I’ll come back to this in another article) for the basic needs of businesses and the other is hiring locally. Many companies when they being to grow hire from a local talent pool but in reality, you can hire somebody in the Philipines with an MBA for the cost of our minimum wage.
As I mentioned above your time is better spent on more profitable tasks and hiring contractors gives you the flexibility to scale up or down based on the cash flow of your company. Using cheaper labour than you would find in New Zealand at above-market prices for that country makes it a win/win for you and the employee. We hire directly from Upwork and it allows us to monitor their work and outsource the smaller jobs that no longer need to be completed by us personally.
We pay our VA (virtual assistant) 8.00 GBP which is above the minimum wage in her country but lower than ours and when you’re scaling a company you need to stay cash-flow positive. My VA filters my email, schedules my calls, schedules our social media and deals with our inbound customer requests these are low-level tasks that can be outsourced.
Now that I have more cash flow I hire locally when it makes sense but none of us can afford to do basics tasks that you could employ a five-year-old to do.
Review Your Performance
Great sports teams review their performances down to the second and there is no reason as to why we shouldn’t either. Most entrepreneurs or new businesses go through each day on autopilot and they don’t review their day. I use Google forms to appraise my working day at 4 PM every day. The form holds a set of questions that are automatically sent to me by Slack with a Zapier automation:
The form has eight questions:
I then fill this in and it sends me an automated email via Zapier with my top priorities for the following day and schedules those priorities into my calendar. I then check that email first thing the following day and voilà I’m ready to tackle the new day with clear KPI’s.
We’re the drivers of our lives and we need to optimise ourselves to make the most of the outcomes we want from our lives. These tools are a stepping stone on how to do this on a daily basis.
If you’ve got any specific questions let me know in the comments and I’ll answer them below.