Should You Invest Time or Money?

It's an age old question, much the same as the 'Chicken or the Egg' dilemma, should you invest time or money?  Time is money, right?

We now appear to have the answer! Entrepreneurs should invest more time, not money

Entrepreneurs spend too much time trying to solve problems that could have been avoided if they’d invested the time earlier, new research from UCL School of Management finds.

“Unlike investing money, which brings in more money, people can’t see tangible benefits from investing time,” says Assistant Professor Onesun Steve Yoo, “Busy people may view this as a waste when they should really be prioritising these activities.

Identifying the bottleneck issue that’s restricting output, and improving it, significantly boosts a start-ups' growth as any subsequent advances could have maximum success. By investing time to reduce this waste, more time would be available in the future.*

We're not suggesting that you need a time machine

“Opportunity to create time is everywhere, for example, starting an exercise routine when you’re busy may seem unimportant, but if you account for the reduction in sick or less productive days, you have a positive return on time investment. You have created time.”

Dr Yoo suggests that entrepreneurs monitor where their time is going and pay as much attention to time as money. He has developed a tool that calculates ‘return on time invested’ that uses the method employed by the financial valuation of ‘return on investment’. It enables entrepreneurs to create a time allocation strategy.

OK, invest time not money - how do I start?

Our first suggestion would be to get super organised.  Take a look at our tips on organisation here.  The next thing would be to, you guessed it, take time to find websites that are simply created to make life easier, you can find a selection of those in our 'top ten websites for mums' feature.  There's a lot to be said for planning and learning, so why not sign up for a course and become an expert in the field that you need to rather than pay somebody else?  You'll gain a skill and could be of service to others in the future.  Find a selection of courses here.  And if you do have a small business that should be recognised for allowing parents to work flexibly please do make the time to enter our awards!

*These findings were published in the journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management

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