“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”

― Benjamin Franklin

Time management affects the daily work of each organisation, be it an SME or a big corporate. This is especially true in small to medium companies, which represent around 94% of enterprises in the EU.

The main factors determining whether an enterprise is an SME are:

1.    staff headcount

2.    either turnover or balance sheet total

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(credits https://ec.europa.eu/ )

Lately, I have been wondering what is the guiding thread of Italian and other European companies?

The first element to be considered is, for sure, their small dimension compared to big corps. This factor represents a huge limit to their wild flights of fancy. As a matter of fact, a semi-structured organisation or lack of managment has a considerable impact on medium to long term strategies which are, sadly, often totally absent or left to chance. Yet, I have met and worked with some SME entrepreneurs who I used to call heroes. They act, often, like lone warriors, facing low investments possibilities with the best personal characteristic of an entrepreneur: courage.

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.”

― Peter F. Drucker

You see, in the modern liquid society, where growth is a question mark, the economy is changing like crazy and each single day new competitors are attacking the market, where innovation is a challenge and the so called flexible and ambitious millennials are the future of our modern society, the remarkable certainty that we own is that everything is uncertain.

In such a gruelling situation the leading question becomes:

“How does an SME manage to survive and evolve?”

Working with entrepreneurs and managers all around Europe I have found the answer. It is a matter of time.

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As a certified coach and trainer both during the assessment phase of the team and the coaching-training activities, I  interrogate the participants with an extremely simple question:

“What is the one element you need the most for the success of your business?”

About 83% of those interviewed gave the same answer: it is obviously time.

Time to do what?

You know what?

Irrespective of their job function, all respondents gave the same answer,

“ I need time to perform my tasks more slowly .”

Make absolutely sure that this does not mean time to relax.

Hopefully, this will lead to a reduced number of mistakes and hence, better quality, lower costs, less stress, more energy, more personal engagement. Overall, a better work-life balance.

Remember though, make absolutely sure slowing down doesn’t equate to relaxing or procrastinating!

When, in the rush to produce and send orders, we forget that we are all humans, that we all need more time (even our customers), and quality becomes an option.

Working with entrepreneurs, executives and high performance teams, I have experienced how clients get upset when we waste their time. Actually I really do not like the idea of wasting time and I do prefer the committment to invest time, to manage time effectively to save time for better living standards.

Time is money, that’s the same everywhere in the world no matter if you consider  it to be scarse or abundant. As businesses seek to embrace industry 4.0 and become digitally led, you forget to think about how to invest your time and that of your team members. 

“I’ve learned that you can’t have everything and do everything at the same time.”

Oprah Winfrey

To face the uncertainty all I can say is:

Time to plan prior to doing and making.

Time to listen before speaking.

It’s true that time flies but don’t forget that you are the pilot.

To boost your internation performance pay attention to your work-life balance and download now my 7 tips here.

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