Hackernoon logoTime Management or Customer Value: What Comes First to Startups? by@artraifi

Time Management or Customer Value: What Comes First to Startups?

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@artraifiArt

Creative Writer, Entrepreneur and Designer who fancies technology

Think of a startup as a plane that is flying from New York to Los Angeles. After 6.5 long hours of flying across the states, this plane will have to land. At this point, there are two outcomes:
  • The plane lands successfully
  • The plane crashes
The journey of a start-up is not much different from that of a plane. Today, we will look at how start-ups can land from a completely different perspective. Instead of treating the role of leadership and skill, we will talk about customer care and time management as the key metrics to success.

The role of startups in the US Economy

Small businesses and startups employ almost half of the entire US private-sector labor force, says the Goldman Sachs "Voice of Small Business in America: 2019 Insights Report. Furthermore, small businesses and/or startups generate 44% of the US economic activity - which suggests that almost half of the overall goods and services produced in the United States come from small businesses. Therefore, the role of small businesses in terms of job creation and economic activity shouldn't be taken lightly.
But, what exactly makes these explosive start-ups and sustainable small businesses successful?

This question could possibly be one of the most asked question of the 21st century. And the answer to it is subject to much debate. So, were going to jump right in to that big pile of mess and project a new perspective that will most likely get objected eventually.

The Point of Common Conflict

Startups are notorious for being crashing planes. According to Fortune Magazine, who interviewed 101 start-up founders, 9/10 (90%) of all startups fail, irrespective of industry. Another study conducted by the Small Business Association found that there is a positive correlation between survival rates, and years of existence. This basically means that the longer you in business, the higher the chance you'll take it far.
There are a number of major factors that contribute towards startup success, and those are the areas where experts are hammering each other. Whether its cash flow, leadership or overall market need, every expert has a unique definition to what contributes more towards the success of a startup.
In an attempt to avoid the mess, I will be diving into some less discussed areas of interest, namely time management and customer value.

What Comes First: Time Management OR Customer Care

Good time management leads to higher levels of productivity, and higher quality products, it also frees time for the development of other departments within the start-ups, like customer service - which creates value by lowering acquisition costs, increasing user retention and boosting overall cash flows for the small business (the actual major factor).
On the other hand, bad time management can steer a business into chaos. There is nothing worse than a team that lacks specific responsibilities and accountability. In such cases, I see bad time management as a curse that spreads across the start-up, creating a hostile and unproductive organizational culture that is bound to fail. Ugh, and what about providing customers with value? Well, who really has time for that?
When you think about it, no value can be provided by a start-up that lacks a well-defined time management strategy. Essentially, the two factors of growth are dependent in one another, and quite frankly, so are a few other departments within a startup, including manufacturing, HR, marketing, R&D (if applicable) and more.
So, how can a start-up manage time more efficiently?
There are numerous ways through which startups can manage time more properly. The first and most innovative options is automation. Modern digital time clocks are designed to measure team activity to the millisecond. By team activity, we are referring to work hours, time spent across task, departments, and job sites - all of which can be easily acquired by the managers with a simple tap of a button.
Once information is widely available to managers and executives, decision-making becomes relatively easy. But, before you dive into product research, it is best that you understand what to look for in a digital time tracking app.
The second best alternative is to go manual, and start by delegating tasks across team members. A startup will usually consist of two to five employees, so everyone should have specific responsibilities that they pursue on a daily basis.
The third and last option we will discuss today is to minimize time wasters. In the age short-attention spans, it is extremely easy for employees to drift into activities that are unrelated to work. In a dynamic startup, where every minute counts, such drifts could lead to substantial losses. In fact, it has been estimated that potential losses could go upwards to $17,000 every year.

Takeaways

If you are asking yourself on what approach to follow for your startup or established small business than our go-to would be time management. One can not expect to thrive across other departments, if its not proficient in delivering those departments. Jumping straight into growing a customer service team, without establishing that they are proficient in delivering value to customers could lead to destructive results. Think about it for a minute, there is some sense to it.

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