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Most common time wasters in startup businesses



Most common time wasters in startup businesses

If you’re building your startup you’ll quickly be learning that time is a precious commodity. Every minute counts while your tapping away at your keyboard and trying to make enough sales to get money in the bank. Being able to identify the most common time wasters in startup businesses is half of the battle. As you start to grow a lot of the time wasters become silo’s where time is wasted that you, as the founder don’t have oversight over. Employees are your biggest cost, so figuring out how to get them working as efficiently as possible will help your business massively. It seems simple but, despite their best efforts, many startups find themselves grappling with time-wasting activities that slow down progress and block growth. Let’s explore some of the most common time wasters in startup businesses and strategies to overcome them.

1. Poor Communication Between Teams

One of the primary culprits behind wasted time in startup businesses is poor communication between teams. Without a clear alignment of shared nomenclature and a clear goal of what everyone is working towards it can get murky very quickly. One of the core issues is that everyone comes from a different background and is jostling for different things. The product team and the finance team are at odds with the sales team and sales and marketing are like cats and dogs. Not having a clear understanding of what terms mean is one of the causes of this. What’s a marketing qualified lead and what’s a product qualified lead? Getting everyone on the same page is one of the biggest issues. As a result not being on the same page, valuable time is lost, and progress stagnates. To combat this, startups should invest time in creating clear communication across teams, making sure the meaning of things are reiterated to everyone. All hands meetings are great places to do this.

2. Inefficient Meetings – What a Waste Of Time

Meetings can quickly become a significant drain on productivity (and team moral) if not managed effectively. In most startup businesses, meetings are often scheduled without a clear agenda or purpose, leading to lengthy discussions and minimal outcomes as well as giving people ‘5min back in their day’ so they can stare into the void. To prevent this, startups should adopt a more strategic approach to meetings, ensuring that each session has a defined agenda, specific goals, and a designated time frame. Additionally, consider alternatives to traditional meetings, such as brief stand-up meetings or virtual conferences, to minimize disruptions to workflow.

3. Multitasking

While multitasking may seem like a time-saving strategy, but a lot of research has shown that it can actually decrease productivity and quality of work. In startup environments where resources are limited, wearing multiple hats may seem unavoidable. However, constantly switching between tasks can lead to decreased focus, increased errors, and ultimately, wasted time. Instead, encourage employees to focus on one task at a time, prioritizing high-impact activities and delegating tasks when necessary. Time boxing has been a task management technique that a lot of people have found success with.

4. Over-reliance on Email – AKA Missing Context

Email (and notification) overload is a common challenge for startup businesses, with employees spending excessive amounts of time sorting through their inboxes and responding to messages. To minimize email-related time wastage, consider implementing communication tools that offer more efficient ways to collaborate, such as instant messaging platforms (Slack!) or project management software. But remember that these are notification centres too. Death by notification sucks, no matter where it comes from. Encourage clear and concise communication practices, and establish guidelines for when email should be used versus alternative communication methods.

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5. Lack of Delegation

In startup businesses, founders and entrepreneurs often wear multiple hats, taking on numerous responsibilities to keep operations running smoothly. While this level of involvement may be necessary in the early stages, failure to delegate tasks (every leader is guilty of this at some time) as the company grows can lead to burnout and inefficiency. Startups should prioritize delegation, empowering team members to take ownership of specific tasks and projects. By redistributing workload and leveraging the strengths of each team member, startups can optimize productivity and free up valuable time for strategic initiatives.

6. Getting Lost In Pulling Out Data

This, this is our biggest annoyance and one of the core reasons we built Contract Sent. If I could only get back all of those hours I’d lost digging through poorly structure or filed data I could probably put them towards becoming a concert pianist or something? Whichever way you look at it data in early stage startups sucks. But if you put time into it and structure it well like we look to do with our deal desk service, then, well, then you’re on to something special that you can scale.

Identifying and addressing common time wasters is essential for maximizing efficiency and driving success in startup businesses. By implementing strategies to improve time management, streamline meetings, minimize multitasking, optimize communication, delegate effectively, and combat procrastination, startups can reclaim valuable time and focus their efforts on activities that propel growth and innovation. By adopting a proactive approach to time management and productivity, startups can position themselves for long-term success in the competitive business landscape.

Contract Sent

A contract management system built for startups to manage, negotiate and report on their SaaS contracts.

Contract Sent is not a law firm, this post and subsequent pages on this website do not constitute or contain legal advice. To understand whether or not the ideas and guidance on the Contract Sent website is applicable to your business, you should consult with a licensed attorney. The use and accessing of any resources contained within the Contract Sent site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the user and Contract Sent.


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