“Basically, your day is all cake and no vegetables.” – David Finkle

The quote above comes from a recent Inc. article about how much time business owners waste. It includes a checklist of items the author believes are low-value work. As a business owner myself, I was able to tally my own low-value work hours. If we abide by the old homage “Time is money”, I am wasting money.

So, why am I pointing out my own flaws? Because until reading this list, I wasn’t aware that the activities in the article were low-value. It’s the fundamental theme of the Dunning-Krueger Effect, we don’t know what we don’t know.

Why my work of cost-reduction is important is because people don’t know how much they may be over-spending, even if they feel the business is working at maximum spend-efficacy. The reality is that at most businesses, their cash could be paying for cake (extra cost and fees). However, when I get the opportunity to share my business concept with others, they realize they are not an exception to the rule, and that my business is an exercise that should be practiced with some regularity.

Just like I should be reviewing my time and calculating my low-value hours with regularity. I could absolutely see myself correcting my low-value hours and then slowly taking back those tasks, whether due to employee turnover or resuming habits. While a contract with a vendor prevents back sliding in the short-term, we can become complicit – re-signing contracts without reviewing the agreement, assuming we are paying the price we agreed on, not being tempted to implement a change of vendor/avoiding the push back, etc.

So, perhaps you can combine these two concepts- cost savings and time-management. One item on the Inc. checklist is “doing low-level business activities that the company could easily outsource at a much lesser cost to the business than your time”. While I would not say cost-savings analysis is low-level, it can be costly in your time. I’ve written before about the complexities of DIY cost-savings analysis and that there is no cost until savings are found. No matter how big or small your business is, finding the savings can be expensive in your business’s time, especially if you aren’t completely sure where to find the best savings. Silverback provides a guarantee that you won’t spend any money and requires little time until your savings are found. Which sounds like some good, lean, nutritional vegetables to me.