Where to invest your time in a startup

As our business grows, a question we’re asking ourselves more and more is ‘Where should we invest our time?’

Early on, we were of course focusing our time on key tasks like building the website, customer service, PR, and marketing. And those areas are still critical to our business.

However, early on, if opportunities came up to present at a conference or meet with someone in the startup space we had the time to grab them with both hands. We no longer have the same amount of time.

We’re limiting the time we spend in meetings and instead we’re holding TechTalks and we’ve started a Sydney entrepreneurs running club to meet other people in the industry. We’re now being selective in regards to the events we speak at taking up opportunities to speak at key online retail events but turning down other events like an online payments conference and more general chamber of commerce events.

While these activities are helpful in building our and our businesses profile, and in an ideal world they’d be great to do, the return we get on our time from them is lower than we can get working on other aspects of our business, so we need to be selective about where we spend our time.

When faced with the decision of whether or not to do a particular activity we need to ask ourselves not only whether the activity will give a positive return on our time, but whether that return is higher or lower than the other activities we can be spending our time on. How do you determine where to invest your time?

Michael Fox managed Google’s online sales and operations agency team for Australia and New Zealand before co-founding Shoes of Prey, an online retailer which allows women to design their own shoes. He blogs in detail about the process of running Shoes of Prey at his blog

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