During my spare time in Dubai, I also referee the great sport of Rugby. This sport transcends all shapes and sizes, male and female and I was fortunate enough to reach the heights of officiating in the 2009 Sevens World Cup in Dubai, amongst other international and domestic appointments.

Rugby Sevens is an extremely fast game played over 14 minutes and it is critical that the ball is available or “in-play” for as long as possible during this time. The concept of Time Burn surfaced whereby as officials, we are charged with ensuring that as many of the 14 minutes available for play are used and not subject to stoppages or burned, never to be available again. This is especially important at the highest end of the game with sponsors and patrons paying for the entertainment.

I was speaking with a client recently and the conversation drifted on to the age-old problem for the Small Business that there was never enough time in the day. Especially when it came to keeping proper books and records, getting invoices to clients and meeting tender/proposal deadlines. That got me thinking to what we did as referees to promote more game time and how this could cross over into the business world.

We started analyzing a typical week for this person trying to identify areas where his time was being burned and looking at ways to become more effective. What became apparent was that there was significant burning of time caused by inefficiencies of him carrying out tasks that would be better done by someone else, lack of structure to his day and meeting locations and other administrative tasks that should be delegated to his staff.

Our attention then turned to the activities that consume large portions of time, one of which was tenders and proposals. As a small business getting started, or even those that have got over the first 12-month hump and are looking to grow, there is a tendency to chase every job possible without due regard to our actual chance of success.

The client was spending large amounts of time on proposals where even he admitted were very low chances of success. Upon review of these low chance jobs, it became apparent that they were taking more time because they were larger jobs, tendered by larger companies than he currently served and so the documentation required as part of the bid was substantially more than his regular clients. More so, the larger jobs would most likely have created cash flow problems and carried greater levels of risk for him.

There were also a couple of jobs where he had been invited to tender, but it was clear in hindsight that he was being used to gain the required number of quotes under the tenderers purchasing policy rather than being considered a real candidate and one in particular where his tender was used to beat down the price of the incumbent.

In the end, the whole Time Burn analysis proved a valuable tool for him and made him more aware of concentrating on the areas (and clients) that make a positive difference to his business and he has a greater level of control of the outcome.

At TLB Business Advisory Services, we are able to provide an impartial and constructive review of your business over short or longer terms. This could be via a single assignment for a specific task or over a longer period being retained as an advisor to Management or the Board of Directors. Our experience gained by managing businesses as well as working as advisors gives you hands on experience in assisting your business that is not generally available in this market.

To find out more on how our Business Review and Advisory Services can be tailored to deliver benefits to your business, contact us at gidday@tlb.ae or telephone in Dubai on 04 3609477.

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