Newsagents are time poor. This statement is made too often and it is rarely challenged. I think we need to challenge it – if only to think before we spend our time doing something.
I see newsagents doing things like ordering stock manually that they could do in a more automated way. I see newsagents running a business with full time management overhead which not be the case if owned by a big business operator. I see newsagents work from offices that are a hoarders dream more so than an efficient and organised office.
We can choose to NOT be time poor. Now before you say I have no idea what I talking about, consider what you do in an average day if you’re 100% in your newsagency. List down every single thing you do. I did this recently with a newsagent, they kept a notepad in their pocket. When we reviewed the list a day later they agreed that they could cut a third of what they do by delegation and close to another third by saying NO, I WON’T DO THAT. Yes, we need to say no to some things we do today, things that if they are not done the business will not be hurt.
For example, cut the time you spend with reps. If the relationship makes you money – sure see them. If it’s not making you money, cut it off. In another newsagency where I had this discussion the owners listed six rep visits a month they could cut. Will they? I suspect not. Should they? yes … because they say they are time poor.
In another example, consider outsourcing tasks that are more efficiently handled outside the business. I know a newsagent who uses an external bookkeeper. This provides another set of eyes on the business, keeps them on top of paperwork and frees the office / back room time for more productive work. yes there is a small cost but once they looked at it it was cheaper to use a bookkeeper than twice or three times the time for the owner to do the work in the shop or at home.
We can all make choices to stop busy work or work better handled in another way. We can have more time for work that matters in our newsagencies. We can make the decision to not be time poor.