Posts Tagged ‘time’

Value of Time

June 1, 2010

Time.  It’s a precious commodity that is too often undervalued.  One example is when I hear people grumbling about some DIY home improvement project.  I’ll ask, why don’t you just hire someone to do it.  The answer is usually because it costs too much.  But, isn’t your time worth something?  It seems like being able to go do something with your family is priceless compared to cursing in your bathroom because a tile won’t lay straight.

As a new business owner, I value time more now then I ever have.  I find myself counting the number of man-hours to produce just about everything I buy and when the engineer in me starts running numbers, I realize there really isn’t a whole lot of profits for most small businesses.  It’s given me a whole new perspective on my purchases and a greater appreciation for the local businesses that I support.

Last week I decided to order up a yard greeting from Greetings by the Yard for a friend. What is a yard greeting you ask? It’s where some person goes out in the middle of the night and clutters someone’s yard with flamingos, cows, bears, etc… and then adds a personal message. It’s like the adult version of TPing a house but with good intentions and none of the work. I called them up for pricing and was told that it would be $170 for the out of area delivery.  Most people hear this and they’re flabbergasted at the price, and even more stunned that the person doesn’t get to keep a flamingo.

In reality, $170 is cheap for what you get. Now watch my engineering mind in action. A business has overhead. They are paying for business licenses, insurance, storage facilities, etc… Let’s assume 2 individuals on the job at $10/hr.  They drive 60 miles one way in the middle of the night which makes a drive time of about 2 hrs round trip.  Right there you have a cost of $60 for miles, and $20 for labor. Now, don’t forget, they have to come back the next day and pick it all up, so there’s another $80. Now that’s just accounting costs, but the value I get from the whole thing is:

  1. My friend gets an awesome and unique surprise
  2. I get the laugh of a lifetime
  3. Hours of fun with 50 flamingos, wine, and a camera
  4. I don’t have to lift a finger to make it happen

It was well worth every penny…

Do you value your time?