Empty Hour Glass
“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once. ” ~ Albert Einstein


Right now I’ve too little of it.

In the past it’s seemed to drag on forever.

The fellow quoted above seemed to know a thing or two about time.

Times have been said to be Good or Bad depending upon one’s perspective.

It’s been known to stand still, run too fast, slip away and even stop altogether.

Some believe you can kill time (but it’s usually the reverse). You can have a lack of it or be short of it.

And right now I’m acutely aware of it.

Time is money. Time is what you make of it. Time is of the essence!

You can keep time (and you better do it well if you’re a musician!)

You can manage time! …but it takes a great deal of practice.

Lots of folks say they lost track of time. (Did it go hiding or run away?)

But much of the time we have difficulty finding the time…to do something else.

We feel good when we find time for projects long postponed.

Right now I am making time to get my newsletter done.

I don’t actually have the time to do it. I guess this would be the manufacture of time. If I actually had the time, I would craft a better-written newsletter. But, as I said…I’m short on time….

What happens when we run out of time or are short on time in the marketing biz? This exact scenario is happening to me right now. Much of the circumstances are completely beyond my control. I see possibilities for making money slip away due to lack of time (having nothing to do with me).

Here are some of the consequences of losing valuable time in a marketing campaign:

  1. Your prospect doesn’t receive an announcement about your sale item or time limited offer early enough and buys elsewhere.
  2. You miss an essential press deadline to announce your product/service in the newspaper or magazine’s special edition on your topic.
  3. You’ve inadequate lead time to print and take delivery of collateral (and that goes for a website or landing pages, too!)
  4. You don’t have time to print/manufacture promotional items for resale or display such as banners, T-shirts, baseball caps, posters, etc.
  5. Product doesn’t arrive in time for photography so you can’t promote it on your website, social media and so on.
  6. You gamble with time and opt to print product literature without waiting for a double check on specs — only to find you’re legally required to make corrections and reprint.

Time is indeed money!

“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back. ” ~ Harvey MacKay

Now that’s a practical point of view about time and its relation to your life. What can you do to stretch time? Make more of it? Slow it down? Take advantage of it?

One thing I’ve learned over time is not to panic about it.

The moment you tell yourself, “I’m going to be late!” sure enough the gate will come down across the railroad tracks on the road in front of your car. But if you tell yourself, “I’m going to be on time!” then you will arrive at the appointed hour.

If you embrace the swift changes in time, you can steer your personal boat through the waters with relative ease. If you fight time, you will be paddling against the current. Time flows.

Here are six tips to help you save time and money in your marketing efforts for your business:

  1. For seasonal or time-limited offers, learn in advance how much time to allow for decision-making by buyers. Pad the timeframe. In retail, the Christmas rush begins mid-summer. The rest of us scoff, but it’s a competitive world. And if fifty percent of your sales are rung up at the end of the calendar year, plan accordingly so that time won’t bite you in the *ss.
  2. Know your press deadlines. Better yet, know how much time you must allow other business partners to review and approve press releases so you’re not under the gun…time-wise. Press deadlines are published well in advance. Find them online or ask your newspaper or magazine rep.
  3. As a graphic designer I’ve long been called upon to know how much time I must allow for print preparation, production and shipping. Little known facts affect the timeline: foil requires extra time to go out to a specialist. Humidity levels can affect drying time after printing. Extra varnish coats also add days to production. Conversion (i.e. trimming, scoring, folding, collating and gluing) can add days or weeks to complex projects.
  4. Promotional items have similar timelines as print production does. Don’t expect miracles! Although your vendor partners will bend over backwards to produce a rabbit out of a hat, even magicians need lots of preparation to make their tricks look spectacular!
  5. Know your shipping timeframes. From container loading through customs, railroad hang-ups and lost pallets: learn what could go wrong in transit and plan for contingencies so that critical products or support materials don’t get lost in time.
  6. Add buffer time to legal, regulatory and specification data. In the wine business that translates to allowing adequate time for your COLA to process and receive approval before printing the label. If it’s legal information or product specifications, allow adequate time for the experts to review and approve (or correct) the data.

You may be thinking: “I’ve no idea how much time to allow for these things!”

Guess what? Sometimes I don’t know either. You must start with what you do know and back your timeline out in reverse.

If you know your grand opening or product launch is rock solid on X date, then start backing out on a calendar each block of time required: If the printer needs three weeks, mark the calendar a month in advance of your launch date. If the photographer can’t get your the images for a week after the shoot, back that date out before the time the photos are needed by your web designer or graphics person to create their end of the project.

Beg, borrow or steal time… I did just that to get this newsletter written!