When you’re running a business and have multiple competing (and urgent) priorities, you might not even think about how much money you’re wasting on insignificant computer problems. We’re not talking about major server crashes or seeing your whole office go down in flames – we’re talking about little problems like spam.
Remember, time is money. The higher the salary of the person who’s losing the time, the more money you’re losing. And the more time a high-dollar person spends on minor computer annoyances, the less time they’re spending on adding value to the business. That’s one of the biggest problems associated with small-business executives wasting even 10 minutes trying to reinstall a mouse driver or retrieve a deleted file. Those are 10 minutes they might have spent following up with a sales prospect or uncovering a major miscalculation in next year’s budget.
Here’s a simple formula for determining the true cost of lost time:
1. For a problem that affects the whole office, determine how much time the average worker spends on it per day.
2. Multiply the number of minutes by the number of employees. Multiply that number by 250 (that’s the number of working days in a year) and then divide by 60. That will give you the number of hours per year you’re spending on this problem.
3. Determine the average hourly wage in your office. Be conservative.
4. Multiply the number from Step 3 by the average hourly salary. That will tell you how much you’re spending every year on that problem.
Let’s take as an example, the amount of money your office may be wasting because you have an inefficient spam solution. Every worker spends about 5 minutes a day deleting spam from their inbox. The average hourly wage at your office is about $20. You have a staff of 10.
(5 minutes) x (10 employees) = 50 minutes per day
(50 minutes per day) x (250 workdays per year) = 12,500 minutes per year
(12,500 minutes) ÷ (60 minutes per hour) = 208 hours per year
(208 hours) x ($20 per hour) = $4,167 per year
It makes the average price for a good spam filter seem pretty cheap in comparison!