Startup Diaries: Clocking Up Your Time

Lorraine and Paul WhiteFounded by husband and wife team Paul and Lorraine White, The Hashtag emblem represents strength, confidence and individualism. Here, Lorraine offers further insight into the lessons she has learnt on her entrepreneurial journey.

Top Tips for managing your time

Being a new startup often means that you have limited resources and limited funds.Time can appear to be the one commodity that you have an abundance of, but the lack of the aforementioned items can also mean that the time you have, though plentiful, is now stretched across a number of tasks and before you know it so are you.  

My husband, Paul White and I started menswear fashion label Hashtag Collective in 2012. Being a director and owner of a startup means that you are responsible for making the strategic decisions and dictating the direction in which to take the business, and you are responsible for building a network to strengthen your business connections. However, in the early days, being the owner and director also means that you need to manage the day-to-day elements of the business from PR to finance and IT, as well as administration.

It becomes very important, therefore, to be able to find ways to allocate your time wisely and to be as efficient as possible where possible, as all areas of the business have their own importance and can't be neglected.

Below I list my top 5 tips for managing time in a start up:

1. Prioritise

When you get into the office there may well be a long list of tasks to be attended to. From paying the next month’s rent to scheduling a meeting with a potential client; both are clearly important, but prioritising the urgent items first and then the lower priority items thereafter means that you have a logical way to work through the ‘to do’ list. At Hashtag Collective we tend to prioritise the aspects of the business that will affect or impact our customers first.  

2. Don’t be afraid to delegate or outsource

As a business owner, I know first hand, that your business is your baby. We started Hashtag Collective organically from our living room and we have grown it to the company that it is today. 

When you have nurtured a company from the start, delegation can be difficult, as you may feel that no one else will do as good a job as you will. 

While that may be the case in some instances, you might be surprised as to how much your team can support you if you empower them to do so.We have found that sharing out small tasks and building up to larger tasks is a good way to manage and approach delegation. 

3. Organise yourself 

It seems simple, obvious even, but having a good system to organise yourself saves so much time. A good online (and even physical) filing system can save hours of trawling through documents, emails or files when you are looking for a specific document. We tend to use drop boxes and online diaries to manage ourselves. 

4. Take a ‘no nonsense’ approach

This does not mean that you should be ruthless! What it does mean, however, is that if something is not right for you or your business, don’t be afraid to say no. This could save you wasted time in the long run.

We now always ensure we find out full details of any events or opportunities and talk them through before deciding if it is right for us and for Hashtag Collective. 

5. Have a cut-off point 

Ensure you make time for your personal life also. Know when your working day ends and your personal time starts and be strict with that.

Inevitably when you run your own business, it will become all consuming and you may find yourself answering emails in the middle of the night. 

Find ways to ensure that you can switch off and draw a line between business and pleasure! We have a ‘no-laptop-in-the-bedroom-rule. This simple rule means that we literally leave business at the bedroom door. 

Adele Woodthorpe of Woodthorpe Comms first introduced us to Lorraine White of Hashtag Collective a new men’s fashion brand, that gives emerging designers and artists a place to showcase their talent, on the 11th July. Click here to read that article. 

Adele Woodthorpe is the MD and founder of Woodthorpe Comms, the London-based luxury and lifestyle PR agency with an offering of targeted and strategic PR campaigns, social and digital media consulting and brand ambassador engagement. Adele graduated from The Surrey institute or Art and Design with a BA Hons in Fashion Promotion and Illustration. Passionate about brands and PR, nine years on she is running her own agency, with a team of five, based in Central London.  

Sign Up to our Newsletter

So you enjoy The NextWomen. Why not sign up to our monthly newsletter?
You get a Letter from the CEO :-), the chance to catch up with the best of our recent articles - and some extra things we throw in once in a while.

We try hard for smart reading.