Time Management Amongst Small Business Owner/Managers: An Analysis of Retail Pharmacies in Western Australia
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The usage of time by small business owner/managers is a relatively poorly understood phenomenon. Whilst several studies have previously attempted to measure how much time owners spend working on their business, few researchers have tried to evaluate what activities and tasks consume that time. This is an important issue for small firms, because time is a limited resource and its use needs to be maximised if an owner is to achieve all the goals set for his or her business.A study of 155 retail ("community") pharmacy owner/managers throughout Western Australia sought to measure what proportion of their time was spent on each of six different management responsibilities: marketing; client relations; dealing with external stakeholders; record-keeping & paperwork; business planning and strategy; and other issues (such as staffing matters or technology issues). The study also sought to evaluate what, if any, links existed between the owner's age, their gender, firm size and the variations in the pattern of time usage.It was found that no clear links could be established between time consumption and any of the above three variables. However, three distinctively different types of managerial time styles were identified "shop floor" owner/managers (who are focused on customer contact and relationships), "proactive" managers (who focus on business development, marketing and strategic planning), and "duty bound" proprietors (who concentrate on administrative tasks).
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