Today everyone takes for granted the saying ‘time is money’ but in business it is more true than ever. One of the biggest challenges for SMEs is to make sure that they run an efficient and cost-effective set-up, especially when it comes to website administration.
Getting the right mentoring advice for your website at the right time can save you a lot of time and money. This post will show you how your company can calculate how time and cost-effective mentoring could be for you.
Is it not better to learn how to do things for yourself?
Imagine the following scenario:
Your website administrator is uploading images onto your website but they are not displaying correctly. The administrator is not sure whether it is because of the way that they are uploading the pictures or there is an issue with the website. They check the manual and it seems to them that they are uploading everything correctly. They now have two options:
Option A: The administrator tries to resolve it themselves
Option B: They call a mentor and ask for help
There are many advantages to the administrator learning how to resolve the issue but it will all come down to how long it will take for them to learn how to do it. Trawling through blog posts and help forums when you are not quite sure what the issue is can take a long time. You are not even guaranteed to find the ‘right’ solution and in a worst case scenario could cause further issues.
A mentor on the other hand is trained to identify what an issue is and how to resolve it as quickly as possible. If they can’t resolve it immediately they should know the quickest way to find that information, be able to relay it and resolve the problem efficiently and effectively.
What is the cost to the company
The Cost of Option A:
The administrator decides to look into the situation directly and tries to resolve it. It takes the administrator an hour to identify what the issue is and then half an hour to resolve it and update the manual with a training note. The cost to the company for this task is:
*‘Admin cost’ consists of the wages you pay to the administrator, and office costs etc.
The Cost of Option B:
The administrator telephones a mentor and they resolve it the costs to the company are reduced. In our mentoring records it takes on average 10 minutes to establish what the issue is and then 20 minutes to resolve it, train the administrator and issue out a training note or amended manual. Therefore the cost to the company for this task is as follows:
Is mentoring more time efficient?
Showing that using a mentor is more time efficient for the company. In real life it is actually even more efficient as this example assumes that the administrator is on the phone to the mentor for the duration of resolution which is rarely the case. Hence if a mentor needs time to look into a situation then the administrator can be freed up for other tasks.
Is mentoring more cost-effective?
It all depends on the mentor’s fee but it is easy for you to calculate as a company. In this example we can see that as long as the mentor’s fee is less than twice the admin cost it is always more cost effective:
How do I calculate if it is more effective in the real world?
This is more tricky to calculate up-front as it will often depend on the scenario how much time it would take the administrator to solve it alone or with a mentor. However you should know how much the admin cost is to your company and also the hourly fee of a mentor. Therefore we can go back to the original equations:
Therefore if it takes an employee 30 minutes to resolve an issue it should take a mentor only 10 minutes to ensure it is cost-effective and efficient.
By changing the mentor fee and admin costs to your own company figures you will be able to calculate the threshold of time at which it will become more cost-effective for administrators to pick up the phone to a mentor.