There’s a saying:, “Entrepreneurs are the only people who work 80 hour weeks to avoid working 40 hour weeks” How true is that! When you first start your business it’s only natural that you’ll want to do things yourself for several reasons.
- You’re in Start-Up Mode and want to learn how everything in your business works.
- It’s hard to trust someone else.
- You don’t have the money.
- You’re afraid to give up control.
But as your business grows and expands (that’s a good thing!), you’ll find that you can’t possibly do everything yourself. Entrepreneurs stay in startup mode way too long. Keeping a small business in startup mode means you have your foot on the brake. Is it time for you to move from startup to grown up mode?
If it’s time to hang your hat and get some help, here are some good places to start so you can begin to make your life a little easier and focus your energy on what really counts – growing your business.
- Prioritize what tasks you must do and which ones you can start to outsource.
- Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Why spend time on things you’re not good at? Find somebody to do the work you struggle with.
- Focus on your key goal and remember; don’t try to be everything for everyone.
- Don’t be afraid to outsource tasks using resources like Elance, oDesk and HireMyMom. They can be life savers when you’re in a crunch.
- If you have a staff, make sure everyone has well defined roles, but allow people to grow within those roles. Ask your employees what they’d like to do within your business.
- Allow your staff to become the team your company needs, not the one you want.
Now take a minute to see just how many hats are you wearing? Is it time to become realistic about your ability to do all the work that’s involved in running a successful business? Which one of these jobs are you doing?
- General Manager
- Social Media Expert
- Marketing Manager
- Graphic Designer
- Advertising Manager
- Blog Writer
- Content or Copywriter
- Publicity Director
- Printer Liaison
- Production Manager
- Internet Researcher
- Production Worker
- E-Mail List Administrator
- Personal Assistant
- Virtual Assistant
- Bulk Mail Overseer
- Order Fulfillment Clerk
- Customer Relations Manager
- File Clerk
- Computer Expert
Whew! That’s some list, isn’t it? That probably doesn’t even cover all the tasks you are doing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. No wonder you don’t have time to shower and get your haircut.
When you look at all the tasks you’re doing, you’re probably thinking “What one person could do all that work?” But that’s exactly what you’re doing when you make the decision to wear all the hats yourself. Of course there are online tutorials and how-to books for everything and you’ve proven yourself as the type of person who can figure things out and teach yourself how to do practically anything. But is it really cost effective for you to do it all?
We offer you this challenge. Track your time spent on tasks. There are lots of free online tools to track time. Here are two:
Just do a simple search on “free time tracking tools” and find one that you feel comfortable with.
Now here’s your challenge. Once you start tracking your time, evaluate which tasks you’re spending entirely too much time on. Give yourself an hourly rate as owner of the company and start seeing how much money you’re wasting on time you spend doing stuff that isn’t productive. Then start outsourcing those tasks that aren’t cost effective, remember your time is money!