For most of us, starting a business meant learning lots of new skills. I wanted to do marketing strategy, but I had to learn do bookkeeping and payroll, fill out forms and pay taxes. I learned to use software programs such as Illustrator, Photoshop and Dreamweaver and how to set up computer networks and telephone systems. Then came lessons in how to evaluate business insurance programs and what to do when there is a strange smell underneath the house that is home to Roundpeg.
It is good to know how to do all those things, but there is no way to grow my business if I spent my time doing all of those things every day. The smart business strategy is to let go of some of these tasks so I could spend my time on things only I could do which added real value to the business.
In some cases I hired people with specific expertise, like Jenna my graphic designer. I know enough about what she is doing to give input, but she is much better at those tasks than I will ever be. The result is we have more bandwidth to do projects and the client gets a better end product.
In other instances, I outsource the services. Sure, I could do payroll, taxes and IT support, but it really ins’t the best use of my time. Let’s face it, I don’t do those things regularly enough to be really good at them, so the risk of a mistake is fairly high. Avoiding just one tax penalty or a half day of downtime due to computer failure more than covers the cost of the monthly service fee.
If you are still juggling all the balls in your business, ask yourself what the most profitable use of your time is. Is it making sales calls, working on something for a client or running letters to the post office? Make a list of all the things you do which really add to your bottom line. How much time do you spend doing those things? Next, make a list of all the other things you do which take you away from revenue generating activities. Look for things on the list which can be delegated or eliminated. Just think about how much more time you would have for revenue producing activities if you crossed even one task off our list.
If you are like most business owners, you already know what you need to do. Every day you let the “good” (things that sound important) get in the way of the “great” (things that really move your business forward) is one more day you put off really growing your business. It’s time to trust and pay others to do the things which have to get done to keep the business running. You have to make investments, but that is part of running a business.
What will you cross off your list today?