The number one mistake most small businesses make…and how to turn it around.
Running a small business is no easy task. The reality of being a small business owner is that you need to learn to multi-task and do it well. You learn very quickly that your business is going to take up most of your waking hours and often a lot of your sleeping ones as well.
As an owner/operator you quickly realise how many facets there are to a business; accounting, administration, customer service, cleaning, ordering and more… the list is endless and it doesn’t take long for what started out as an exciting adventure to quickly become a source of stress and fatigue if you try to juggle them all on your own.
We have all heard the old saying “jack of all trades… master of none.” This could almost be the mantra for small business owners. As an employee, you are responsible for the role you are hired for and are good at, yet as a business owner you believe you are responsible for completing all the roles your business needs. Nothing could be further from the truth. Wearing too many hats and trying to keep control of everything is the number one mistake most small business owners make.
There is only one word you need to learn to turn this situation around… outsourcing.
You don’t need to employ staff to take the pressure off you. You can outsource to contractors for almost any aspect of your business. There are a multitude of professionals who run their own businesses helping other business owners. If you ensure the terms of engagement are clear and in writing and you check that the person you are engaging is reputable, you will find this to be the perfect solution for most of the tasks in your business.
With the internet at your fingertips you will quickly find someone to fill every need you have in your business. Need a legal document… there will be a lawyer who has ready-made documents you can buy and download. Need your premises cleaned… there will be a local cleaning crew happy to do it for you. Need your phones answered when you can’t get to them… there is a phone service you can utilise to do just that. Need your website looked after… there is someone to do that too. There is nothing you cannot outsource – the key is that you must be willing to let it go.
When this topic comes up most business owners instantly go into defense mode about the cost this would add to the business. What most fail to take the time to work out is the cost of them doing the work they either don’t want to do, or are not skilled in doing. For example – you have been working since 5am and it’s now 5pm and you still haven’t made it home… do you really want to turn around and clean the office/shop before you go home?
A professional crew would do the job in far less time than it would take you to do it at the end of a long day. They have the skills, the equipment and the drive to get it done quickly. The same applies when it comes to your books – if accounting and bookwork make you want to curl up in the foetal position then you need to hire a bookkeeper. You don’t need to put one on staff you can simply outsource to one who is either a virtual bookkeeper i.e. they can be located anywhere or you can contract a mobile bookkeeper to come to you. There is someone specialised in every aspect of your business and they are ready to support you.
Regardless of what the task is, when you work out your hourly rate for you doing the task as opposed to outsourcing the task you will soon see that you would be in a far better financial position if you outsourced and spent your time focused on what you do well. The more time you can spend on doing the parts of the business you love, the better the business runs, the bigger the profits at the end of the day.