When you work for yourself, it doesn’t mean doing everything yourself!
Work Smart Not Hard Tip No. 4 in a series written for Indie Cambs
A client who recently took time out of his business due to ill-health just sent me this message:
“One really good thing to come out of all of this is that I finally stopped procrastinating and took on an employee 2 days a week. Well knock me down with a feather, she’s fantastic. So much better than me and has both speed and accuracy. In the time she’s been with me she’s freed me up so much that I’ve been able to add 32% to my annual turnover. For a long time I’ve resisted treating my business as something I manage and not a job I do and really wish I’d done this sooner.”
Here’s some idea for freeing up your time and energy:
- 1. Automate everything that can be automated.
- 2. Outsource anything that can be done by others.
- 3. Hire people who are better, cleverer, faster or more talented than you.
There are two main things that might stop you doing this:
- You can’t afford it.
- You don’t want to let go.
The “If you can’t afford it” plan
Work out when you *will* be able to afford it.
What needs to happen, how long will it take? If the answer is never, are you prepared to go on as you are indefinitely? What happens if you get ill?
To afford help, the simplest solution is likely to be to put your prices up and increase your profit margins. Remember that pricing is an art not a science.
If making more sales is the answer remember this doesn’t always mean getting more customers. Getting repeat business from existing customers is usually cheaper and easier.
Work on the numbers, set a goal, make a plan, check your progress, find out what works and what doesn’t.
The “You don’t want to let go” plan
This is a lot more common than the other reasons!
The business is your baby, no-body does things like you do, showing someone else how to do things takes more time than doing them yourself, what if they leave when you’ve trained them, what if they make mistakes, what if your customers don’t like them …
These are all excuses that keep your business small, that keep you exhausted, that keep you from making money and taking a holiday.
Just remember that delegations doesn’t mean abdication. You’re still in control, you still make the decisions but freeing up your time and energy means you get a clearer idea of where to make changes and time to enjoy what you’re doing.
The idea is that you run the business, it shouldn’t be running you.
If you get stuck or want to talk about this, just let me know!