When you first start out in business, unless you have a bounty of funds from a generous investor, odds are it is all you.
This can be a challenging time. As well as being the expert in your chosen field, you are the sales director, the marketing manager, and the finance officer. You’re a professional plate-spinner, and as your business grows, so does your to-do list.
If you snuck a look inside the head of the owner of any successful business, you would see a swirling vortex of information. This includes price lists, calendar entries, best-practices, returns policies, and customer queries. It’s a jungle in there!
Eventually, something has to give. You can either a). Scale back and stop taking on new customers, thus capping your earning potential.
Or, you can b). Start offloading what is crammed into your brain (and slowly driving you up the wall), and learn to delegate.
Taking the next step as a business owner
If you were hit by a bus tomorrow (heaven forbid), what would become of your business? Would it keep ticking along or would it collapse in a heap?
Even for business owners who have a team of staff, the answer is often the latter. This is because they keep everything in their head and fail to share information which enables their crew to get the job done without them.
For those who are serious about growing their business, it is essential to get everything out of your head and written down, so you can make it easy for other people to take over.
To get started, write down everything you do over the course of a working week. This includes dealing with clients, making phone calls and chasing overdue invoices. It will probably be easier to break things down by categories such as administration, finance, marketing, etc.
Now take a look at your task list. How much time are some of these tasks taking you? Perhaps only a few minutes, but if you consider how many times a week or month you do these things, it can add up.
Another question to ask yourself is, “Can I teach somebody else to do this?”
You see, your time is limited. To make money, you have to spend it doing the things which are worth the most. A task like sending invoices may take you four hours a month. If your time is worth, say $100 per hour, this is costing you $400.
By spending one hour teaching someone how to send invoices for you, and by paying them as low as $10AUD per hour (keep reading to find out how), you are costing yourself only around $40 but enabling yourself to earn that $400 you are missing out on. That’s a profit of $360.
Get started delegating and outsourcing these repetitive, simple tasks, and you stand to save yourself hours of time and hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
A strategy I use is to create simple how-to videos for my team. Each video explains the basics of everyday tasks like mailing parcels, booking flights or even using the coffee machine. We keep the link to each video in a central company intranet which can be accessed by the entire team (or limited to a few team members where necessary).
Yes, it takes a few minutes to create these videos. But once they’re done, new team members can easily take a look to find out how to take care of basic jobs within the business. As a result, my senior staff and I don’t have to spend time teaching them ourselves.
If you are not at the point where you are ready to hire full-time staff, there are plenty of options to outsource to virtual workers in Australia and around the world. Find out how at 52 Ways, a FREE one day small business workshop which will show you different strategies for getting your business out of the cogs of your brain and turning it into a well-oiled machine.