We small business owners tend to have an affliction — especially if we’re one-man-bands. We often assume we have to do everything ourselves. After all, it’s my business, isn’t it? I’m complete and self-sufficient — why would I want anyone else helping me run it?
The Lone Pioneer
There can be good reasons why we get that way. I started my business pretty much on a shoestring, which wasn’t too bad, really, as I had very few set-up costs. No premises — I work from home. No equipment — all I needed was a PC. No stock — words are free, as long as you create them yourself.
Of course, I wasn’t so stubborn that I thought I could do absolutely everything. I had my logo, my business cards and my website created professionally, for instance, but they were largely one-off things. The ongoing running of the business was entirely my affair.
Now I Need Help
Six years on, that doesn’t work quite so well any more. I’m no longer a lone pioneer, sitting waiting for the work to come in. What with networking, marketing and creating strategies (not to mention doing the actual work), my time’s at a premium now. Why would I waste it doing minor tasks?
One route, of course, would be to take on employees, but that might end up wasting as much time as it saves. It would just mean I’d be shifting my focus from hands-on to managing people, and that’s not what I started the business for.
The perfect compromise, needless to say, is to outsource the work — but that raises problems, too. For instance, an obvious area to outsource might be the bookkeeping and accounting, but really that wouldn’t be worth the trouble. I spend a few minutes each day updating my spreadsheets, ten to fifteen minutes a month analysing my monthly cashflow, and perhaps an hour a year on my tax returns. It would take me at least that long to prepare the data for an accountant.
On the other hand, there are some admin tasks I can outsource much more easily, and I’ve just taken that step. It’s too early to tell how that’s going, but I’m looking forward to having a little more time to devote to the things that matter in my business.
Writing — Love It or Hate It
The tasks you might want to outsource will depend largely on who you are and what your business is. Obviously, it would be absurd for me to outsource my written marketing content — but the same might not be true for you. Perhaps that’s one of the annoying minor tasks you struggle to fit in.
If so, the best thing is to outsource it to a copywriter. Whether or not you end up with better content (and it’s likely you will, if you’ve chosen your copywriter wisely), you’ll be left with the time and the energy to do the things you set up your business for.