I have some bad news for the self-proclaimed control freaks. I say this in the most loving way as I myself am a recovering control freak. Stop fooling yourself, you’re not great at everything. Yes, someone else may take a little longer to do something but it will still get done. Yes, someone may be able to do something better than you. OK, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about your time and how to best spend it for maximum results, because that’s what you really want anyway.
In business, the result of any action can and should affect your bottom line. So, let’s get straight to the numbers. The idea that you can do everything in your business because, well no one can do what you do better than you is actually costing you money. I hear all the time that, “I can’t afford to hire someone.” My response is always the same, “You can’t afford not to!” There’s an illusion that hiring means full-time employment. That simply isn’t the case. Technology allows us to work with experienced professionals all over the world on a part-time, hourly or on a project by project basis. It’s amazing.
Let’s do some simple math for part-time support.
Let’s say you hire a support professional at $20 per hour for 10 hours per week:
$20/hour X 10 hours = $200
Multiply that by four weeks in a month you have an $800 monthly expense.
That might sound expensive at first blush but now let me show you what not hiring a support professional could cost you. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that your hourly rate is higher than $20 per hour. So let’s say your hourly rate is $100 per hour and let’s use the same 10 hours per week.
$100/hour X 10 hours = $1,000
Multiply that by four weeks in a month and you have a $4,000 monthly expense.
Wow, there’s a comma in what you should technically be paying yourself to perform administrative tasks. Every time you are touching one of those tasks that could be delegated, you’re costing yourself and your business money. Let’s calculate the opportunity cost:
$4,000 (alternative cost) – $800 (actual cost) = $3,200 (opportunity cost)
What could only physically cost $800 a month is actually costing you $3,200 in potential gains.
My question to you is what could you do with an extra 10 hours per week? Could you find enough revenue generating activities to spend your time on to actually generate $800? I’d be willing to bet that you could. You have a greater impact on the bottom line revenue than any other person in your business. YOU! So, how do we maximize you?! Well, first we free up the time you’re spending on administrative tasks and create a strategy for focusing on revenue generating activities.
I realize that small businesses are often cash strapped but there has to come a point when you dedicate every ounce of time, energy and resource to a real growth strategy, not a maintenance plan. Most small business are simply maintaining. That’s not why you started your business! I don’t know you but I know that you didn’t start a business to barely get by and work your fingers to the bone on tasks you hate and aren’t really even that good at. With a well developed strategy for your time, every $800 you spend on support should yield a $3,200 Return On Investment (ROI).
People start their businesses for many reasons and measure success in many different ways. Here’s my personal measure of success.
Success is working within your God-given talents and delegating the rest.