Friday, May 15, 2009

Learning What You Need to Succeed Part 3

As I talked about yesterday, it can be very difficult running a small business by yourself. You have to keep track of the marketing, sales, accounting, payroll, legal aspects, cleaning, maintenance, public relations, human resources, and not to mention, the actual business that you conduct.

What I have found, is that when one’s time and efforts are spread out between all of these things, the overall quality of each aspect declines. The quality of your main service that you offer will certainly decline if you cannot focus on that the majority of your working hours.

An important thing to remember if you want to grow your business without experiencing a nervous breakdown is to:

3. Know your limits

You must be able to admit to yourself that you are not excellent at everything. The time is going to come when you must hire someone on to fulfill your specific needs, or outsource to a specialist.

When you look to hire someone, don’t immediately seek the candidate who can do “a little bit of everything.” Determine your most pressing needs and find the person who will meet those needs even better than you could yourself.

One of the best examples of this is A Bryan Photo, out of Birmingham. This team of nine has two main photographers and seven staff members to keep the details in place. Each one has their specific roles that, when combined, create an incredible service and quality product for their clients.

It is sometimes difficult to hire a new staff member if the task you need fulfilled is short-term, seasonal, or requires minimal hours. In this case, consider contracting or outsourcing with another person or business.

If you are working on redeveloping your promo materials and neither you nor your staff are quality graphic designers, it’s time to find someone who is. If you are always buried by paperwork that needs to be filed or entered into QuickBooks, contract with someone to come in once a week and take care of it. Is it time to get a cleaning person? They’re all over Craigslist these days.

Maybe you would LOVE to implement some of these ideas, but there is no way your budget can cut it right now. Consider temporarily cutting back on some aspects of your business. If the design and quality of your website is doing more harm than good, and you aren’t in a place to a) design your own from a template or b) hire someone to do the job, you may be better off scrapping it. Focus on your blog instead. If drawing up new business is your highest concern right now, hire a sales person and put them on strict commission.

You can’t afford to run yourself ragged. If you can learn to delegate and outsource, you will have much more time and energy to put into what you do best.


Monica Rae Gill said...

You are brilliant. So much to share with the world. I am so proud to be your helper.

Jan Groen said...

Great topic! I've successfully used an online venue to hire highly qualified employees at a reasonable price.

I've used professionals from several different states for logo design, brochure layout, site design and yes, even mailing labels. My budget and I are both happy with the results.

We need to realize that not being able to afford "staff" does not mean that we cannot afford "help".

Jan Groen said...

Correction - should be "highly qualified professionals", not "employees".