You Can Do It But Should You?
I come from a family of teachers and engineers. The only people that aren't teachers or engineers are business owners, so it goes without saying that we love learning. All of us love learning and problem-solving, and we're going to be talking today about why doing something yourself is not always the best idea. As I said, with teachers, engineers and business owners, you've generally walked a path where you've learned lots of stuff and you've decided, "Yeah, I can do this. I want to learn that. That's exciting. Let's do this. Let's do that," and you overextend yourself.
Think About Your Choices
As a business owner that has been in business for a number of years, I know myself to be like, "Ah, just learn how to do the bookkeeping. Ah, just learn how to do this." I'll read up the 68-page document on the basics of GST, and then continue on from that. Before you know it, you are the person that knows bits of everything, but you don't know a lot of anything, and that's not good. If you're in business, presumably, you're there to make some coin, and if you're too busy doing things that other people could be doing for you, you're probably wasting money and you're definitely wasting time.
I know myself. I used to take great pride in mowing my lawn. I'd go out in the backyard, and I would mow the lawn. I'll be like, "Yeah, look at that." I would have a beer, and I'd look out. I'm so excited that I've mowed a quarter of an acre with a hand-mower, and it got to a spot where I was looking how many hours it's taking me to mow the lawn, take care of the gardens, and how much money I was earning relatively per hour by doing what I enjoy doing in the business.
I decided it is a lot cheaper for me to get a gardener in and have him or her, do the mowing, and when they get through and finish the whole lot, A, it didn't take two to three hours. Instead, he has it done in 40 minutes. B, it's costing me about a third of what it would have cost me in my time, so I'm getting it done faster, and it's a task that I don't have to do where my time can be devoted towards something else.
Saving Time = Saving Money
Having a guy come in and mow the lawn for me is a task that is saving me money and saving me time, and that's what you need to look at in business when you start to take on a task. Sometimes, you'll get in a professional, and they'll give you some ridiculous quote, and you go, "Ah, I can do that," and you probably can, and you start to do it. You go through all the different motions, and before you know it, technologies have changed, the way that you'd otherwise have done it is no longer available, and you've spent more than a day or two doing something that the technician or the new person could have done in moments because they've got the better tools, the expertise, and they're still in the game of doing it. Meanwhile, that freed up a lot of your time, it removed the stress from your life, and it's given them 100% accountability and responsibility for the problem, so if something does go wrong, you know exactly who to point the gun at.
Adapt Over Time
Getting back to the early days when I was a business owner, I had a lot of available time, but I didn't have a lot of available expertise or money, so I had to learn lots and lots about all things to do with business. Whether it'd be bookkeeping and accounting, sales and marketing, or making sure that I'm using the right tools and reinvesting, looking at what I was wanting to have my projections, being able to get all that data out of the business, there is so much going on. Having all that as someone who just started his own business was daunting, but because I had all the time available, I was able to take on all those tasks because I didn't have the money. It was well worth use of my time, and so my business started to grow.
Bring On Someone to Help
One of the best things that I did was bringing on someone to do things that I would have otherwise had to have done myself. Having a bookkeeper there to make sure that they are doing the day-to-day reconciliation, having an accountant to make sure that everything is looking hunky-dory, bringing on technicians to be able to be there for the times when you have huge amounts of work, and when I say technicians, I don't mean from the technical sense of someone who is doing something technical with computers, or whatnot, or technology. More so just whoever is technical at their craft. If you've got the available time to be able to do the tasks and you're not earning money otherwise, do them for now, but know that while you're doing them, you should be documenting them so that you're able to bring someone on and they can do them the way that you'd like them to be done. When you get your first employee as nearly everyone will agree, they don't do a job anywhere near as good as you did.
When you get your first employee, nearly every business owner will agree, they don't do the job nearly as well as you did, and that's what you've got to remember. No one will because that's how you did it, and how you did it isn't necessarily the right way or the wrong way, but it's the way that you did it and the way that you got comfortable doing it. Knowing that they won't do it exactly your way, they might do it their way with their own herbs, and spices, and twist on it isn't a bad problem. They've come from a different walk of life, and they have different light to shed on the problem or the way that you're doing something, the process.
If you have the ability to have them do that, great. The best that you can do though is make sure you document down the way that you do it so at least they can refine and distil that into something even more beautiful. If you don't have that documented, you can't really give them anything. It's all up in your head, and then that time that you're wasting is taking time away from you to train them up at a cost, where while you have that available time in the early years, document everything. The best you can hope for is they will be able to do 80% of whatever you did. The great news is that's 20% skill that they are bringing that you didn't have, 20% that you weren't able to do that they can shed a new twist on in the way that things are done.
The Final Word
I hope this has been useful and gave you a bit of information as to why you should consider outsourcing some of the bits that you're doing and freeing up your time to earn more money. If you have enjoyed it, make sure to jump over to iTunes and leave us a review. Stay good.
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