Becoming successful in business is always a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you’ve got more money coming in and more opportunities for growth as you continue to rise. On the other hand, you’ve got a lot more responsibilities and things competing for your valuable time.
If time is money, then you need to learn how to free up as much of it as possible by delegating or outsourcing tasks that take you away from your work.
Here are 3 areas to consider:
1. Accounting. When entrepreneurs start out they normally handle all of the invoice factoring and day to day business activities, like accounting, by themselves. It’s easy when you’re just getting your feet wet, but the deeper you go the tougher it is to tread water. As your business grows, so does the amount of paperwork. Paying vendors, billing clients, keeping track of tax-deductible purchases and such can become an all-day job, which takes away time where you could be making money.
If you find yourself spending more and more time for accounting work, then it’s time to take a look at outsourcing. However, rather than go for Joe Accountant down the street, consider using an online service like ecratchit.com. The great thing about these companies is that you pay only when you need their service as opposed to hiring a full-time person you may only use twice a month.
2. Errands. No matter what type of business you’re in, there are always errands that need to be run. Trips to do the postal address change, to the office supply store, the bank and other running around are necessary, but take away from your valuable work time.
Consider hiring someone to make these runs for you. You can schedule someone to come by once a week, hand them a to-do list and then get back to work with minimal time lost.
3. Technical work. If your business is primarily web-based then you know how much time it takes to maintain a web site or blog AND drive traffic to them – it’s practically a career in itself. While you should always be responsible for the content on your site, the technical work that goes on behind the scenes can be passed off to a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant is generally someone you work with online who provides their services on an as-needed basis.
Elance is a good place to find web designers, SEO specialists and other virtual assistants. And, since it’s a bidding site, you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to how much you want to pay. What you should know before you outsource:
Remember: The whole idea behind outsourcing is to free up more time so you can accomplish more. You certainly don’t want more headaches, which is why it’s important to do your research before hiring any company or assistant to be as sure as possible that they’re reputable, and are going to do the kind of work you expect.
Also, consider what you’re outsourcing and why. The late Dick Benson, a top direct marketing consultant once said, “You should only do what you do best in-house, and outsource the rest.”
Thanks to Working at Home on the Internet for including this article in the Working at Home Blog Carnival.