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No, we can’t do everything better than you. But chances are, somebody can do the same tasks you do faster/better/cheaper…
I’ve seen a recurring theme with our clients and even our client’s clients since we started our business. Given an impending deadline, the client says “Yes, I can do that by…” and often that date comes and goes. Well, perhaps I should clarify: the date comes and goes when the task is one that five other people could easily have done.
Pressed for time, many entrepreneurs and business owners will complete the tasks that make them money (understandably) before attempting or delegating the tasks that need to be completed to keep their business going. These neglected tasks can include taxes, invoicing, correspondence (including responding to potential clients), and marketing.
Business owners, especially when just starting their business, often have the mentality that they can or must do all the tasks their business requires themselves. Either because they feel nobody else can complete the task as well as they can, or they don’t believe they can afford to delegate the task to somebody else, they allow the floodgates on their inbox to open, soon becoming jammed with backlogged tasks that should have been completed days, weeks or even months in advance. Does this sound familiar? If so, consider these scenarios:
- Your business provides an hourly service and earns $50-$100/hour. You have a month’s worth of billing that needs to be assembled into invoice form and sent to clients. This work will take 2-3 hours to complete but your schedule is booked. Now you’re contemplating not attending tomorrow’s networking breakfast so you can get the invoices out, however doing so will lose you valuable face-time with potential clients.
- When you established your business you made a email@example.com email address which now serves as the catch-all for all business emails, including the spam from third-party vendors. A day away from your email easily results in 200-300 emails which you find overwhelming and impossible to sift through to find the important ones.
- You heard you should be participating in social media marketing so you set up Facebook and Twitter pages for your business. You do your best to engage and build an audience with both accounts, however it seems every time you log-in to Facebook you get bombarded with messages from friends and family, distracting you from your work for an hour or two. To this date, your business’s Facebook page remains empty and your only Tweets are the result of trying to stay awake through a boring seminar.
If any of the above sound like you, you’re not alone. Rather than tackle any of these tasks yourself, you should be delegating the tasks out to somebody else. Consider the true value of paying a college intern or virtual assistant $10-$30/hour so you can get paid $50/hour + to do the important, client pleasing work. Already you would be making $40+ in an hour when you would have otherwise have been making $0, however what value would you assign to a personal reduction of stress? Think about it!
Kim Sutton is the Managing Partner and Chief Everything Officer of The Sutton Companies, including Sutton Strategic Solutions and Sutton Creative Studios. She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Architecture. In her free-time, Kim cherishes the time she gets to spend with her husband, Dave (her business partner), and five children. She also enjoys reading, knitting and writing.
Get a copy of Kim’s FREE guide, “Top 10 Tools for Small Businesses” by clicking here.