Entrepreneurs are notoriously bad at letting things go. They are prone to working excessively and multitasking like there’s no tomorrow.
But are these traits helping you grow your business, or keeping you stuck spinning your wheels and feeling like a failure?
Let’s see if you are in the unfortunate position of trying to do it all, and yet not achieving the business growth you would like.
Do any of the following statements sound familiar?
- I’m doing all the jobs in my business, but only doing a few of them well.
- I’m so busy keeping things running that I don’t have time to focus on growth strategy.
- I’m letting little tasks slide because I don’t have time to do them.
- I’m burnt out, and I need a nap.
If you are nodding your head right now, you need to start hiring people to take some work off your plate so you can put your focus where it belongs — on growing your business.
I know — hiring your first employee, figuring out what they should do, and training them sounds like another job you don’t have time to do. It is also the key to your growth.
I’ll show you a way to make it easier.
At the same time, you’ll make sure you maximize the most limited resource you have — time.
Let’s start with a look at how you’re spending yours.
What do you do?
You have a process for everything, even if you don’t realize it. From making your morning cup of coffee to responding to a customer inquiry, you are repeating automatic sequences every day.
Start writing down everything you do each day, and a quick list of steps involved in each task. Keep it simple so that tracking your time doesn’t turn into another job that takes even more of your time.
This is like training your potential new employee before they exist, and without taking any extra time.
Before you can hire people, you need to have an accurate idea of what is already being done. Taking an inventory as you go through your day is an invaluable way to figure out what tasks you should outsource.
Think of this list you are creating as a “how to run my business” manual, that will help you replace yourself.
Moreover, you can use it to decide what the highest value tasks are in your business.
Small hinges swing big doors
When you have an inventory of the tasks involved in running your business, you’ll notice that there are essential items that directly bring most of the revenue and growth to your business.
Examples of leverage point tasks:
- Making sales calls
- Writing content
- Setting up email marketing campaigns
Then there’s a whole bunch of other stuff.
Identify your key leverage points, and make those where you spend most of your time and resources. If you leverage the wrong things, inefficiency exponentially increases.
Since the biggest wins for your business will come from a few key leverage points, those tasks are worth either doing yourself or outsourcing to a highly skilled professional.
If you want to grow your business, you’ll have to stop spending your own time on the 80% of work that isn’t directly profitable. You can then reallocate your energy to the areas of your business that need you the most.
Should you hire a VA or freelancer?
The first thing that needs to be taken care of is getting the 80% off your plate. A virtual assistant can take over many of the tasks that you are doing inefficiently or neglecting entirely.
Think of your VA as a generalist who will do all the stuff that needs doing which isn’t part of the 20% you’ve identified as key leverage points. We’ll talk about that part later.
To get the best person for the job, be as specific as possible about what skills you need your VA to have, and what tasks they will be doing.
Once you’ve hired someone, use the inventory of tasks and procedures you made earlier to create a standard operating procedure (SOP) for each task.
Making a video or audio walk through of jobs while you are already doing them is a good alternative or supplement to a written SOP, and really shouldn’t take any extra time on your part to create.
Formalizing SOPs for everything means that any new employee can start right away, without excessive time spent on training.
With SOPs in place, your VAs will always have standards to follow for consistently producing quality work, which makes you look awesome in the eyes of your customers.
For specialized jobs such as design, content writing, and development, you will have to decide what each job is worth to your business, and whether you are the best person to do it.
The best use of your time lies in the overlap between things you are good at, and things you enjoy doing. For everything outside of that, consider hiring a specialist.
With creative work, you get what you pay for, and you want to get the best you can afford for the most important pieces of your business.
There are many freelance marketplaces like Reddit, Upwork, or Fiverr, but you can also try reaching out to people who have done work you admire. Often, they are open to doing side jobs if they can work it into their schedule.
Buy back some time, and use it well
Once your mind is freed up from dealing with everything yourself, you can finally take that nap.
Reallocate the hours you’ve gained into working those little hinges to swing big doors for your business.
Focus on your key leverage points and swing big.