As business owners, we all know how easy it is to get sucked into the "busy" vortex. We all do it, day in and day out. We jostle between emails, social media posts, research, vendor/supplier relationship maintenance, sales calls, collection calls, invoicing, filing, remittances, paying bills.... *sigh*... the list is never-ending.
So if you are self employed and wearing all of these hats on a daily or weekly basis; how many of those tasks do you truthfully think you are doing well? That's right. Not many.
Hiring various levels of help in your business does not necessarily mean you need to break the bank. In fact, if you are careful and think through your wants vs. needs very carefully, hiring the right people will make you money.
5 Reasons Why Hiring Help Will Make You Money!
1. If you rely on #socialmedia, hiring somebody in that arena will not only free up time for you but allow you to strategize ON your content and posts more efficiently. They will help source content, plan posts per day in advance, drive traffic to your website or blog and EARN you money via traffic. It's up to you to get the conversion!
2. If you are spending time on collection calls and accounting, who is doing your sales and marketing? 65% of your time must be devoted to selling or marketing your offerings. Either hire the sales staff to market for you and you focus on building your business or hire the back end so YOU can do the sales!
3. Cloning your daily tasks into the job profile of a #VirtualAssistant will free up your time to focus on what your business needs - in real time. You can hire a VA either locally or even off-shore to save money. Keep in mind the off-shore deals usually involve you committing to a fulltime VA. Not always the right move for smaller business owners. What can a VA do for you? They can research competitors, track social media, contact suppliers, customers, vendors or potential clients. They can maintain and update databases, track your accounting and hunt for the perfect birthday gift for your star employee!
4. Bringing in an industry specific Business Consultant, even for a day, offers fresh perspective and insight to items you may be completely oblivious to. They can pick up on visual cues for things that are working (or not) within your business and they bring years of tangible, hard earned experience. Why not cut a few years off your learning curve and pick their brain for a day or two? In the end 20 years of experience will ultimately save you thousands in potential mistakes, oversights or under performance!
5. Last but not least, let's face it. As business owners, there is no possible way that we can know everything we need to about our industry or niche. Every entrepreneur has skills they excel at and others.... not so much! Mine is accounting, hate it. So it makes sense that rather than me bang my head against a wall and stumble along begrudgingly, my time is much better spent on my production projects, product design, sourcing and working with my clients. If I am out making money on my projects while the book-keeper and accountant take care of details; then we are all excelling in our correct domains. I am making money and they are greasing the wheels that keep me moving forward!
So figure out what your skill sets are; determine just as importantly what they are NOT and hire appropriately. Your time will better spent on areas that earn income, move you forward and grow your business!
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"Leah, what are some simple organizational tips you can offer to help get out from the awful pile of papers I always seem to have on my desk?" ~Janet, Store Owner, ON, Canada
COLOR CODING FOR YOUR "IN BOX":
Don't have time to file paperwork every day? Color code and "fast track" your in pile. Have a few different colors of post it tags; matching to things like HR/EMPLOYEES, ACCOUNTING, INVOICES (A/R), INVOICES A/P).. so maybe red for A/P (Accounts Payable).
So your staff expense the odd paid out receipt from the till for postage, UPS drivers, Paper towels etc.. most computer/till software programs print out a receipt at the time of the cash payout. Take your actual product/expense receipt and your till pay out copy and staple them together BACK TO BACK. Scan them.
If you have a SCANSNAP scanner, it scans 2 sides at the same time, your staff can scan in your paid out receipts for you or your accountant, this way you have the till paid out copy with reason code and details of the paid out if there are any questions).
SAVVY STAPLING, SCANNING & STORAGE!
One of my filing pet peeves might seem trivial, but when you are reconciling daily reports for 7 retail stores, you will get organized FAST!
5 Tips To Avoid Self-Sabataging Behaviour!
#1: F.I.T– At the beginning of your work week, start with the "F.I.T" mentality. "F" is for Focus, "I" is for intently and "T" is for TODAY! Take the time to plan your tasks for the week, lay them out into your timetable/calendar and then stick to it. No room for procrastination!
#2: Plan to Prioritize– Your inner procrastinator will want to jump to the tasks that are fun and rewarding, stick to your FIT schedule and if needed, prioritize your must-do tasks as Level 1, 2 or 3... and do not skip them when they come up. Success is built on creating good habits and prioritization is mandatory.
#3: Know Thyself!– If you know your bad habits and distractions, figure out how to block them out during your work time, or conversely, figure out to work them IN. If you know you start to fade at 3pm every day, plan your coffee run into your schedule; no guilt! If the hot UPS guy is coming at 11am every day and you cannot concentrate afterwards, acknowledge your weakness but perhaps find somethig else to do at 11am each day?? (to my male readers this is tongue in cheek!)
#4: Social Media Sifting – Do not use Social Media as a valid excuse to avoid tasks. Plan your social media time just like anything else and stick to your schedule. No facebook or aimless surfing allowed outside of alotted time block.
#5: Plan To Win– No matter how busy you are, any business owner needs to make short-term and long term planning as a serious goal. Failing to plan is like planning to fail. It is inevitable. Acknowledge your weaknesses, work with and around them and you will come out on top!
How do you learn everything it takes to launch a successful business if you have never done it before? How much do you do on your own; how much do you leave to fate and how much do you trust to your friends and family in terms of feedback, support and validation?
If you want to be in business AND make money; you leave nothing to chance, no stone unturned and you NEVER rely on friends and family for honest feedback and product viability comments! They love you too much!
The first step in developing your product idea is to research WHO and WHAT you want this product be. What need in the marketplace is it answering? Why is a mom going to reach for your product on the shelf as opposed to the next competing product? This may seem very basic but it is an important step in developing your game plan and entry strategy later on.Let’s say for example, you love to sew and you want to develop a new line of baby bibs. You maybe have a design background or maybe you just think you can do it better. My first question to you as a consultant will be, the why factor?
It makes sense to me that when developing a new concept; you must understand it intrinsically from the ground up. Good ideas are born every day! What makes the difference is WHAT you do with that great idea and how thoroughly you groom and nurture it.
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense , who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
- Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
- Why the early bird gets the worm;
- Life isn't always fair;
- and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on! If not, join the majority and do nothing.
Leah Chevallier, serial entrepreneur in the Juvenile Industry sharing insight, success and 18 years of award winning retail experience! Took $2000 Micro-credit loan and turned it into $30 million!