There’s a misconception in the world of business, that says you have to do it all yourself…
As far as we can tell (and we’ve seen it first hand) doing everything yourself is a sure fire way to end up exhausted, disheartened and even depressed, because it’s just not feasible.
There are exceptions…
…and if you’re running a micro business from your living room, let’s say, then maybe you can keep on top of your accounts, your marketing and your ordering yourself, but even then, it can be a pretty tough task to spin all those plates at once.
The title of this blog and podcast is ‘taking control’, and yet here we are alluding to outsourcing, but that’s exactly the point.
Sometimes, in order to truly take control, we have to relinquish a little bit of control.
It can seem scary, especially when you’ve become so used to handling everything, all at the same time, but the liberation that comes with handing some responsibility over can be palpable.
In Trinity U’s book, ‘Women in Business’, we go into detail about how female entrepreneurs can start out trying to keep an eye on every single aspect of their ‘thing’, whether it’s a limited company, a one woman band, or something in between…
…and we highlight the struggles this can cause.
The bigger the business becomes, the more challenging it becomes to manage everything.
There is also the added fact that none of us knows everything about everything.
A superb marketer you may well be, but does that mean you’re a dab hand at sorting out the accounts?
We have worked with women (and men for that matter) who’ve thrown themselves into things, head first, admirably trying to ‘learn on the job’ and then spending hours and hours on things they’re ‘brand new’ at.
Our advice would always be to consider how much time, money and effort you’re putting into these extra activities, and whether it would be much more worth your while to find someone who does that particular individual task professionally, and then to use them.
A female entrepreneur, featured within our book, talked about how if she could do it all again, a message to your younger self type thing, she’d use external help a lot sooner than she did before, because in doing so she could have accelerated her progress.
Yes, there are costs involved. It can be expensive to use accountants, solicitors, printers, copywriters, web developers and whoever else you need to outsource to, but only because we’re programmed to see those things as an expense.
Let’s use those professionals listed above, and try to deconstruct your reluctance to outsource work to them.
We’ll then present the case as to why you should at least consider giving it a go.
After all, you don’t know what you don’t know.
Take the accountant…
OK, you’ve added up all your invoices, worked out how much tax you need to pay and you’ve navigated the Government’s website in doing so. Easy peasy, right?
Well, are you prepared for the call from HMRC? Do you know which schemes would actually save you money? Are you sure you’re making every penny work for you?
In most cases, the fee you pay to your accountant is more than made back up to you in the savings they manage to achieve for all kinds of small to medium sized businesses.
It’s literally their job to do this, whereas it’s just something on your long list of tasks.
It’s also very important to say that a good accountant will field all your correspondence from HMRC for you, knowing what to say and who to say it to.
Mistakes are avoided and so are fines or even stricter punishments. A good accountant is worth their weight in gold, and using one for your business is pretty much the definition of ‘taking control…’
What about the solicitor?
Well versed in all aspects of commercial law, are you?
That question isn’t meant to patronise or offend, because plenty of people out there are prepared to spend their evenings and weekends studying the legalities of operating within their industry, but what about their families? What about their friends?
The quality of life we want our businesses to afford us is only worth achieving, if we then get to go and live it. Hiring a solicitor when you need one is not an expense, it’s an investment.
It’s an investment in your business, but also in your life, as it gives you more time to go and live it.
Taking control, yet again.
Speeding through the other examples…
A printer will do a professional job of your promotional materials, whereas you’ll either have to spend a fortune on the right equipment, or just do a second rate job.
A copywriter will know exactly how to get your message across, which style and tone to use, and if they’re worth their salt, they’ll be able to do it quickly. What they can do in an hour might take you four or five, and even then, is your grasp of the English language where you want it to be for your marketing material?
You could spend weeks messing about on Wix or Wordpress, or you could hire a web developer to make you the website that your business truly deserves.
Taking control, yet again.
All of these examples of outsourcing are indeed ‘expenses’, if you allow yourself to view them this way.
If you shift your thinking though, and try to understand the value of each, spending a bit of money here and a bit of money there can then become much more of an investment than an expense.
Worried you don’t have the money to do it all at once?
Don’t worry. Prioritise and decide which you can handle, and which would be best served outsourcing.
It’s rarely a case of one or the other, we’re just here to bust the myth that real success is one person doing absolutely everything themselves.
To us, that’s not taking control, that’s losing control, because you’re spending so much time working ‘in’ the business that you get hardly any time to work ‘on’ the business.
So, take control by relinquishing a little control.
Give it a try, it’s liberating.