I am all for saving on costs – particularly during the heady days during the business start-up phase. In fact to be fair, this phase often drags on a bit depending on the scalability of your business. I’m really talking about smaller indigenous businesses here, such as retail businesses—maybe you’re opening a café or a hair salon, or maybe you’re offering a service such as business-to-business graphic design or social media marketing.
These types of business are often at the hub of communities and they rarely seek much, if any, investment or funding to start out. This is your typical bootstrap scenario, which I for one have certainly experienced.
The temptation is to do everything yourself, all day, every day, in an effort to save cash. Admirable, yes, but sliding towards martyrdom? Yes to that question also!
Of course you want to keep costs down. Of course you must be sensible, but how many true talents can one person realistically possess? Also, if you are constantly working in your business, who is working on your business? Who is driving the venture forward?
5 Things You Should Pay Someone Else to Do
Consider these 5 important areas where writing that check is justified:
- Hire a professional photographer for any promotional events that your business hosts. There is a much higher chance of your photos ‘landing’ in the press this way. Also, get a profile shot of yourself to keep on file for future use.
- Hire a bookkeeper. No matter how much you convince yourself you will keep on top of the financials, remember we all get tired, we are all “too busy” and it will snowball!
- Get a professional logo designed. It doesn’t have to cost the earth, but a great logo is all part of your business image. It keeps all your marketing material cohesive
- Hire a cleaner and window-cleaner (weekly). In the beginning, I spent hours during the week vacuuming my own store until I realized I should have been doing the books (see point 2 above!).
- Hire a content writer if social media is getting on top of you. It’s important to stay connected to your customers, so consider this service for a few hours a week to manage your social media platforms.
I want to emphasize that although you may see merit in just one or two of these points; these are flexible and often occasional expenses. The list will get you thinking of other services, etc. that you might occasionally write a check for.
But their ultimate value fulfills more than their job description. It hands you back another precious entity—time. Your time. That leaves you free to create, drive and further develop your business.
Remember, it’s highly commendable to reduce expenses, especially as you embark on a new business, but there are times when it’s prudent to truly consider writing that check.
very interesting read Fiona. And agree with all of it. Especially the cleaner. Lol
Toni Nelson says
These points are so true! There are many people who start a business, take a selfie and put that not only on their “About Page” but on their social media profiles. Making a first impression is so important and hiring a professional photographer for your professional portrait as well as other images on your site will have your site standing out from the competition.
Fiona Donnelly says
Thanks Toni – Yes, you truly do need to consider first impressions and I would always say, buy in the expertise or help that you can afford…I think that’s the important message – get the best assistance you can hire at the cost you can realistically spend. Fiona.
natasha lynch says
Great article Fiona! As business owners we forget how valuable our time is. I often find myself swamped with certain tasks that should be delegated on to someone in the team who actually would enjoy getting stuck into. Working ON ur biz is so important. looking forward 2 reading ur next blog.
Fiona Donnelly says
Thanks Natasha, definitely, our time is a valuable asset, and I often describe it as a form of energy that we need to manage. We all start the day with 24 hours and it’s how we manage those hours is important; if that means outsourcing tasks to free up crucial time, well that’s an important task right there in itself! Regards, Fiona.
Fiona Donnelly says
Janette, the housekeeping side of things can sap so much time – if I’m in a hurry it doesn’t get done properly anywhere – hire an expert! Regards, Fiona.