Are you spending hours on paperwork instead of the work you really love? If you are experiencing these three signs, consider outsourcing.
If you are a small business owner, you likely started your business out of passion and a desire to be your own boss, freeing yourself from reporting to others.
But, you probably soon realized just how much there really is to do to keep yourself in business. You find yourself juggling everything, from marketing, sales, bookkeeping, payroll and customer services.
How does that make your feel? Overworked? Overwhelmed? Out-of-time? Like your day never ends because there is always more paperwork to do? Like you haven’t seen the faces of your friends and family and family in daylight in ages?
And what are the consequences? You are spending less time building client relationships, coming up with ideas and executing your work. You can’t get to the next level of business growth because you are constantly trying to keep you head above water.
And more often than not it’s those mundane, repetitive tasks that take up too much of your time, sap your passion and creativity and may even put you off running your small business altogether!
Does this sound like you? Before you reach your breaking point (or maybe you already have), here are 3 reasons to consider outsourcing.
1. You Don’t Have Time to Do It Yourself
No matter how hard you try to extend it, a day will always contain 24 hours and there are only so many things we can accomplish in that timeframe. Something’s got to give.
That’s why there is nothing more important to a small business owner (especially when they are the only employee) than effective time management.
Are you spending 4 hours a day booking appointments in between all your actual work? The truth is those appointments could be easily scheduled by an efficient virtual assistant in half the time. Sure, it’s an extra cost each month, but how many more sales could you have made in those 4 hours?
Which scenario is really costing you more money?
2. You’re Not a Subject-Matter Expert
I’m sure most of you wouldn’t attempt your own dentistry in order to save some money, so why would you want to master some of the more complex (and tedious) aspects of running a business, like accounting or bookkeeping?
Unless you run your own bookkeeping business, chances are you aren’t an expert in the field (and you probably don’t want to be anyways). Plus, you went into business to do what you love, so why become an expert in an area that you aren’t passionate about?
If debits and credits are confusing to you and you don’t know the difference between the chart of accounts and accounts receivable, you could be doing yourself more harm than good. At best, you’re not getting an accurate picture of where your business is at.
At worst, you’re stressing out by tax time trying to balance your books. And no one wants to get a call from the IRS (or Revenue Canada, etc.) that include words like “audit” and “jail time”.
Once again, is doing it yourself really saving you money?
3. The Process Leaves You Feeling Less Than Enthused
On a less serious note, most of these tasks are just plain boring. You would probably rather be selling, or reaching out to new clients than doing payroll at the end of each month.
Although mastering some of these tasks can be an empowering and rewarding experience for many, stacking your days with tasks you hate makes it hard to stay motivated.
It’s okay to not love every aspect of running your own small business. After all, business isn’t all fun and games. That’s why it is so important to find ways to free up your time from the mundane, so you can focus on your actual work (and why you started out on your own in the first place).
Don’t worry, you can still fill your boots with angry customers, shipping delays and software bugs.
It’s hard to let go of control when you run your own business, but getting help could be just what you need to grow your business successfully.
Outsourcing allows you to expand your capacity at a fraction of the cost of hiring an employee. Hiring requires not just paying a salary, but workers compensation insurance, payroll taxes and possibly benefits.
Although not every task is easily outsourced, many are and luckily, it’s probably the ones you enjoy the least. The types of activities you outsource will vary based on your industry and individual needs.
For example, if number-crunching feels like the last thing you should be spending your time on, you might want to explore hiring a bookkeeper or trying a virtual bookkeeping service.
You may also consider outsourcing your accounting (especially come tax time) and payroll (as your team starts to grow), or get much-needed help from a virtual assistant (to keep your busy schedule on track).
As a small business owner, your time is precious. If you don’t feel like you have the time, knowledge or desire to do some of the paperwork required for your business, it might be worth outsourcing these tedious tasks. Then you can get back to doing what you really love and spending more quality time with those that matter to you!
This post is optimized from an article written by Eric Mathews in 2011 for the FreshBooks Blog.
about the author
Lisa is passionate about small business success, having managed funding programs for hundreds of start-ups and entrepreneurs while working with a Canadian startup accelerator. She is presently Content Marketing Manager at FreshBooks and in her spare time, can be found tending to her plant babies.