How to do less work, so you can make more money (Part 1)
If you are committed to making more money this year, it’s imperative that you get control of your time. You are going to need to invest time in making changes, and that means letting go of some of the things you are doing now.
When I bring this up with business owners, I usually hear about how busy they are, how hard they work and how little time they have to invest in something like this. But you are different, you know how important this is and are committed to making the changes you need to make more money, so I’m not going to hear those excuses from YOU. Let’s tackle that “busyness.”
If I sat down and reviewed what you are doing all day, I bet I’d find a mix of things you are good at, things you like to do, things that you think no one else can do, and stuff no one else wants to do. This is no way to make good money! If you’re going to make more money, spend your time doing more valuable things!
What are the things that only you can do?
If your time is short and valuable, you need to be brutally focused. I want my clients working full time on things that only they can do. If there is someone else who can do it well (not “better,” but well), then I want them to pass those things off. Here’s a partial list of things that I think that no business owner should do.
- Bookkeeping — unless your business is to be a bookkeeper there is someone else who can do this better than you can.
- Scheduling appointments.
- Making travel plans.
- Graphic design, making blog images, adding content to the website.
- Cleaning the office, taking out the trash, etc.
- Working on the office network, setting up a printer, or troubleshooting software.
- What did I miss? Hit reply and let me know!
These things need to be handed off to a team member, or better yet, outsourced! I know business owners who “like” to do these things, and who believe they are great at them. Super, if you love computer networking, hook up networks for your friends and relatives on your own time — but have a professional do it for your business.
It’s just easier to do it myself
“But Brad, it’s just easier to do it myself. I’ve tried to find someone, and they always quit or do something wrong, and I keep taking it back!”
First, did you hire an expert? If you want a great bookkeeper, hire someone who does that all day long. Don’t try to get someone who does your bookkeeping, your social media posts, and who answers the phones. That isn’t going to work! Find someone to do just that thing, and who’s good at just that thing! In a world where Virtual Assistants are plentiful, you can hire an expert for just a few hours per month. I have one person who does my books, another who does my calendar, another who does graphics, another who fixes my website, another who helps me with my email system. None of them are hard to manage because they are all experts! I send an email telling them what I want, and I get it back, pronto. All these people put together cost me less than $2000 in any one month because they are each putting in just a few hours. (I make WAY more than $2000 in the time they save me.)
Hire the best person you can afford and then do what they recommend.
When you hire a professional they aren’t going to do it the way you did it; they are going to have a much better process. Let them make improvements to the process and see how great it gets.
Then, and this is important, don’t take it back. No matter what, it’s theirs to do. If you don’t like the results, don’t fix it, tell them what you don’t like. Is your team coming to ask about that printer again? Say, “Did you call IT support? ‘Cause I don’t do that!”
If you are serious about growing your business, you need to clear the decks!
Today, make a list of the repetitive, low value, administrative tasks that you are doing regularly. Things that you don’t want to do anymore, things that drain your energy. Pick one or two that you are going to get rid of this month (next month do it again) and make a procedure guide outlining how you do this task, be clear on what good performance looks like. Then go to IVAA.org and find 2-3 people to talk with about doing that job for you. If you’ve never done this before download the procedure guide I used to train the VA who handles my calendar that you can use as an example.