Should I invest my time or my money?
When it come to business efficiency when should you do things yourself and when should you seek expert help? Should you spend more time than necessary on tasks when someone else might make light work of them for a modest fee? Recognising this isn't always easy but it's so worthwhile in the long term.
September is traditionally a time when we might evaluate the way we do things. After a summer break most people approach autumn with a sense of renewal. That fresh start of term feeling is a great way to kickstart a little audit of your business. Take some time to reflect after the whirlwind of the last 18 months.
Many people changed careers and took the plunge in becoming self-employed or setting up a company or business. Is that what happened to you? Or were you already running a business but had to change focus due to shifting markets or circumstances? You might feel that you just don’t have the time to spend on this, but even just 15 mins will reap some answers. Surely everyone can spare 15 minutes if it will benefit your own well being and sense of achievement as well as your businesses?
Ask yourself, what gets you buzzing?
Start by thinking about the parts of your job you really enjoy and gain satisfaction from. Do you love dealing with clients but not creating social media content? Is one of your strengths calmly troubleshooting last minute hiccups, but you don't enjoy future planning? No one ever really excels at all things so make a list of your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes. A really easy way to get this thought process going is to analyse which jobs you regularly get done first and which ones you procrastinate over and leave until another time. For the majority of people the top few will be the ones that you really enjoy, heading in descending order down to your least favourite. Do you have mental lists of 'easy wins' vs 'chores'? The language you use to describe these tasks will also give you an indication of how you feel about them.
It’s easy for most of us to put this into the context of housework. We tend to think of laundry, cleaning, emptying the dishwasher (if you have one) as chores. But then woodworking, gardening, and sometimes decorating as a hobby or enjoyable past-time. Time is precious, spend it wisely Do you have to have multiple attempts at certain tasks? Or do they flow effortlessly? If it’s the former your time could be spent more efficiently in reaching out to an expert. Someone who specialises in a specific area will have honed their skills, and will no doubt fulfil your brief in far less time than it will take you to grind it out. Surely if this leaves you the time to focus on what you enjoy and excel at your job satisfaction will increase. This is all about recognising your own personal strengths and weaknesses. And also recognising what you could be better at. Is it an efficient use of your time to get better at those things, or to employ somebody who is already an expert in that field?
If you hate painting, and you’re generally not great at it, would you take a couple of days off running your business to paint your house? Or would you hire a decorator to do it while you work on the things you know you’re motivated to do?
Ultimately it's about recognising your own worth and the value that you bring, and then realising where somebody else could actually bring more value. Sometimes it’s hard to step back and view your business objectively. Here at Working Progress we can help with that. If you think your business could be more efficient, but you're not sure how, get in touch for a complementary review.