As a new business owner, you’re often tempted to do absolutely everything by yourself. You wear every hat from marketing to accounting, customer service, human resources, purchasing, cleaning, managing. The list goes on and on. And sometimes, that’s extremely important…until it isn’t.
But how do you know what and when to do-it-yourself vs hiring help?
In the beginning, I recommend you do every job, not because I want you to forgo any semblance of a social life, but because you genuinely should know the ins and outs of your business.
- You should know how the books operate.
- You should know the customer service procedures.
- You should know where the plunger is.
How else are you going to explain the job to someone else?
When you begin any task or project, your first thought should be eventually giving it away. To be clear, I’m not saying you should outsource everything, but you should be prepared to pass the work off to someone else. That could mean delegating, vacation time, or eventual retirement. And if you start this process from the very beginning of your business, it will be so much easier to continue and follow.
Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment
I’m all about saving money but consider your brand. If you are a specialty Carpenter, then absolutely, your front office furniture (at least some of it) should be made by you. But if you own a high-end spa, maybe don’t showcase the pallet wood benches you made over the weekend. Get the idea?
A personal, DIY touch can often be the perfect addition to a business, but sometimes you will have to splurge. Clients expect a professional layout, which might mean shelling out a few extra dollars—just make sure you don’t go overboard and blow your bottom line. For more on this, see my article Priority: Paying Yourself.
When to Delegate
Delegating is the goal. As you are able, you want to shift from working in your business to working on your business. This is done by delegating when you can.
The best way to start this is to determine what takes up the most time, what could be done as well or better by someone else, and what has a system that can be duplicated. If you have been documenting your tasks as I mentioned above, then this last part should be easy.
Delegating is often wrongly seen as shirking your responsibilities on someone else, but that couldn’t be more inaccurate. For a professional, delegating is a fine art. You are trying to open up your schedule to bigger, more specified tasks, while still completing every other daily company requirement.
When you are seeking to make this transition, look towards the tasks that take you the most time—things like data entry, cleaning, customer service, social media, etc. Those are all departments that can easily be outsourced to another employee, contractor, or company.
Obviously, you know what you are doing at your business, but you can’t do absolutely everything.
When sh*t hits the fan (and it always does), you want to make sure you rely on people who are just as professional as you. For me, there are several professionals I will seek out immediately, rather than do it myself:
- Plumbers (maybe not for small stuff, but if a pipe bursts, absolutely)
- Insurance Agents
- Tech companies
For more on this list, see my article Five Professionals Your Business Needs to Hire. There are more than five, but these are my TOP five.
Ultimately, it’s up to you how involved or not involved you want to be in your business, but don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even the most talented, intelligent, and creative leader needs guidance from time to time.
Who has helped you in your business?