5 Easy Ways to Simplify Your Business

Hand off tasks and increase your profitsKeeping your business profitable requires a combination of strategic planning, focus and consistent effort.

This is especially true when it comes to marketing your products and services. I find that many small business owners struggle with “feast or famine” in their bank account. One of the reasons this happens is because they only invest time and energy into their marketing when they need clients. I often hear people say, “I’m just too busy to do all of the marketing and follow-up I need to do in my business.”

I get it! I know you wear a lot of hats and that there are never enough hours in the day to get through your to do list.

Which is EXACTLY why you need to build a support team to help you.

Before you begin to tune me out, and you start thinking about how much you have going on, understand that there are options for every stage of business and every budget. Here are 5 to consider:     

  1. A single Virtual Assistant (VA)– Virtual Assistants are independent contractors with a range of skills and talents who can help you with generally any business need you have.From customer service, to bookkeeping, marketing and general administrative support they can cover it all. You don’t pay for equipment, training, taxes or any other overhead, only for the actual time spent on your projects. Hourly rates are generally from $35 – $125/hour and depends on the VAs skill level and years of experience.
  2. VA team  – The same as a single VA, except you have a team of VAs working for you on various projects. The benefit to this is that when working with one VA she may not have the skills to handle everything you need. With a VA team, you can tap into the skill sets of multiple professionals without having to manage different relationships.
  3. Intern – An intern is generally a college student who works with you on specific projects and earns credit for one or more of their courses.You generally do not pay for the interns support, but you do need to have a strong structure in place and be willing to offer some mentoring so the intern can gain tangible experience in working with a small business.
  4. Employee – Employees can be hired for full-time or part-time work to handle a variety of rolls in your business. You’ll need to be sure you develop a clear job description to attract appropriate candidates and follow the policies of your city, county, state and federal government to protect both yourself and the employee.
  5. Specialized Independent Contractors – These are individuals who you may hire to help with specific projects such as a copywriter, a graphic designer or a web developer. They will generally quote you a per project fee and work with you to achieve a specific goal.

Outsourcing tasks that don’t have anything to do with serving the clients you have or actively enrolling new clients is the fastest way to increase your income!

For example, if you charge $100/hour for your services and you spend 3 hours futzing around with your email newsletter, you just lost an opportunity to earn $300!

No matter how large or small your budget, how long you’ve been in business or what particular goals you have, you’ll be much more successful, much more quickly if you focus on your core competencies and outsource the rest. Unless you enjoy wasting time and money, you can’t afford not to outsource.

In our business, we started out by hiring one VA and then gradually added on additional team members. Today, we have a VA team that helps us run and market our business and a team of contractors that helps with specialized projects (either one-offs or on an ongoing basis).

There is no right or wrong combination as to how you create your team – the only thing that matters is that you do!

Your next steps should be as follows:

  1. Determine what you’re really spending your time on and what activities you should be focused on to create more leads and more revenue for your business.
  2. Determine what marketing projects and tasks are falling through the cracks because you don’t have time to stay on top of them.
  3. Compile the two lists together and determine how many billable hours you could free up by delegating those tasks.
  4. Review your budget and determine how much you can set aside (to start) to get some help with your business.
  5. Let’s talk about how I can do your marketing for you!Reach out to me about how we can help you with your blog content development, blog promotion and email newsletter!

Comments

  1. Ugh, Sydni, you have totally zeroed in on the area I need to start paying attention to…I used to have a huge business and managed 4 employees (huge for me), but sold that business and have really resisted getting help as I was learning how to be online, but I am getting to the point where I know that there are some things I can turn over. I will move to pre-contemplation on this front, thanks :o)

    • Thanks for the note Mindy! I can appreciate your position. It can be really challenging to delegate, even though we know we need to. What ONE task do you think you can start with?

  2. I love that you used the word “futzing.” My folks always said that!

    As business owners we need to simplify by outsourcing way before we think we are ready to. I’m a believer and know that even just outsourcing some simple graphics or website updates is very freeing.

    My clients mostly need to have their social media outsourced. Having a strategy, a system, and someone to help with the whole thing is a real time saver. I work with a lot of social media managers who can make a big impact in a client’s marketing efforts.

    Love the intern idea! I should check around for my next project!

  3. Sydni – I whole-heartedly agree that you can’t do everything yourself and that you must outsource or hire help to grow your business. I have worked with a few virtual assistants over the years who have been great, but have found that for our business hiring employees worked the best.

    I love that you have outlined the different types of help available though, as the biggest complaint I hear from clients is that they don’t know who they need to hire!