As new entrepreneurs, we are often on a tight budget and are inclined to bootstrap everything by doing it ourselves. However, mistakes are inevitable and can be VERY costly. It is unrealistic to be a pro at every aspect of business.
It is impossible to be an expert in everything and your job as the entrepreneur is to be the Commander in Chief! You get to make all of the final decisions, but it is still wise to get the knowledge, ideas, and labor of others.
A smart entrepreneur understands the importance of reaching out for help and growing their team.
Sometimes we think getting help means that we are not capable. Was Michael Dell capable of growing Dell Inc. by himself? No, but he led. Your job is to be a great leader and make intelligent hiring decisions.
Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart practiced “management by looking over your shoulder” (Walton, 1992 p.151). He knew a little bit about ALL aspects of business, such as finance, legal, marketing, visuals, buying, customer service, etc, but he did not do everything himself. He knew how to hire the right people and if they were doing their job correctly. He, like us all, did not want to get “ripped off” by anyone.
Hiring someone does not mean it has to be full time work with benefits and it does not even mean they need to be an employee at all. You can hire specialists on a freelance basis or as a contractor and then write off the expenses for tax purposes. Do this properly with the advice of your accountant.
Do not feel guilt when you invest in help. “Investing” means you hope your expense gets a positive return. Feel empowered that you are growing your business and have the freedom and ability to make wise investment decisions.
You can feel like you are an important member of society since you are contributing money back into the economy. I like to hire high school and college students because I get a great sense of joy impacting their lives by training them, plus it helps me keep my costs low. Again, enlist the help of your accountant and lawyer when it comes to this.
Ask yourself how much your time is worth.
Let’s say it is currently worth $100 per hour (not that trading dollars for hours is always the wisest idea but for the examples sake), you should not be doing work that can be done for less than that cost.
Here is a list of some of the things you should or can be outsourcing and delegating as a new entrepreneur:
- Social Media
- Graphic Design
- Website Maintenance
- Data Entry
- Customer Service
- Appointment Setting
- Business Coaching/Advising
And the list goes on an on. Not only can you train people on this type of work, you can find a specialist who would do it quicker and cheaper than you would if you tried yourself.
You can research virtual assistants on websites such as elance.com or fivver.com. Yelp, Facebook Groups, and LinkedIn are also a great place to find help. However, I find that the best way to hire others is through a referral. Ask people in your network who they hire and if they are available for a phone interview. Interview many people to help with your understand of what they should be doing just like Walton’s “over the shoulder approach.”
Remember that people you partner with and hire do not last forever and turnover and evolvement in your business structure is inevitable. Prepare yourself and business for rapid change since someone could stop working for you at any moment. You will also find yourself needing to “fire” people and must learn to not be afraid to do so.
It is easy to get caught up in trying to do everything yourself, but it is important to recognize the value in hiring help. You should work with people who you feel a sense of trust and relaxation with.
Remind yourself why you wanted to become an entrepreneur.
Often it is because we want the freedom to do what we want when we want. When we are stuck in a financial lack mentality, we cannot reach the abundance we wanted in the first place. Teamwork makes for dreamwork.
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Rachel S. Lee is a business & digital marketing mentor for new entrepreneurs. She helps them to develop and execute strategic marketing plans that are aligned with their business goals. You can read her blog, watch her free digital marketing training videos, or hop on one of her live webinars at rachelslee.com
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