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The Many Hats of Small Business Success

If you think that you only have to do what you’re good at, think again. Small business owners don’t have the luxury of sticking with one title.many hats They wear many hats. In addition to the CEO, you may have the office manager, accountant, videographer, marketer, cook and janitor title. If you want to spend the next year working on your business instead of in it considering following this advice and wear the right hat at the right time.

  1. Identify the responsibilities of each hat that you’re wearing and set specific goals for that role. Then, track your progress towards the goal throughout the year and assess whether or not you’re headed in the right direction or need additional help.
  2. If you need additional help, consider hiring or outsourcing the role in its entirety. It may be tempting to outsource only one piece of the role, but doing so is likely to cause more problems than resolve them. Giving one person responsibility and accountability for the role empowers them to own all aspects of it, reduces confusion and miscommunication.
  3. Once you assign responsibility to someone on your team, move to a mentoring role instead of a micromanaging role. Empower them to do more by giving them freedom to make decisions within the guidelines that you set up.
  4. Create a culture of open and real communication so that employees or freelancers know they can come to you when they see something that may end up hurting your business and ultimately impacting their job. Over time, you’ll find yourself with a capable, highly functioning workforce and one less hat to wear.

Regardless of the fires that are burning today, make sure to always make time to put your CEO hat on so that you can focus on leading your company. Hours often get consumed by the operations of today and strategic planning gets the left overs or nothing at all. Reverse that mentality so that you can plan for the future and wear the hat of success.

If you’re looking to get more efficient in your business next year, I can help you implement systems and processes that maximize your time and your employees time. Contact me to get started today.

 

When to Stop Outsourcing and Hire Instead

In my last post I shared the pros and cons of outsourcing. But how do you know when to stop outsourcing and hire instead? Small business owners who are on the path to success know that they can’t do everything by themselves. Hiring employees could mean the difference between stagnation and growth. The three reasons why you should consider hiring an employee instead of outsourcing are below.stop outsourcing

Priority

When you outsource your work to a contractor or freelancer, you end up competing against other clients for their time. Something that you need done right away could end up taking weeks if the contractor has other projects ahead of yours.

On the other hand, employees are committed to your company for the time that you’re paying them. You manage their priorities as it relates to their work assignments. Your highest priority work will be done in the order that you see fit.

Quality

Small business owners generally compete on quality more than they compete on price. Therefore, outsourcing to a contractor can be risky. Contractors don’t have a stake in your business and are often looking to complete the job as quickly and efficiently as possible. They may also provide lower quality workmanship if they believe that you’re not going to extend the contract term.

As you consider hiring employees, it’s important to understand the tasks that they’ll be responsible for. Assess their ability to complete the tasks in an efficient way and maintain the level of quality that your customers are used to.

Security

Outsourcing sometimes puts your company at risk, especially if you need to provide classified or sensitive items to the contractor as part of the project. Although it’s easy to forget, information is still stored somewhere in the brain and you don’t want the contractor to recall your sensitive information when they’re working for your competitor.

Stop Outsourcing

You should have enough work to keep your employees busy for the hours you’re your paying them. Otherwise, they’ll become complacent and may end up using work time to run personal errands, come in late or leave early.

Giving employees meaningful work that keeps them busy is not only rewarding for you, but it provides the sense of contribution to the success of your business. It gives them a chance to celebrate the wins and at the same time feel confident in their own abilities to accomplish great things.

Outsourcing Pros and Cons for Small Businesses

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, the thought of getting some help may have crossed your mind. outsourcingPerhaps you’ve considered hiring staff, but the adding employment law, taxes, healthcare and human resources to your list of many things to do gives you a headache the size of Mount Rushmore. Instead, you turn your attention to outsourcing because you believe that it will solve all your problems. But, before you make a final decision you should consider the pros and the cons.

Outsourcing Pros

There are many benefits to outsourcing, with the main one being expertise. Let’s face it, if you’re not a graphic designer you could spend hours and hours creating a logo, but never get it right. Instead of learning how to use Photoshop and paying for the software, you could be using that time to earn money in your business, calling a hot lead or closing a deal.

Another benefit is that you can save money by reducing your operational costs. You don’t have to worry about functions like human resources, vacation, healthcare, employee payroll and taxes. Additionally, with the right contract you’ll only pay for the result you negotiated instead of for the time that employees aren’t productive or efficient.

If you hire the right person to do the right job, you’ll end up saving time that you can use to focus on your business. Rely on the experts to do what they do best.

Outsourcing Cons

Cons related to outsourcing include risk of exposure to confidential information, lack of customer understanding, quality, project management and delays. However, the biggest disadvantage is that you’re putting a part of your business in the hands and care of someone else.

Making a Decision

The best way to determine if outsourcing will work for you is to try it. The first function that most small businesses outsource is office support. You can find a virtual assistant to answer phones, update financials, write emails and manage projects. Landscaping, office cleaning and bookkeeping are also commonly outsourced. If you’re new to outsourcing, start small. When the time is right, consider hiring your first employee, but read this post first.