September 16, 2015

Does How You’re Working Make The Most Sense?

Image_PaperworkAs an entrepreneur, you are always being pulled in a million different directions.  As the owner of a small company, you also likely have a limited budget which means you also have limited staff.  That means that there’s lots riding on your shoulders and more things that need your attention to get done than there are hours in the day.

It’s the blessing and the curse of being an entrepreneur.  First you may start out with just a small team around you (or as a solopreneur) and then, before you know it, the workload is such that it can no longer be easily managed but you hate to spend money on more staff when that money could be used elsewhere in your business.

When that time comes, how do you know that hiring staff – be it one person or more than one – is really the best use of those financial resources?

I was recently facing this conundrum and going round and round in my own head about what the next step should be.  Finally, a friend reminded me that I’m always asking other entrepreneurs if they are putting their time and energy into their highest and best use in the business.   “Are you doing the same in yours?” she asked.

I had to sheepishly admit that I wasn’t.  By trying to do it all and keep all the balls in the air, my time was being divided and distracted by tasks that could be easily accomplished by others.  That meant I wasn’t focusing my time and energy on those things that are really important to me and to moving the business forward.

So I took a deep breath, made some calls, and now I find myself with some help.   Truthfully, it’s the best thing that’s happened to me as a business owner in a long time.   There was a little bit of ‘uploading’ time as we figured out how best to work together but the folks I have helping me are literal experts at what they do and that gives me the breathing space to focus on being the expert at what I do best.  Equally as important though, I am finding time in my life again.  My husband commented the other night that he was shocked to see me hanging out with him watching a soccer game since usually my modus operandi is to get back on the computer after dinner and work until bedtime.

I can’t tell you when exactly is the right time for you to hire help, but if and when you find yourself considering whether it’s the right move for you I would encourage you to take a hard look at a typical day.  Ask yourself if you are working to your highest and best purpose in a manner that’s moving your business forward.  If not, it may be time to hand some of those tasks off to others.

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2 comments on “Does How You’re Working Make The Most Sense?

  • Debra B on said:

    When I think of hiring people to help me with production and packaging I wonder how do I keep my recipes private? What’s to stop someone from snapping a picture of them and recreating my product? Has anyone else dealt with this issue and found a solution?

    • Jennifer on said:

      That’s a great question. I always include a confidentiality contract when hiring people but that doesn’t mean someone couldn’t run off with it and just start something outside of my notice. That being said, as you’re well aware, it takes a lot more than just recipes to build a successful small business. I would love to know what other folks think/do as well though.