Feeling more like a juggler than a business owner?
Running a business is such an exciting time. If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you’ll start with just yourself and perhaps one or two other people, often at home or in someone’s garage like Amazon and Microsoft.
Eventually, thanks to your proficiency and determination (and assuming you’re selling a great product or service that people really want), you’ll end up with more work than you can handle in a day. This is great but it can actually cause the wheels of your business to wobble and fall off.
The red flags that tell you it’s time to hire someone include:
Once a few of these apply to you, it’s time to start hiring people. But this is where a lot of business owners get stuck. They don’t know who to bring on board and live in the hamster wheel of ‘it’s easier for me to just do it myself’.
If you want to grow, you need to let go! Here’s who to hire first:
You can pay a bookkeeper for just a few hours of work per week and they will keep your accounts in order. If you trust them, you can share access to your bank account so they can make payments on your behalf (make sure you have an agreement in writing before you share financial information).
Your bookkeeper can also help out by chasing down unpaid invoices and making sure your cash flow is in a good position.
The benefit of hiring a bookkeeper means you won’t have to spend time trying to stay on top of your finances. What’s more, when tax and BAS time roll around, you’ll have things in order and won’t be scrambling to find receipts and invoices. This saves you even more time.
Ask your bookkeeper to:
Having an accountant will make a big difference to your business as well. This is the expert who can minimise your tax bill. If they’re proactive, they will help you by pointing out the holes in your cash flow and working with you to come up with ways to stay in control of your money.
Yes, you can do your own taxes but unless you’re an expert in this area, you don’t know what you don’t know. You may overestimate the tax you owe significantly and if this is the case, the ATO won’t be particularly proactive about telling you. Spending some money on a professional can save you thousands.
Stuck for cash? An offshore bookkeeper can cost as little as a few hundred dollars per month. Strictly speaking, you won’t ’hire’ your accountant but create an arrangement where you either pay for their time or commit to a monthly flat rate.
All those little tasks can take up hours in your day.
Answer yes to the first and no to the second question and you are ready for a virtual assistant. Based in a country like The Philippines or India, ‘VAs’ are your go-to person for every little thing you don’t have time for.
Your virtual assistant can take over things like:
Imagine having all these things taken care of for less than $10AUD per hour. Before you hire your VA, spend some time creating systems and instructions so they can hit the ground running and do things your way.
You have the option of hiring someone independently or going through an agency that will take care of finding candidates, onboarding them, hosting them in an office and making sure they are paid in accordance with local laws.
If you feel unsure about sending work overseas, think about the fact that having one or more people supporting your business in another country will allow you to grow enough to hire people here at home.
When you start out as a business owner, you wear all the ‘hats’ and find yourself in charge of marketing, operations, customer services etc. This can’t continue indefinitely or you will burn out.
After the ball is rolling, think about the parts of your business that you don’t enjoy or have experience in and find someone to help. Often, the person you look to first will be a marketing specialist who will charge you money but make sure you get tangible results.
Marketing experts are so handy because they can take care of:
Marketing can take some time to embed and get right; it’s not an exact science but it’s always better to have it done by the experts.
Another person who may not be a permanent part of your team but will definitely make a difference is a business coach.
Do some research to find out who is the ‘real deal’ and who sells the steak as well as the sizzle. Your business coach should have some experience in your area of business and work closely to help you define your vision and goals, create a strategy, implement it then build on your success. Speaking to other clients of theirs or reading online reviews will help you determine if the investment is worth it.
This specialist will help you stay accountable and give you feedback on your ideas so you can progress in leaps and bounds. Sometimes it’s what you don’t do that contributes to success… having a coach will keep your eye on the prize.
Don’t Forget to Outsource
Sometimes you need help but only for a single project. This is where contractors, freelancers and consultants come in. You can reach out to these people to do one-off jobs or work for you a few hours per week.
There are businesses that run almost completely with the help of outsourced workers and alliances with other small ventures. Jobs to outsource include:
It can feel like a big leap to hire people and committing the money to a salary or expense that will eat into your profits can feel daunting. If you’re nervous, start with a three-month trial. You’ll have an idea after this period of time whether or not the support is bringing in additional revenue or clients.
Congratulations on starting and growing your business! Don’t forget to sign up to BackBone & connect with reliable and highly recommended providers.