There’s a little voice inside every entrepreneur telling them they have to do everything themselves and that no one else can be trusted with their business.
While many small businesses start with that do-it-yourself spirit, there are some tasks can be farmed out, and some are only for you to tackle initially.
For multi-tasking entrepreneurs, the best way to determine this is to start with a list, says Marci Alboher, author of One Person/Multiple Careers: A New Model for Work/Life Success. “Once you figure out what you're doing and what you're delegating, [it’s then] how to stay on task each day.”
Start by taking stock of your talents, interests, and time so that you can assess where your highest and best use goes. “After you’ve determined what you enjoy and do best, then you can hire people to fill in the gaps,” says Eve Tahmincioglu of CareerDiva.net.
Begin each day with two to three essential items to accomplish, says Alboher. Tackle them before doing anything else. Even if other tasks feel urgent don’t let them interrupt you. The key is to distinguish between urgent interruptions, which really can't wait, and requests or issues that can be tabled until after you finish the day’s tasks.
Now is a great time to get someone to help you and your business out. “Now is ideal to add people to your staff,” says Tahmincioglu. “People are desperate for work and they will come cheap.”
Don’t do you own accounting. You don’t want to under or overpay. A good accountant is one you can ask questions to every few months. The average small businessperson pays $1K a year to an accountant, says Tahmincioglu. “Not a big financial investment, but one that literally should offer some nice returns.”
Outsource medical benefits and anything IT. “These are complex details and you want to be on top of the best services and technologies, and that is something a third party can do best,” says Tahmincioglu. Plus, an IT person you can hire to come in just a few hours a week vs. as a full staff member.
Bring in a personal organizer every few years to keep your head on straight. Tahmincioglu suggests contracting an organizer every five years. Sessions typically run $100 to $300 a session. Tahmincioglu says get a certified organizer from the National Association of Professional Organizers.
Before handing everything over to someone else, there are day-to-day things you should tackle yourself. “[If] you are spending so much time filling orders that you do not have time to generate new sales,” says Alboher. “You then have a choice -- either delegate the order-filling to free yourself up to focus on business development or delegate the sales and focus on customer service.”
Outsourcing production to a third party too soon can be a big mistake. “You need quality control,” says Tahmincioglu. “If you can’t afford to visit the factory you’re paying for cheaper production abroad in person, then you should keep things in-house.”
Do your marketing yourself until you fully feel you have control over the vision of your company. Once you have your brand vision, customer base and a nice chunk of money, then you can consider hiring a PR and marking firm. “There is so much you can do yourself these days,” says Tahmincioglu. “With social media and the Internet it is easier today than before to market yourself.” But if you get distracted easily, farm out the social media tasks. Tahmincioglu suggests hiring unemployed journalists to spend that hour or two a day getting your Twitter followers and Facebooking updated.
Once everything is delegated and relegated, bodywork consultant Danielle Goneconti of Spark Movement suggests adding a little peppermint extract to your diet. “A little peppermint a day, really helps clear your mind so you can take on the day’s multiple tasks like a superstar!” says Goneconti.