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Productivity

It’s time to get help in your business when …

One of the keys to being successful in business is leveraging your top strengths while being aware of your weaknesses and outsourcing tasks you’re not good at.

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I’ve always enjoyed wearing many hats in my business. As well as being CEO, I started out doing all of the sales and marketing, finance, IT, HR and everything else in between.

If you’re like me, you enjoy variety, love a multi-faceted approach to running your own business and perform all those tasks reasonably well. This doesn’t always mean you’re the best person for every role and it’s not always the most effective way to use your time. I learned the hard way a few years ago when I started to burn out.

There are some instances when you need to let go of control and get help in your business.

1. When it comes to finances

If you have no interest in bookkeeping and no understanding about how to keep the right kind of financial records, ask a professional to set up your accounting system and have them train you in maintaining your records correctly (or get them to regularly update the records for you). Get into good financial habits from the beginning to stay on top of cash flow – it’s often the downfall of many small businesses in the first few years.

"If you’re waking up at 3am with your head spinning about everything you need to get done, it might be time to get some help. "

2. When you’re not a designer

Regardless of what type of business you’re in and no matter how tight your budget, creating a good first impression is critical. Your branding needs to look exceptional from day one. Have your logo, business card and website designed by a professional. This doesn’t need to break the bank. With services like Fiverr and 99 Designs and web developers who use WordPress templates, you can get all of this done for around $1,500.

3. When it’s not your strength

One of the keys to being successful in business is leveraging your top strengths while being aware of your weaknesses and outsourcing the tasks you’re not good at. If you’re great at delivering your service or product offering but not so great at marketing (for example), make a decision about whether you need to upskill or outsource.

For most small business owners this is budget dependent but it’s also important to acknowledge when your lack of expertise is having a negative impact on your business’ reputation. If you’re not the best person for the job, investing in the right kind of support gives your business the best chance to succeed.

4. When you’re life is out of balance

If you’re waking up at 3am with your head spinning about everything you need to get done, it might be time to get some help. Overwork impacts your body, mind and your personal relationships and it also affects your ability to make good business decisions.

To determine what to outsource, create a list of tasks that don’t really require your input and start with just a few hours of support each week to begin with. Despite thinking I had very little I could offload to a VA six years ago, bringing one on board has been a significant factor in keeping my stress levels under control and it’s been a huge factor in my business growth.

5. When it’s time to take a leap

Most of us reach a point when our businesses are ready for the next step. If you have a clear vision for the next phase of your business and you know you can’t do it alone, talk to your bank about a business loan or look into other options for raising capital so you can hire the right team members or bigger premises if that’s what you need.

A final point that’s worth remembering is that while it’s important to be courageous about your business goals, it’s just as important to make sure you’re growing a business you love.

What about you? Is it time you reach out and get help in your business? Or have you recently outsourced and like me, been pleasantly surprised at how beneficial it’s been? Share your experiences in the comments below.

Kate James

runs coaching programs for creative startup businesses and she facilitates mindfulness workshops retreats in Melbourne, Bali and Byron Bay. Kate is the author of Believe in Yourself & Do What You Love and Be Mindful & Simplify Your Life.

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