Recently, my friend (a fellow young business owner) and I went into our local secondary school, Kemnay Academy, to give a talk about life after school to the new 5th Years as part of their induction. Our aim was to give them an honest account on careers, university and starting a business, based on our experiences, dispelling a few myths along the way. Some of my favourites included “you need a degree to get ahead” and “grown ups are always right”!
But one big myth we missed out that we should have included was: “If you want something done right, do it yourself!”
I’m sure a lot of us have either said this or heard it said by others in the past.
It’s a saying that’s all well and good in principle. There will definitely be things in your business that require the input of the visionary, the expert or the entrepreneur, and if you don’t have any other commitments then the quickest way to get it done correctly may well be to do it yourself. However, if you want something done right, day-in, day-out, and you’re trying to focus on growing the business as well, it’s just not realistic.
There are times that business owners forget that they are just one person, not realising that they need other people in order to succeed. There is a big myth that entrepreneurs are lone wolves in the business world but, in actual fact, you will find that most small business owners have at least one person who can help them with the day to day tasks that keep the business running.
Why get someone else to complete tasks on your behalf?
- Better “ROI” – how much is your time worth? Would you pay someone your hourly rate to complete administrative or low-level tasks? If the answer is no, then you would be getting a better return on investment by delegating to someone else.
- Improved efficiency – you may think that delegating to someone else might be too time consuming, but the small amount of extra time spent training someone to complete a task will soon be repaid by the time you save going forward. You may even find that, with specialist skills and equipment, they can do it faster and better than you!
- Ideas and suggestions – you have likely developed your own way of doing things since you started your business but, by bringing someone else into the fold, you may benefit from their ideas and suggestions based on their own skills and experience.
- Increased growth – through delegation, you free up your time to focus on business development, customer relationship management and strategic planning. All highly important tasks that often get de-prioritised in favour of the day-to-day – unless you have someone to help you!
Virtual assistants are an increasingly popular solution for getting the help needed in a small business because they are extremely flexible and cost effective. There are many types of virtual assistant out there, some who are specialists in certain fields and others who are general assistants, helping to take the pressure off so that business owners can concentrate on tasks that are appropriate to their role.
General virtual assistants can help with tasks such as:
- Social media management
- Internet research
- Email management
- Diary management
- Blog writing
- Newsletter creation
If you have been “going it alone” for some time, the idea of letting go and delegating parts of your business to someone else could be difficult to get your head around at first.
Check out my post “First Steps To Delegation” for some initial actions that you can take to shift your mindset from multitasker to manager!