Building a business for a lot of us has been by trial and error, we have done everything ourselves to plant the seeds and build what we have today, it’s our baby. When you reach a certain stage though, you cannot continue to grow any further without enlisting help. I don’t know about you, but I certainly do not want my business coming to a standstill simply because I have an issue with or don’t know how to delegate. Or I’m of the belief that, “If I want something done right, do it myself”.

Before I go any further, I need to point out that for the first 12-months of any home based small business, you should do everything yourself, you should know inside and out how your business operates. How else are you going to determine what it is your good at, what you want to do and what you need to do and what you delegate. There will come a time when you spend more time in your office than you do with your family. This cannot be maintained. You can’t work 15 hour days and have worklife balance. So here is how you can make a positive impact on your business in just 5 hours.

Go grab a cup of coffee before getting into this post because I am going to ask you to think about a lot of things and to be brutally honest with yourself.  Are you ready; got that coffee; here we go!

How much time do you spend planning your business?

I’ll wager not a lot because you spend more time putting out fires and reacting to what is happening in the moment. You multitask to get through the day, and you don’t network effectively because you are too busy doing everything yourself. This is a small business problem that many home based or solopreneur businesses face simply because they do it all themselves, when they simply don’t have to. Make no wonder that when it comes to the end of the day there is no more energy to spare. So when does your end of the day finish, is it 8pm, 9pm … later? This is no way to run a successful business, but it is a quick way to ruin it.

The majority of small business people who work as a one-man band think they have to do it all, because that’s what they have done since they started their business. You didn’t start your business to make just enough to get by did you? I hear it often from business owners “Just as long as I have enough to pay the bills I’m happy.” Well, if that’s all you want, go to work as an employee. That statement is telling me you have gone into business for the wrong reason. An attitude like that will guarantee you only eek an existence (if that) and that you will continue to work 15 hours a day. I would love to think that you started your business because you are passionate about what you do, you have dreams and goals. You want something more, we all do.

Trying to do it all will only result in burnout and failure.

Multi-tasking, once seen as the best thing since sliced bread is now the worst thing you can do in your business. It does not enhance your productivity it hinders it. If you are doing too many things at one time, something is being neglected. It results in repeating actions and wasting time. It is in my opinion, now one of the worst things you can do if you want to increase your productivity and drive your business forward.

What is it in your business that you don’t like doing; are not terribly good at, or simply no longer have time for? Where are you spending a lot of unnecessary time and what part of your business strategy is suffering? Here is how to get started in making changes that you and your business will benefit from.

Turn off the distractions that are sapping your time.

How much do you charge a client per hour?  What is your time worth? This often is a real eye opener, your rate could be > $180 per hour, so it’s a no-brainer that you shouldn’t be spending your time on admin. How much business are you missing out on because you are trying to do it all yourself because you think you will save money? Did you realise that when you stop what you are doing to go and check your social media or emails you actually spend more time ‘checking’ than you intended. When you come back to what you were actually doing in the first place, you need to refocus on what the task was before you got distracted, (You are now wasting even more time.) This I’m sure is one of the reasons people wish they had more time in their day. There is plenty of time in the day, we just don’t utilise it to our advantage.

The solution is simple.

Track what you do; track this for at least a week (and don’t cheat). This will show you what is taking up all your time and 9 times out of 10, you could outsource these tasks to a virtual assistant. Now don’t give me, “I don’t have time to track what I do because I’m too busy”. You have just told yourself you are doing too much of the stuff you can outsource. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Give yourself the best chance at success.

Here are some time wasters that will be stopping you from taking your business to the next level.

  • presentations / reports / document prep; you use Excel to create a document because you have no idea how to use Word.
  • social media, go into do one job and spend 30 minutes checking out what the family and friends are up to
  • blog posts, writing, rewriting, editing, proofing, hunting for graphics
  • website development, don’t know how to, but you want to have a go anyway
  • invoicing / follow up on outstanding accounts, (you don’t really because you don’t like to ask for payment a second time)

Outsourcing is an incredibly affordable solution for your business. A VA can get more done in 5 hours than you can, it’s their job. VA’s have business specialties, find one that is right for your business.

My productivity and effectiveness have increased significantly due to EA for a Day and I am bragging about them any chance I get. If you are thinking of a VA, think “EA for a Day.” ~ Rohan Dredge, Senior Minister Discovery Church

Activities that had previously taken months to complete, Jacqui has been able to complete in hours. ~ Dr. Vesna Grubacevic, PhD, NLP Trainer and founder of award-winning company, Qt

Ask yourself, can you continue to spend hours every week on tasks you can outsource? Get a VA, Get an SME.

I’d love to read your comments, please leave one below.