If you are an owner or manager of a business it is likely that you are exceptional at what you do for a living. However, operating a business requires an additional set of skills. Overnight you instantly become responsible for all aspects of your business – bookkeeping, marketing, social media, purchasing, IT, HR… the list goes on.
You need to take the time to conduct an honest self-assessment of your current skills and identify the gaps.
Then what? The obvious answer is to up-skill yourself in the areas you are lacking by attending workshops, registering for online courses and seeking advice.
This ‘intuitive’ answer is not always the right answer for time poor managers – two articles in the September 2018 Terrific Tips explain what I mean by this. So, what other answers are there?
Let’s give a tick to, "Take the time to conduct an honest self-assessment" and to “seeking advice”.
It's the “up-skill yourself in the areas you are lacking by attending workshops or registering for online courses” that deserves closer examination.
Once skills, knowledge or experience gaps are identified another option is to budget to outsource those that aren't within your skills set. For example, outsource your bookkeeping to a professional service or engage someone to prepare spreadsheets to suit your business so that all you have to do is drop in the figures.
Build your strengths and outsource your weaknesses
I feel that small business owners and managers need to play to their strengths rather than focussing on upskilling in their weaknesses. In most cases far better to use your limited time further refining what you are good at and outsourcing the weaknesses.
For example, working with a regional tourism client recently, I was encouraging her to build her database and put out a regular email newsletter as a low cost on-going marketing and communications tool for her business.
Yes, she had lots of experiences to share but wasn’t good at writing or at using online tools for a newsletter. I reminded her that she’d already told me that outsourcing her bookkeeping was the best decision ever.
I said, “Do the same with inputting all the details of your new subscribers, compiling a regular newsletter and staying active on social media. Consider getting a Mum with children at home who is social media savvy to help you a few hours a week with this, your Facebook page and other opportunities – perhaps a regular blog.
“This person could be working from home and keep you connected with your customers through an email newsletter and social media.”
Outsourcing need not be expensive. It may even be a virtual assistant looking after certain tasks for you.
What have you found has helped you to free up time to do the Quadrant Two activities, mentioned in a recent Time Management Tips post, so that you can allocate time to work on your business as well as in your business?