Tag Archives: flexibility

26Jul/13

Are you Throwing Money Down the Drain?

Do you believe the mis-guided (in my humble opinion) notion that if you do everything yourself you get it cheaper?

Do you spend inordinate amounts of time doing things that you don’t want to do?

Why?

It’s either because a) you feel you can do it better than anyone else, b) you feel only you can do it, c) you believe that it will be quicker if you do it yourself or d) you believe it will be cheaper if you do it yourself.

Okay, well I can accept a and b because that has been my motivation for pretty much most of my life.  And to be fair, it’s hard to hand over admin and organisation to other people when you’ve been doing it since the womb and everyone else seems to miss those important little details.  I know, you often feel, why didn’t I just do it myself, it would have been quicker and I’d have got it done the way I wanted it done in the first place.

110% agree with you, but – and it’s a big but, you are not only selling yourself short, but you are selling a raft of potential helpers short too.

So what’s the answer.

Training my friend.

Training  your ‘staff’ to understand how important certain aspects of your system and organisation are and how they impact on your business. Training them not to do the job per se but training them in how they fit into your organisation, instilling them with the same kind of motivation and excitement for your business as you have.

No, they will never really ‘get it’ to the extent you do – else they would have set up the business you have – but bear in mind that they are in business themselves.  They have to go out and find clients to work with just the same as you, they can’t just rest on their laurels and hope that jobs just miraculously appear as if from nowhere.

But isn’t that just spending MORE time on doing stuff than you would normally by having to train people?  Well yes it is, but it is money well spent.  You have to see beyond the time you spend now in training and toward the time when the person you’ve engaged can do the job and it frees up your time.  You need to build this vision of your business being sustained by not just you but an ‘army’ of helpers who know what you want and need and are happy to provide it either long or short term.

Being a virtual assistant myself, I’m a great proponent of working virtually – I appreciate it’s not for everyone but it suits my lifestyle and to boot,  I don’t have to own a car or commute daily to earn my income.  It’s a win-win situation for me.  Whilst I am a gregarious person, my first offline jobs usually involved having my own office (as one does, being a PA because you’re dealing with confidential information), so I sort of got used to working alone or with just one boss.  It’s the way I like it and I just love the flexibility working at home affords me.

But you can find people who are happy to come in and work at your office premises say one day a week and then spend the rest of the time working remotely for you.  This works particularly well for small businesses such as plumbers or electricians or builders who have a raft of receipts and never find the time to do anything with them other than filing them in a shoe box, which they ceremoniously hand over to their account on an annual basis.  His heart must sink when he sees that each year, or they unceremoniously hand it over to their already stretched other half and hope that it gets done.

Imagine that plumber or builder using a remote worker who collected their receipts on a weekly basis and then entered them in to either an accounting software package or a simple Excel spreadsheet.  It would probably take an hour a week tops.  Would you be prepared to pay £6.25 for an hour of someone’s time – who, incidentally, does this for a living or two or three hours of yours or your significant other’s time who do it because it has to be done.

Is that really saving time and money?

How much can that builder earn in that hour?  You could argue, well they do that at night, so they can’t work then but they still have to do quotes and work out quantities to order materials etc.  Why more builders don’t employ a local VA to outsource their admin work to is beyond me.

It makes you think doesn’t it?

Are you throwing money down the drain?

Are you spending your very profitable time doing jobs you hate or could be done faster and ultimately better than you for less money?

Try looking for an administrative assistant and start using your money and your time more effectively.