In life, but particularly in your business, we’re constantly aware of the lack of time and need for money. We always have to play a balancing act to determine how to best manage this reality and pursue actions that help us maximize both.
Scarcity creates anxiety, and trying to balance that feeling is a reason why people turn to the health and wellness industry to help them allay their concerns and fears. Business owners in this arena play a particular importance in the lives of their clients. That being said, you have to be sure you’re thinking about your own well-being when it comes to your finances.
Time is money, and one of the biggest reasons accounting clients approach me is because of a lack of it. They want to outsource because they realize they can’t do it all themselves. This is a critical moment in their business journey.
Once we realize that we can’t do it all, we have some choices to make. We can continue to try to do everything ourselves, knowing that it will cost us in terms of overall time, quality, productivity, or all of the above. We can ignore some of the tasks and deal with the ramifications of not attending to one or more areas of our business. Or, we can embrace the fact that it’s time to find solutions to the areas where we struggle most.
How do you identify what you should outsource?
There are several ways, but all require you to carefully consider your current operating structure. Ask yourself these questions:
What are the critical activities that generate revenue? Your efforts should always be focused here.
What activities energize you about your business, and which are the ones you dread? We tend to drag our feet on tasks we don’t enjoy, which is not an efficient use of our time or resources.
What areas of your business are you uncomfortable managing? If you feel you don’t have the knowledge to execute certain aspects of your company successfully long-term, you should plan to outsource to a qualified professional as soon as possible. For many entrepreneurs, these include legal and financial tasks.
Identifying the areas of business that don’t play to your strengths or tastes can be a roadmap as your company grows. Those areas are the first that you should seek to outsource when you are able.
No matter how great the technology, automation doesn’t take the place of a qualified professional. But it can help you considerably.
1. Finances at a glance
Wave is free software where you can connect bank account information, invoice clients, and track your income and expenses all in one place. Trying to track and piece together this information separately takes up a considerable amount of time, so centralizing your accounting and bookkeeping data in one place is an efficient solution.
2. Keep in touch with customers
Engaging with your customers effectively is a critical task for small business owners. It’s probably part of what you enjoy doing, but it can also feel daunting. Newsletters, targeted emails–how do you keep track of it all?
Take this word of advice from me, friends–you’ve outgrown the spreadsheet. You really have. It can be so much easier, and there are no shortage of tools to help you stay on top of knowing what interests your customers most. Hubspot, Zoho, and Salesforce are a few of the ones that you’ve likely heard of, but there are a wealth of other options to explore.
3. Move forward in your projects
If you’re working with a small team, you already know how important–and challenging–communication is. Misunderstandings about who is handling what can be costly. Project tracking software like Asana helps you clearly identify the steps of your projects, assign ownership, and track progess. They won’t entirely negate the need for calls and meetings, but it will make them much more effective.
Knowing how to make the most of your strengths and effectively delegating and managing the rest is a core component of running a successful business. You don’t have to do it all alone, and technology can be your friend in helping you utilize tools to help free up your time.