Could You Be Doing the Things You Pay Others to do?
Have you ever compared your business to a French horn? Probably not. Likewise, if you’ve ever attended a concert and failed to notice the differing types of horn on display (some with four valves, others with five), you’ll be completely unaware that most are handmade.
Now take a look at your business. Is that handmade? The intricate pieces that make up its whole – the horn valves, in your case, could be the choice of font for your tagline or the speed with which you invoice people – may well have come from a number of different sources, all vying for a piece of your budget.
Similarly, what about the monthly tasks that keep the business ticking over and growing? Are they handmade, or are you paying someone else to do the work for you?
We now live in an age where small business owners can perform virtually every task themselves, thanks to a raft of accessible tools and a World Wide Web full of advice.
In this post, I’m going to list 6 business tasks you really could be doing yourself. Some will be a surprise, while others you’ll have been actively avoiding…
Yes, numbers can be dull, but they keep your business afloat. If you’re paying an accountant to do all of your book keeping, you could save yourself a tidy sum come end of year if you do it yourself.
Use something as simple as an Excel spreadsheet to get the job done and simply make it a habit to record all invoices and expenses as they come and go. If you must, pay an accountant to perform your end of year, but do the day-to- day stuff yourself – it won’t take long.
Marketing has changed. The ability to market one’s business without a budget is now a possibility thank you to content, social media and email marketing. Start by posting a blog article to your website every week. Create a content calendar and keep it fresh with post ideas that will place you as an expert within your industry and attract visitors who may become leads. Share every piece of content and valuable thought via social media.
Not a salesperson? Consider yourself more of an entrepreneur than the kind of person who sits on the phone all day knocking on closed doors? That’s entirely understandable, and sales can be a rather unpleasant prospect for creative types and people who don’t want to damage their company reputation.
However, sales make the world go round and you’re the best person to act as head salesperson for your business. In fact, you may be the only person in the business which, I’m afraid, lands you that role by default.
Traditional, smarmy sales execs are rapidly becoming rather irrelevant. In a world where consumer opinion drives sales, all you have to do is show passion for your business. Use platforms like LinkedIn to suss out sales opportunities and work on building relationships with people over the digital airwaves before pouncing. Slowly, slowly, catch a money absolutely works in sales these days.
4. Website creation
Avoid one of the deepest black holes into which a small business can fall by creating your own website. Unless you have a specific and relatively large budget set aside specifically for the task, make use of the wealth of free web design tools out there.
WordPress remains the best and offers a number of great templates anyone can make their own. Otherwise don’t loose your motivation, there are many web design companies offering solutions on a budget
Do you regularly use cabs or the train to get to work? Is the car you’ve leased at great cost providing rather thirsty and forever in need of a trip to the petrol station?
Depending on the location of your office, start transporting yourself there. And that doesn’t mean grabbing your car keys – it means filling your lungs with air and either walking (if near enough) or jumping on the bicycle. Don’t pay someone else to get you to the office if you can get there by means that won’t cost you a penny.
6. Your lunch
How often do you visit that sandwich van? Or head to your favourite coffee shop to do some work? There’s nothing wrong with the odd treat or change of scenery, but if you’re paying someone else to make your lunch, you’re wasting valuable funds (tax-deductible or not).
Become the company chef by feeding yourself from your weekly shopping. In doing so, you’ll instantly remove a surprisingly large overhead from the business.
No excuses. Not any more. The tasks above are eminently achievable within the time you have and, most importantly, will save you a fortune in administration costs and other overheads. They’ll also make you master, chief and head bottle washer of your entire organisation, and that’s a very good thing to be in this day and age.
Just one last tip: only undertake the tasks suggested in this post if you know you can do a good job of them. If you don’t think you can do so efficiently, it still pays to seek the help of an expert.
Mark Ellis is a freelance writer who specialises in copywriting, blogging and content marketing for businesses of all sizes. Mark’s considerable experience at director level and deep interest in personal and business success means he’s ready to comment on anything from freelance writing to workplace dynamics, technology and personal improvement.