In 1962, President John F. Kennedy famously declared that humankind chooses to go to the moon “not because it is easy but because it is hard”. But he may well have been orating about owning a business, because while going it alone into the exciting vacuum of entrepreneurialism is most certainly hard, it is also a laudable and rewarding way to spend your energy and career.
That’s because there are many perks of owning and running a business — but one of them is definitely not finding yourself with a plethora of spare time. Even a business owner skilled in delegating tasks can find that with limited resources, they end up doing more than their fair share of work. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a business owner who doesn’t lament the shortness of the seven day week or 24 hour day in the pursuit of that elusive profit.
Yep: there are a million and one things to do almost simultaneously every single day. We’re talking about managing staff and money, doing marketing and working with technology, fulfilling orders, dealing with customers and stocking supplies — just to name a headline and headache-inducing few.
It all leaves hardly a single minute spare for some of the most important tasks every business operator should be knee-deep in, like: perfecting the product, building the team and brand, and plotting a roadmap to the future — not to mention networking, continuous learning, streamlining and so, so, so much more.
So while there is always plenty said about what business owners should do to fill up their already packed diaries, the best possible advice is actually a list of a few key areas in which you can afford to shed tasks from the daily repertoire.
What tasks can a business owner take off their plate?
1. The tasks you really hate.
Never forget, you’re in business because you love being in control of your destiny. Being your own boss is a perk that not everybody gets to enjoy, so make sure your boss (you!) is not giving you things to do that you absolutely despise.
Hate scheduling meetings or maintaining your diary or calendar? Get someone else to do it. It’s the same story for organising your travel, handling your legal affairs, doing your filing or preparing your tax — if you really and truly hate doing it, not only are you robbing yourself of precious productive hours, chances are you may do a really bad job of it as well.
2. The tasks you’re not good at.
There’s something even worse than doing jobs you really hate each day — and that’s doing jobs that you’re completely useless at.
It could be that doing some jobs yourself that others could theoretically take off your plate is actually a great way to cut costs. But you need to be honest with yourself and admit when you’re simply not great at those particular tasks.
Data entry, for example, is theoretically not very difficult — as long as you don’t repeatedly make mistakes that have major repercussions or just burn time further down the line. The same might be true of something like content writing — because everyone can write, but very few can write really well.
3. The really complex tasks.
Truth be told, there are probably plenty of things you don’t particularly love, or have the honed skills to do, that you probably still can’t justify outsourcing or offloading. Booking your own travel could be one, or navigating the world of Google or Facebook ads to give your brand an easy boost.
But some things really are just too hard, and insisting you know best is a very stubborn and bad idea because it simply burns too much time while being an absolute doddle for others.
So if you’re a florist, perhaps you shouldn’t be managing the nitty gritty of your IT infrastructure or trying to do your own web hosting. Similarly, you shouldn’t be harking back to those days as an amateur logo designer and burning 10 hours on a job that you can get done for $100 by an absolute pro.
4. The tasks that really supercharge your business.
Now that we’ve cleared your desk of jobs you either despise, repeatedly fumble or just unnecessarily burn precious hours doing, let’s move on to the really important stuff — jobs that a professional should arguably always be in charge of.
Along with what you’re great at — which is the vision and the product — we’re talking about the tasks that are the absolute meat of a powerful and profitable business.
Take payroll services. The heart and soul of your business is its people, and so without even considering the complexities of the strict reporting, tax and remittance (and more!) requirements, upsetting your staff in the fundamental area of their pay is a very bad idea.
5. The tasks that actually cost you money.
Another category of tasks that supercharge your business are on the financial side of things, including your accounting and bookkeeping services.
Firstly, these areas require a complex interplay of time, detail and technology to such an extent that you simply can’t compete with the pros. That could mean that you’ve brought in dedicated accounting or bookkeeping staff to work in-house, but that can be a very expensive way to get the benefits that you can more easily tap into simply by outsourcing cleverly.
Secondly, accounting or bookkeeping services professionals combine a level of experience, expertise and advice that mean those who ‘go it alone’ will be missing a level of wisdom on financial matters that could make the difference between utter failure and absolute market dominance. And if you add to that an infrastructure that streamlines your existing processes and people, you’re getting double the benefit from an actual saving in money.
Consider offloading and improving these business functions today.
Put all together, these 4 categories include things you not only can afford to offload, but that you really should consider offloading at the earliest convenience. Modern entrepreneurs now have access to a range of services that mean outsourcing can be done expertly and affordably while opening up a treasure-trove of side benefits that supercharge efficiency and profitability. And the ultimate beneficiary is you, left with tasks at work that you love, a thriving business, and time left over to walk the dog.