by Debby Dowling of Wedding Pro Newsletter
Outsourcing can be a scary word for small business owners. It can conjure up images of losing control or paying big expensive bills that you can’t afford.
Get over it!
Outsourcing doesn’t have to mean you’re out of touch with those functions or that you’re totally inept at certain skills. It just means that you’re smart enough to realize that you don’t have enough time in the day to be all things to all people. You stick to what you’re an expert in and outsource everything else. That might mean contracting with someone for accounting, marketing, customer relations, or the day to day administration.
If you’re worried about losing control, you need to realize that just because you outsource certain functions doesn’t mean you can’t stay on top of things. In reality, the opposite is normally true. With outsourcing, there are contracts, reports, and personal contacts that can keep you informed of performance. For many, this is more effective and efficient. Outsourcing can actually give you the tools to manage productivity.
You also need to realize that if you want your company to grow, you have to be willing to let go of more and more functions. If you try to hold on, you’re only going to limit yourself and your income. You can run the risk of turning down opportunities or limiting the amount of brides you can work with because you don’t have the time or capacity to handle it all.
But before you figure out what you should outsource, you need to figure out how much you’re worth. This is probably the most important question a small business owner has to answer – how much is he/she worth? And it’s one you’ve got to know. Because if you don’t, how can you expect anyone else to?
So figure out how much you want to earn this year. Now, figure out how many hours that you’ll work this year and divide that by three. Yes, three. Because you have to factor in that you’ll only really be productive and earning money 1/3 of the time. Then divide your desired earning by the number of productive hours and voila! That’s how much your time is worth.
Let’s say you want to earn $50,000 this year and work 30 hours a week. Your formula would look like:
- (30 hours a week x 50 weeks) = 1500 hours total hours worked
- 1500 total hours worked/3 = 500 total billable hours
- $50,000 goal income/500 billable hours = $100/hour
Now that you know what you’re time is worth, think about what you do, that you do well and can earn you that $100 an hour. Then get rid of everything else.
Seriously, look at all the things that you do. Make a list of them if you need. You should only keep the ones that you love, do exceptionally well and earn you money. Get rid of the rest. Seriously. Stop entering names into a database when you could hire someone for $10 an hour to do it for you. Same thing with website updates, paying invoices, or any number of things that you do that take up loads of your time, but don’t really contribute to your bottom line. The more things you can take off your plate, the more time you have to focus on doing what you love. And the more money you can earn.
In a nutshell, by trying to do everything yourself, you’re just reinventing the wheel, distracting your attention from what you’re really good at, and limiting your business growth and personal income.
About Debby Dowling
Debby Dowling is the creator of Wedding Pro Newsletter, an automatic biweekly newsletter service for wedding planners that simplifies your marketing in less than 15 minutes a month so you reach more brides and earn more money even if you don’t know a thing about marketing. Sign up for her newsletter download her free report, “Nine Ways to Improve Your Marketing…and Make More Money in 2011” at: www.WeddingProNewsletter.com. You can follow Debby on Twitter @debbydowling.