Entrepreneurs: Here are Three Signs it’s Time to Outsource or Hire Someone
Entrepreneurs are creative and ambitious by nature. They have an idea, create a product or service and see it through. They put in hundreds of hours a month, are hands on from the beginning, and rarely rest until the job is done.
But sometimes, when there is no way to work harder—when there are no more hours in a day or week and they can’t sleep any less—they need to learn to work smarter.
What I have found, in working with hundreds of small business owners, is that they don’t know when to relinquish control of a portion of their business to an employee or outsource it to a third party. But when they try to do it all themselves, eventually their performance suffers and then something gets dropped or done poorly.
When a small business owner spends more time on a task they aren’t as educated on or proficient in, that takes time away from what they know. They might also be forced to push back deadlines because they’re taking on an unrealistic number of tasks and responsibilities simultaneously.
The end result is that his or her overall ability to focus on the company’s growth is the casualty, which can then cap a company’s growth potential and ultimately hurt the bottom line.
Here are three signs it’s time to hire someone or outsource tasks, when you’re a maxed-out small business owner:
- You don’t understand it: It’s not a personality flaw to admit you you’re not the best person for a specific job. If you’re unsure about how to handle payroll and the taxes that go along with it, then hire for the position or outsource it. Just don’t make the mistake of hiring someone else who doesn’t completely understand it, because then you’ll be spending the time together learning and that not productive either.
- It doesn’t interest you: Yes, you’re someone who does it all. You’re an entrepreneur. But sometimes admitting what jobs you’re not as quick to do because you find them irritating or distasteful is critical. Maybe you dislike writing, design or self-promotion, so you put this work off or rush through it. But is that serving the company? You should spend your time on what interests you—not because you’re entitled to, but because you’re more inclined to do these things well and not let it sit on the backburner for months. Then go hire someone or outsource the rest to people who have a passion for those tasks or functions, and aren’t as inclined to feel like they are less important.
- You just don’t have the time: Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day and, when you’re working 8 am to 2 am every day, like many entrepreneurs, the wiggle room to address anything that doesn’t go according to plan just isn’t there. It’s like planning a trip to Spain each day with 30-minute layovers. If anything goes wrong, the entire day is going to become a situation. If you are finding yourself running out of time or the bandwidth to handle last-minute curve balls, it’s time to hire someone or outsource a task—or maybe five tasks.
How to know who to hire
Identifying what and when to allow others to do can sometimes be a blurry line, when you’re in the midst of starting a company.
The best way for small business owners to think about identifying a solution when they have maxed out their individual abilities and 90-hour work week is to think about their company operations in three buckets:
- Marketing, and
- Management (or their Back Office).
In order to grow, small businesses need dedicated individuals to oversee all three functions, and the business owner eventually needs to oversee all of these operations while focusing on growing the company. It’s ultimately the difference between an owner being caught in the gears of the operation versus sitting on top of the machine and making sure all of the levers are being pulled at the right time, and in the right order.
About Joseph Laforte:
As the director of sales at Par Funding with more than 20 years of finance industry experience, Joe Laforte is one of the small business industry’s most distinguished and accomplished leaders. He works with hundreds of small business each year, assisting them with their day-to-day operations, financial challenges and back office management needs. He has steered Par Funding through various market shifts and industry changes, and led the company to unprecedented growth. Since 2013, Par Funding has helped more than 5,000 clients, assisting small and mid-size businesses access working capital when it matters most.