“You don’t have success unless you take someone with you.”
Learn to Trust the Experts
Although the quote above may have you think this post will contradict my previous post, it really won’t. I’ll start as usual: with a story.
Many years ago, I had a friend who opened a women’s gym in a relatively small town. He had moderate success, even though he would never become wealthy running just one gym. He later admitted that he’d opened the gym to try and meet beautiful women (which is just as stupid a reason as you can imagine for going into business). Anyway, he wanted to cut costs as much as possible, and taught all the classes, and he handled all of the departments in the gym, like Accounting, Inventory, Legal, etc.
I’m sure you probably already know where I’m going with this, and you may think that you would not commit these mistakes yourself, but sometimes the reality of running a small business is that you have to wear all the hats if you can’t afford to have someone else wear them. In a bout of desperation, you may choose to go the cheap way and do everything yourself. Avoid the temptation!
The first thing to ask yourself if faced with this issue of having to do everything yourself is, did I plan for this in my business plan? If your answer is no, then you need to go back and spend several hours or days researching and planning for this event. This is not easy, as your mind and ego (we all have them!) will try and convince you that you can do it, no sweat. Take the time to research the position you’re planning to take on – what responsibilities and skills will be needed.
A good method of getting quick answers for this is to look on job boards. So, for example, if you’re planning on handling your own accounting, look on accounting job boards and find out what you need to know for the position. Learn about SAP, AP, AR, Payroll, Taxes, etc. After you’ve researched these things, honestly ask yourself if you’d feel comfortable going on an interview for one of those positions you saw online. If your answer is no, or you have a doubt as to whether you could answer any questions the employer would ask you, then you’re not ready to handle that skill.
The second thing you’ll need to do is ask yourself if you have enough time to handle all the tasks. My women’s gym friend was teaching aerobics, cardio kickboxing, basic yoga, and doing personal training, and he also had to handle inventory, accounting, cleaning, legal, marketing, management, reports and general clerical (contracts!), as well as IT and maintenance for the equipment.
Realistically, he couldn’t handle all of that by himself in a 24-hour day without doing a crappy job.
Finally, you need accept the reality of your situation and suck it up. Some of the skilled jobs need to be handled by someone else. The easy stuff, like cleaning, you’ll need to do yourself. That’s easy. But if you’re not a natural manager, or an accountant, or you don’t know all the laws in your municipality (city, county, state, etc.), hire someone to do it. And it’s extremely important to remember to let go and trust your people, always. Don’t hire someone if you’re going to micromanage them, because that would completely defeat the purpose, and it will take up more of your time than if you had done the work yourself.
If you have any comments, questions, or would like me to send you a list of resources that can help you decide on who and how to hire someone to perform a specific function of your business, please leave a comment or email me at HeadlessHammerhead@gmail.com.