Could This Be You?
You’re an entrepreneur, a startup, a small business. You’ve got your products &/or services established. You’re making sales, bringing in revenue… but… something… just isn’t right.
Are you meeting your business expectations? Have you ever found yourself muttering something along the lines of “this isn’t what I expected when I started the business”?
What Are Your Answers To These Key Questions?
If you think you might have one foot in that camp, here are a few questions to consider:
- What key metrics are you tracking?
- Are you growing like you want to be?
- How many active customers do you have?
- Is revenue increasing?
- Are you reaching your weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual targets? Do you have targets?
- What does your marketing funnel look like?
- Are you converting sales efficiently?
- What is your customer churn rate?
- How do your existing customers feel about your business?
- Are your products &/or services optimised for market fit?
- Are you targeting the right industry? The right market segment? The right niche?
- What sets you apart from your competition?
- Are you providing value?
- Are you handling service calls effectively?
- Are you delighting your customers?
- How about your staff (if you have them), how are they feeling?
- Are the employees performing well? Are you spending long hours in the office? How is your work life balance?
Quite simply do you have things under control? Are you performing like you want to be? Are your business expectations turning out as you hoped? Or, are you questioning your business? Yourself?
Where Are You Focusing Your Efforts?
If you have any lingering doubts or some niggling thoughts ask yourself this one question… is my business focusing on the right things? Really think about it. What sort of things are you and your team (if you have staff) working on each day and week? Do you think there could be some tasks in there that are required but are not really contributing to the overall goals of where you want to be?
What about things like administration? i.e. bookkeeping, payroll, paying bills, invoicing, government reporting and other red-tape. How much time are you spending on this sort of stuff? I am going to put it to you that if you are spending any of your own time and capacity on this sort of activity in your business then you are most certainly not doing it right.
How Much of Your Time Are You Spending on Administration?
Have you ever found yourself thinking “how do I grow my business?” If so, one thing you might want to re-consider is how you go about doing the administration. The plain and simple truth is that starting up and running a business should have nothing to do with administration in the early days.
Your primary focus should be things like those points listed above. Right now, every spare moment you have should be spent creating great products &/or services that provide value and then selling them to delighted customers.
Think about it, until you’ve got your business machine running smoothly and heading in the right direction, what is the point of spending your own time and resources on the back-end administration. Doing the administration feels ‘busy’ but it isn’t the most important business activity when it comes to growing.
Sure, by doing it yourself you might save a few precious dollars, and yes, you might become very familiar with the nuts and bolts of how it all works. But is that really going to help you reach your goals? If doing administration is what you enjoy, then why not go and work for somebody else and do it for them? You could probably get paid a decent wage with great benefits.
By this stage I suspect my point is quite clear. You need to get the administration off your business plate.
What Can You Do About It?
In a nutshell, at this early stage in your business, the best path for you to follow is to outsource the administration. And the choices for this are fairly simple:
- You don’t really want to be employing staff just to do the admin at this stage in your business. Your precious resources would be much better spent making better products &/or services or focusing on marketing & sales;
- You could ask family or friends to help you for a low cost (even free if you’re lucky) but how long will that last and will they provide the level of quality and reliability you need? Or…
- You could seek out a professional business admin service provider that specialises in the type of things you need done.
If you do go with the third option of working with a professional service provider, and we would strongly recommend this as the best option (full disclosure, that is what we do), there are a few things to look for:
- Verified skills. Check their background to to confirm their experience, what industry connections they have, which professional bodies/associations they are members of and what they do to keep their skills up-to-date.
- References and results. Look at their client references, testimonials and portfolio to see who they have worked for and what they have delivered.
- Reliable and clear communication. Look for a provider that speaks to you in a simple straightforward way that you can understand. Ensure that they report back regularly and that you can rely on them to give you honest, objective and factual information.
- Aligned with your target outcomes. Make sure you can get on the same page with them about what your target outcomes are for the work they are completing. You want a provider that is going to deliver exactly what it is you are looking for.
- Team and culture fit. Work with people that are a good fit with your own team and your own business culture. You essentially want them to become integrated with your business. It is also beneficial if they can understand and embrace your overall business strategy and goals.
Get back To What You Do Best
Once you free up some extra time and capacity, you will have the ability to get back to growing your business. You may even start to achieve your initial business expectations and perhaps even enjoy it a little more. This is why you started in the first place right?
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Let us know in the comments below if you have ever found yourself in this situation. What are the most time consuming administration activities you get stuck with?