How good are you at using other people’s skills to help you grow your business?
I think one of the big challenges of growing a business is that it’s very easy for it to become your baby. Which can sometimes turn you into a bit of a control freak!
Without intending to, you can find yourself becoming obsessed with every detail, wanting every single thing to be absolutely perfect and always done precisely the way you want it done.
But the drawback is that if you’re the person who controls everything in your business, and the person who makes every single decision and who has to approve every single tiny piece of work, then you might actually become a blockage in the business rather than helping it to grow.
And you haven’t even noticed!
This is why it’s so important as you start to grow your business, that you find the right people to help you. And in case you’re wondering … no, this isn’t a pitch for my own services.
If you already employ a team in your business that should mean you’ve got people on hand who you can rely on, delegate to and utilise to help you grow.
If you don’t have an internal team as yet, then you’ll need to be looking externally for the right kind of people to support you. But not just any people. Yes, they need to have the right skills but it’s also important that they are naturally aligned with you, that they ‘get you’, and can see exactly here you want to take your business.
These are the sort of people who can work really well with you to help you grow.
Let me give you a couple of examples. The place that most people start when they’re looking for some help in their business is with a VA, a Virtual Assistant. And it’s a great place to start. It’s exactly where I started in growing my own team.
The great thing about a virtual assistant is that you don’t have to sign up to a huge package of support or commit hundreds of pounds straight away.
The majority of VAs have packages that start from about a hundred pounds. Some are happy to work without a defined package and just charge you hour by hour. So you can usually put a toe in the water for about a hundred pounds.
Now I know that you may be thinking, “I haven’t got a hundred pounds”, but the point of getting somebody else to do the things that aren’t your sweet spot, is to free up your time so that you can focus on the things that will bring a lot more money into the business.
So let’s think about it …
How could you use a virtual assistant?
The obvious things they can do for you are things like managing your diary and setting your appointments. Think about all those times somebody asks to change their meeting or appointment with you. And all the faff of six or eight messages going backwards and forwards to try and find a new time that suits you both. And that’s just for one meeting!
You could offload all of that to a virtual assistant, who can take all that hassle away from you & just let you know the new date and time. Simples!
A VA could manage your emails for you. If you’re like me and struggle to find the time to keep up with the constant barrage of emails and don’t particularly enjoy the nitty-gritty of that, this is a great idea.
You could use a VA to help you with some of the accounting in your business. They could issue your invoices so the dates never slip or get missed. You may be able to ask them to do a little bit of invoice chasing for you if you have a few late payers and need that kind of support.
Lots of Virtual Assistants have great social media skill so they could help you with that. They can take over anything to do with customer data or keeping customers informed, planning events, that kind of thing. There really are a bazillion different ways that a VA could help you!
And probably the easiest way to think about it is, anything at all that feels like admin to you, that feels like detailed, slightly boring, slightly laborious admin, there is a VA that can do that for you. That’s a really easy way to get started.
Another person who can give you huge support in growing your business is your accountant. And if you’re not currently using an accountant, I would definitely advise you to do that.
How could your own accountant help you more?
It may be that they could do some of your bookkeeping, or take care of your VAT returns, your payroll, or your tax returns if you’re trying to do those things yourself.
Things like tax returns are so often a false economy. You might think you’re saving money by doing it yourself, but you may well end up paying more tax and probably spending five times longer than it would take your accountant. And that’s time you could be doing much better things for you and the business.
Who else can help you?
The other key things to focus on when you’re planning your team are the things that have a habit of tying you up in knots and stealing huge chunks of your time and energy.
Which are the tasks that just seem to take you forever and drain the living daylights out of you?
For me, for instance, I know that writing is just not a sweet spot for me. I’m quite good at it and I always get to the end and feel like I’ve written something that’s quite good, but it’s really painstaking stuff. I don’t enjoy it. And because of that, I have a terrible habit of putting it off for ages.
So, what is it for you? I know for lots of people it’s social media. Are you one of those people who wants to get more active on social media, but there are billions of reasons you just don’t manage it?
Maybe it’s the graphics or images. Perhaps you see lots of other people sharing all sorts of amazing graphics and wish you could do that. Yes, you could learn to do that yourself on something like Canva, but it might take you hours and hours, whereas somebody else, a social media manager or a VA, would probably do a whole week’s worth of stuff for you in about an hour.
The fact is that there are lots of people out there who can help you to grow your business as long as you’re willing to start relinquishing some of the control and put your trust in them.
What you have to recognise is that until you start to get some help, you’ll always be very limited in terms of how far and how fast you can grow your business.
If you’re serious about taking it forwards, then start to actively look for the team that can help you. You don’t have to plan to bring in a huge team overnight. A slowly, slowly catchy monkey approach may be the best for you.
You don’t have to rush into this. You can make a gentle start by putting a toe in the water while you find absolutely the right people for you. But building a support team is definitely something you’ll need to think about if you’re looking to grow your business in the long term.
So, hopefully, that’s given you some food for thought, and who knows, maybe it will give you the impetus to start thinking about who would be the best person for you to outsource or delegate to right now.
I would love to read your feedback in the comments below, and obviously feel free to share this blog with anybody else who you think would benefit.