These tasks that I'll share with you are essential to your business, no doubt about that. So why do I say you're bleeding money when you do them yourself? Cost of your time. Think about it. How much does your time really cost?
During the early stage of the business, business owners don't pay themselves for the tremendous work they do. They wait until the company makes a healthy profit (beyond break-even) before taking any salary.
I can agree with you that it's the best thing to do for your business to get the revenue generation started. But do you need to be spending your precious time doing tasks someone else or some app can do for you? Automating, delegating, or outsourcing will surely cost money, but not as much as the cost of your time.
Your time should be for revenue-generating activities that only you can do as the business owner. What are these revenue-producing activities?
These are 20% of the business activities that produce 80% of the result. This is the Pareto principle. A little bit of history here: an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto founded this 80/20 rule referring to his findings that 20% of the population controlled 80% of a nation's wealth. But he also found that this rule also applies to other areas in life, such as:
20% of the input creates 80% of the result.
20% of the workers produce 80% of the result.
20% of the customers create 80% of the revenue.
20% of the roads cause 80% of the crashes.
And on and on.
It'll be hard to ignore this principle. If you take time today to look at your financial statements versus your to-do-list and calendar, how does it seem to you? Are you using your time for the 20% of the business activities that will drive your results?
So, what are these trivial, non-revenue-generating activities that you should start automating, delegating, or outsourcing? Here you go:
20 Tasks You're Probably Doing Yourself That Make You Bleed Money
1. Scheduling meetings with clients and your team.
2. Planning social media posts.
3. Managing social media accounts—captioning, looking for photos, uploading, and engaging.
4. Searching freelancers or in-house hires.
5. Briefing freelancers on brand or editorial guidelines in preparation for a design or writing work.
6. On-boarding and training new hires.
7. Reading and sending emails.
8. Setting up online platforms such as a website, or accounts on Facebook, Instagram account, Linked-In Page, YouTube, Reddit, a CRM website, etc.
9. Doing further edits on videos, or images after they've been created by someone else—just to get them right.
10. Setting up and organizing files.
11. Researching and purchasing items for the office or for personal use.
12. Writing blog posts.
13. Creating systems and processes
14. Learning new software, application, or digital skill, hoping to teach your existing or future team about it.
15. Running errands.
16. Looking at analytics and stats.
17. Setting up logistics (computer, etc.) at meetings and events.
19. Providing corrections and edit requests to freelancers' or team members' outputs (e.g., copies, graphic design, presentations, programming, etc.)
20. Reviewing team members' performance for quarterly or semi-annual reviews.
And how much are these tasks costing you when you do them yourself?
To find out, think of your hourly rate. If you don't know this, think of how much you will be giving yourself as a salary if you were to hire yourself? If you still can't figure that out, what was your hourly salary in your previous job before you became an entrepreneur? And if you've never been employed before, what is the market rate for the service that you are performing? There has to be a rate.
Then for one week, using our free Entrepreneur's Log, enter the amount of time (in minutes) you're allotting to do these tasks.
Multiply the total # of hours you spend on these tasks with your hourly rate. You'll end up with the real cost of your time just for a week alone. You may not even be aware of the other activities that I have not listed down.
So, after finding out your cost that you have been incurring, what do you do? You have two options.
If you have a huge or unlimited capital for your business to keep it running on negative or below-target profits, then you should not be concerned. You can disregard your findings and continue with how you are running your business.
But if you have limited cash to support the early pre-revenue stage of your business, or not hitting your growth targets, or you're simply exhausted because of the amount of time you're putting in, sign up below to find out your possible next steps.
In our Entrepreneurs' What-to-Automate-Deletage-Outsource Checklist, we provide practical suggestions on how you can free up your time from doing these 20 tasks and more. You can take immediate action in many of them.
We love thriving economies. Our soul sister company, Giving is Social, has a mission to fight social issues, including poverty. And we all believe that key to that is flourishing businesses. So we genuinely want yours to succeed. All the best to you!
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Entrepreneurs’ What-to-Automate-Delegate-Outsource Checklist