As a business owner, you have a myriad of daily tasks that may or may not have to do with your core business. It can be frustrating at times, because the likely reason that you went into business in the first place was because you enjoyed making widgets, planting gardens or washing windows. Okay, maybe you didn’t enjoy washing windows, but you thought that you could do it well enough to make a viable business out of your skills and expertise.
Once you started your business, however, you realized that there are many things that have to be done that don’t allow you to take pictures, work on cars or do whatever it was you wanted to do when you became your own boss. So what do you do? There aren’t enough hours in the day to take care of paying the bills, filing the forms, building the website, monitoring the social networks, estimating the taxes, making payroll, etc.
The easy solution is to let someone else do it! There are many aspects of your business that you can hire someone or partner with someone to help with. Hiring help allows you to do the fun stuff, like sell your products or meet with clients.
Hire a Professional
This is an easy one. There are tons of professional services out there that will help you with everything from filing your taxes to making sure there are no bugs on your property. While you may be tempted to perform some of the following services yourself or with a little online help, it’s a great idea to hire a professional instead:
- Legal Services (Attorneys)Certified Public Accountants
- Insurance Agents
- Auto Service & Repair
- Plumbing Services
- Air Conditioning & Heating Contractors
- Roofing Contractors
- Pest Control Services
- Carpet Cleaning
- Tree Trimming Services
- Garbage & Junk Removal
- Painting Contractors
- Landscaping and Lawn Services
- and more!
While hiring certified professionals for some of these categories is obvious, since you wouldn’t want to represent yourself in legal matters (unless you’re an attorney) or provide your own insurance, many business owners would be tempted to do their own tree trimming or garbage removal because it seems like something that they could easily do. However, you need to keep in mind that every hour you spend painting that wall (unless you’re a painter) or cleaning that carpet (unless you’re a carpet cleaner) is an hour that you aren’t getting paid for creating your product or providing your services. As long as what you do pays more than what you have to pay others for the work, you’re coming out ahead. If you still think you’re paying too much for professional services, you may want to look at option number two.
Hire a Non-Professional
For jobs that don’t require a certification, license or professional degree, you may want to hire a part-time or full-time employee to take care of menial tasks, such as keeping reports updated, taking out the trash, painting that wall, trimming the tree, plunging that toilet and other jobs that you may have around the office. You might also want to find a handyman or some other part-time contractor that you can keep on call for these types of jobs. If you hire an employee, there are payroll taxes, paycheck deductions, workman’s comp, etc. (which your CPA can deal with). If you hire a contractor, it’s less work for you because they’re responsible for their own taxes.
This one sounds ideal because you’ll be getting help for free, but free isn’t always easy or the best. You can get volunteer services in exchange for experience if you bring an intern on board. Some service organizations will do work as part of a community service program; and there’s always the “friends and family” option for “free” help. Remember, though, that it’s really hard to incentivize volunteer labor, as they’re not getting anything tangible in return, so you need to weigh your options carefully. And sometimes the old adage “you get what you pay for” applies here.
The Good, Fast, Cheap Dilemma
I’m sure you’ve seen the sign before stating that you can choose any two, but not all three, of the following types of service: good, fast or cheap. While it’s supposed to be a joke, it typically rings true. Do you want quality service that is done quickly? It won’t be cheap. This is the dilemma that faces you as you try to get things done around your business. If you try to do things yourself, they may not be good or fast and they definitely won’t be cheap.