Justin E. Crawford, Founder, Agents of Efficiency
There are good reasons people take pride in DIY, but it can be a trap for small-business owners. It sucks precious time away from focusing on the core of the business — and there’s nothing more valuable than your time.
What makes things worse for small-business owners stuck in the DIY mindset is that most of them don’t know what their time is worth. (It’s a lot more than they think.) Whether you want to build a Fortune 500 company or strike the perfect work-life balance, here are three simple steps you can take right now to improve your business and life at the same time.
1) Stop confusing cheap with efficient: To do this, you have to determine exactly what an hour of your time is worth. Otherwise, you will continue to waste it, and your time is worth more than your money. It’s never been easier to build a team of experts on a tight budget so you can be free to focus on what’s most important. For every hour you spend on boring tasks you’re not very good at, you’re giving up an hour in which you could have made your business better. Time, not money, drives the bottom line.
2) Realize that small is the new big: David beat Goliath a long time ago, but he’d beat him even worse today because the advantage of being small and dexterous has grown. Small businesses are much better able to compete against bigger competition in today’s marketplace. By being willing to adopt the new tools that are available, you can shoot past old-school competitors who see these things as threats. Don’t forget what happened to the textile weaver of the eighteenth century who quickly found himself without a job. Instead, be nimble and forward-thinking by being the first in your niche to automate the stuff that used to be costly and tedious.
3) Embrace the new value chain: Combine new technology with the wisdom of the assembly line to make your team more efficient, cost-effective, and profitable. Thanks to all this new technology, the team you lead shouldn’t be doing mindless labor. Instead, they should only be helping grow your business in ways that are specific to their skill sets — and your needs. You can create a workflow that’s every bit as smart and efficient as one at a Fortune 500 company. Maybe even better thanks to a digital universe of affordable human and technological resources at your fingertips. You can now afford to hire a receptionist, a bookkeeper, and a personal assistant for a fraction of what you’d have paid before. If you have small but important jobs that need to be done such as sprucing up your website or writing copy for a brochure, sites like Upwork connect you to a pool of thousands of freelancers who can do just about anything you need.
These three steps help address the chief problems facing most small-business owners, who rarely fail because of a lack of effort, will, or talent. The main problems are almost always time and resource management. It’s a question of figuring out how to do the right things at the right times with the right resources — and there’s never been a better time to do that than right now.
[Image Courtesy: Pixabay]
About the Author
Justin E. Crawford is the founder of Agents of Efficiency and author of the international bestselling book, Live Free or DIY. Justin has been featured in over 200 major media outlets, writing and speaking regularly on the issues of growth hacking and startup & small business operational process refinement.