As with painting your nails, in business we often have to weigh up the pros and cons of doing something ourselves or paying someone else to do it.
Sometimes we don’t have the skills or the inclination – in my case, web coding falls into this category.
But sometimes we simply don’t have the time.
Although Corporation Tax returns are probably best left to the experts, it is very possible to do your own bookkeeping. Even VAT returns are not too difficult once you get the hang of them. However, inputting hundreds of receipts for coffee and paper clips is possibly not the best use of your time.
I recently cancelled our telephone answering service, thinking that the £30 a month would be better spent elsewhere. After a few weeks of being interrupted by sales calls every few hours (and being rubbish at getting rid of them), I was practically begging the telephone answering service to take me back as a client. People don’t like leaving messages on answer phones, and for us, the extra sales taken over the phone alone probably pays for the service.
Post Office runs
There are plenty of teenage neighbours who would love a few extra pounds a week in exchange for lugging your parcels to the post office.
Running a business can give you enough headaches without having to deal with factories/exchange rates/customs/quality issues etc. Keep your sanity – outsource.
My top tip for any entrepreneur is to hire a cleaner. If you work from home, a clean house will improve your productivity immensely.
Of course, when you are starting out in business, you will probably be short of money and doing all of the above yourself. But it is important to remember the value of your time, and those 3 extra hours of work a week you will gain from not cleaning your house will probably offset the cost of the cleaner.
My advice: if you can afford it – outsource it.
Image source: Love Love Ming via Fail with Class