What Kind of Help You Should Hire First

If you’re looking to grow your business, or you’ve reached a plateau of some point, it may be time to hire help. (You can read more about that in this blog post: How to Know it’s Time to Hire Help.) But what kinds of tasks can you outsource? What kind SHOULD you outsource? Here are a few ideas of where to start:

  • Things that are critical to your business, but aren’t your expertise. Sure, you may have taught yourself some tricks of the trade, but if you could hire an expert for bookkeeping, marketing, order fulfillment, or other tasks, you’ll save time and be able to scale up. An expert may seem expensive, but s/he has the experience to do things faster and more effectively than you—covering more ground and doing more than you could.
  • Things you can outsource for a fraction of what your time is worth. A virtual assistant is a great tool for your business. From data entry to social media maintenance, order fulfillment to birthday card mailing, you can save SO much time giving these more mundane, time-expensive tasks to someone else.
  • Things that are a day-to-day part of your business, but take a lot of time. This is more for business owners with brick and mortar locations. It’s worth it to have a receptionist, office manager, or others who can be the “first line” when it comes to your customers.

You don’t have to delegate away everything you love about running your business. In fact, that would be miserable! The point of delegating is to make time for the parts you love, and dispense with the ones that you don’t like, take too much time, or just aren’t profitable ways for you to spend your time.

If there are parts of your business that aren’t necessarily your expertise, but things you love (like doing your social media or contacting customers) of course they can stay on your plate. But there are ways to streamline those so you can still participate without them taking too much time away from the activities and things that make you money.

Want to delegate, but aren’t sure how to get started? I’d love to talk to you about how you can grow your business with help. Contact me today for a free discovery call!

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Five Human Resources Every Mompreneur Needs

It’s a safe generalization to say that most mom entrepreneurs start out as solo-preneurs rather than with an established team to support them. After all, start-ups don’t start out making a whole lot of money, and so most mom biz owners feel they can’t spend any money getting help for their business if it’s not generating an income to pay for said help.

Insert graphic of dog chasing tail here:

Mompreneurs are often faced with the task of “doing it all,” but that doesn’t mean we need to do it all by ourselves. Simply put, that’s not a recipe for success. It’s a recipe for burnout and giving up. As a business coach for mom entrepreneurs, I say these exact words to my clients. A lot.

It may require some creativity to find good help that you can afford (Hello, bartering, anyone?), but here are the five human resources every mompreneur needs to be successful.

1. Virtual Assistant or “VA”

In my mind, a virtual assistant is the next best thing to cloning yourself.

A virtual assistant is someone you hire to do all that work that has to get done, but that doesn’t need you to do it. VAs are like administrative assistants, except that they work remotely, from the comfort of their own homes, and they usually have multiple clients they serve. You pay only for the hours that they work on your projects. Common tasks they handle range widely depending on their expertise, but include: managing email, customer service, newsletter or blog content management, database management, social media management, marketing support, sales support, etc. Rates range from $15-50/hr, depending on the VA’s niche and experience.

2. Website/Blog Manager

I strongly encourage you to use WordPress for your website/blogsite, since it’s set up so that you can manage it mostly by yourself. You’ll need a professional to install a theme and customize it to match your branding, but you can learn to make updates and add blog posts by yourself. That said, you need a reliable human you can turn to when you hit a snag, or when something goes wrong, or when you want to increase the functionality of your site (like adding e-commerce, or the ability to sell products from your site). Your website is your virtual sales team and often your brand’s first impression for your prospects. If web design isn’t your money-making talent, make sure you hire someone who can help you create a professional site that helps you put your best foot forward. Resist the temptation to create it all yourself. We can all easily spot a home-grown website. Many VAs do this work, but you can also hire Web Designers on a contract or hourly basis.

3. Graphic Designer

Whether you run a brick-and-mortar business or an internet-exclusive one, you’re going to need high quality graphics all the time. Pictures and graphics help convey your point, create an emotional connection with your audience, and sell your products. Whether you’re creating business cards, logos, brochures, website buttons, badges or banners, you need to hire an experienced graphic designer to produce these items for you. Try fiverr.com, elance.com or oDesk.com to get help on a quick project. Costs range from $5-a few hundred dollars, depending on the nature of the graphics you need.

4. Bookkeeper/Accountant

Unless numbers and taxes are your thing (Call me! LOL), it’s a great idea to make sure that a professional helps you crunch your numbers and file your taxes each year. Seriously: the last thing a mompreneur needs is to find out she’s in deep with the government for not filing or reporting her income properly. Bonus: A small business accountant/bookkeeper can help you find ways to save money through business deductions and such. Rates range from $50-100/hr.

5. Mompreneur Community

You’re working by yourself most of the time, right? Yeah. It gets lonely. And while you may have lots of family, friends and neighbors, they might not all understand your desire to run a business while raising a family.  Could you use some like-minded women to brainstorm your ideas with? Sure you can. Do you need an accountability partner to help you accomplish a tough goal? Trust me, you do. Wondering where to find good people who do the stuff I listed above? You’re in luck. In the #MomBizMondays Facebook Group, which you’re welcome to join, we have a business directory for members, and lots of the mom biz owners in there are connecting and helping each other. Nothing like doing business with other mompreneurs you can get to know before you need to hire them :).

Of course, there are so many tech resources out there that help make mompreneurs’ lives easier, especially if you can’t afford to hire all the staff we’ve listed above right now. Read the post Shelagh Cummins wrote on the Mom Biz Retreat blog about 15 Free Website Resources Every Mompreneur Needs for that list.

So, who’s on your team? Did I leave someone out? Or are you struggling trying to figure out when you can ever hire some help? Share in the comments below, and I’ll respond.

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What can you delegate?

Many of us mompreneurs hold the title CEO: “Chief Everything Officer.” While this title certainly conveys a sense of independence and power, it also reflects one of the downsides of working for yourself: you do all the work all by yourself.

While it makes sense to start out this way, there comes a point where the biggest obstacle in the path to your business growth will be YOU. Talented multi-tasker that you are, you can’t perform all the business roles (president, sales director, marketing manager, book keeper, technician, clerk, etc.) and your various personal roles (wife, mother, chief domestic engineer, chauffer, cook, etc., etc.) the way they need to be performed. You’ll spread yourself too thin, and all the balls you have juggling in the air will begin to drop.

Take a moment and consider your various tasks and roles. Are you willing to ask for help? What difference would it make if you hired a housekeeper, or delegated dinner duty to your husband, or pawned off your contact management updates to a virtual assistant? What would you be able to accomplish?

You have significant money-making talents. Use them to their fullest in your business and get the success you desire. And those things that don’t make you money (or don’t make your day brighter)–find a way to get them off your plate.

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