Who Takes Care of You When You’re Busy Taking Care of Business?
By: Cathie Ericson
Owning a business is a full-time job — and then some. In fact, more than 60 percent of small business owners report that they work more than 40-plus hours. Of the ones who say they haven’t achieved a healthy work/life balance, almost half blame “administrative tasks” for keeping them from time with their family or for themselves, to rest and refresh.
That’s why savvy small business owners realize that they can’t do it all. Here are three areas where you’ll be glad for outside support so you can do your best work — both at home and on the job — every day.
Outsourcing personal tasks
Would you rather clean your house or watch your son’s soccer game? Shop for groceries or hit that yoga class? We thought so. That’s why outsourcing mundane personal tasks can be a lifesaver for a busy small business owner who is managing the unique pace inherent in business and daily life.
Most small business owners have get-it-done personalities by nature, but there are still plenty of ways to outsource the more routine aspects of any task. Take meal delivery services for example: We still want to offer our families a healthy, home-cooked meal, but we don’t necessarily want to hunt down the recipe and the ingredients.
And you can outsource tasks you’d never guess, from waiting for repairmen to getting that half-finished quilt completed. The key is to focus on those that have a high “ROI” either in terms of personal satisfaction (as in, you’d prefer meeting a friend for coffee than organize your files) or monetary reward (you’d rather make more money doing client work than organizing your files).
Finding ways to outsource less important tasks frees up your day in a significant way, even to the point of altering your time management and overall company operations.
Relying on freelance talent
Small business owners wear many hats — friend, spouse, parent, partner, and, of course, business owner. But even if you are inclined to be a “do it yourselfer,” there are some hats you just don’t need to wear — after all, none of us can be good at everything.
For example, while you may be an idea machine or a new business ninja, you may struggle with budgeting or IT initiatives.
That’s why it’s important to hone in on the tasks and project components where you excel — and those that provide the most value to your company — and then figure out what else you can outsource.
Utilizing freelance talent allows you to be more efficient with your time by enabling you to focus on your core business and the tasks that are integral for you to perform, whether it’s vendor relationships or long-range planning. The contract help allows you to get the right person for the job, when you need it and only for how long you need it.
Executive expertise, such as a CFO, to come in periodically to provide financial analysis
Repetitive tasks, such as shipping inventory and data entry
Functions that require specialized knowledge, such as IT or graphic design.
Making smart supplier choices
Having a streamlined supplier relationship can make everything about your company operation smoother. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to deal with the headache of specialty suppliers and the various accompanying invoices and ordering processes, not to mention the multiple relationships you have to manage.
Working with one company that offers a wide array of products and services can consolidate the process and reduce a major administrative hassle. If you choose wisely, a trusted supplier who understands your industry can be the helping hand you need when you require extra support in your everyday business dealings, not to mention those extra hectic times.
While you’re busy taking care of everything and everyone else — your customers, your employees, your family, and, well, you! — it’s important to know you have a resource you can count on for the everyday needs of your busy business.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
Taking Care of Business
At Office Depot we take care of business. We know you have one business responsibility followed by another. And despite juggling multiple tasks, you take care of it all.
But who takes care of you? We do. From our broad selection of everyday product offerings to our array of services, including print and copy, tech and more, you can count on Office Depot. We’re taking care of business.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
/account/v2/editBillingDisplay,/orderhistory/subsManager,/orderhistory/submitReturn,/account/accountSummaryDisplay,/account/loginAccountDisplay,/account/myfiles,/csl/listAllhttps://request.eprotect.vantivcnp.com/eProtect/js/payframe-client3.min.js?d=20200812 Join Now