What could you get rid of?
Whatever line of work you’re in, when you first start out in business you often focus on the skill you have rather than the business side of things.
If you’re an architect, you tend to focus on being a great architect and winning work, and you hope that the business side of things will take care of itself.
But then as your business matures, you realise that there’s more to running your business than just winning work and providing a good service to your clients. You want to get more efficient, you start to put systems and processes in place, and you might even start looking at whether you’re making the most of the time you have available.
When you’re running a small business it can be difficult to let go of some of the work you do. Unless you’re working with a business partner who shares your passion, there’s usually no one else in the business that cares quite as much as you do. Delegating can be a challenge.
But if you want to build a sustainable and profitable business then you do have to let go of tasks that aren’t worth your time.
At Super Structure Associates we have a small team, which makes it easier for me to free up my time, but I’m aware that there are more tasks that I could offload, freeing me up to use my skills in the areas that require my specialist knowledge.
So I highly recommend asking yourself this question on a fairly regular basis:
“What am I doing in my business that someone else could be doing?”
If you’re doing administrative tasks, bookkeeping, sorting out your own expenses, diary management, making travel arrangements or anything else that a personal assistant or administrator could do for you, then these are easy things for you to get off your desk.
And if you don’t have anyone in the office that can take them on, then you could think about hiring a “virtual assistant” – essentially a PA who works remotely.
Outsourcing in this way can feel counterintuitive, especially if you happen to be going through a quiet spell and you have plenty of time for these tasks. But the reality is that it’s not just about freeing up time for your core work. Offloading these tasks gives you more headspace, more opportunities to think creatively, and the mental freedom to focus on the work you do best.
I can’t promise you’ll keep that headspace, because a knock on effect might be that you end up winning more work and filling all those hours that you’ve freed up. But that wouldn’t be the end of the world, would it?
If you need any help or advice on outsourcing then I’m always happy to help a fellow business owner. And of course we’re here if you need a structural engineer too – please don’t hesitate to get in touch.