How Does He Do It?By Andrew J. Birol, President, Birol Growth Consulting, Inc.
Many of you know Andy Birol and other single business owners in the knowledge business. Some of you are that single business owner. How much work do you generate in one business day, one week or one month? Did you find the time to get it all done? Not only do you go through the pain and struggles of growing your businesses, but you also endure hardships just keeping up with the day-to-day activities.
You probably started your business with a passion. Then you realized that it takes more than just passion to run your business. It takes time and money. You have to set up your own appointments, make your own sales calls, keep your own schedule, write a book, write a newsletter, create a website, maintain the website, create and maintain a customer database, answer calls, return calls, read e-mail, return e-mail, possibly travel for your business, make travel arrangements, etc... All of this work needs to fit in during the day while serving your clients and selling more business. You stress and worry about how to get all this done and still attract and serve clients. Some may opt for the latter and let the rest fall to the way side. A successful business owner knows that all of the above are critical to a successful business. This leaves you with only one option and that is to get it done. How you get the job done is different and you have several different options for your business.
We all have choices about what we do and how we do it, but sometimes we are not always aware of what our options are. A successful business is a busy business, leaving limited time for taking care of the many day-to-day details. As a business owner, you have several options for being successful with these tasks so that you can leave your office or computer with a sense of accomplishment and security. Listed below are several options you have as a business owner for enlisting help with the daily tasks of running a successful business.
- Take care of it all yourself. If you plan on growing your business, then you know this is not going to be an option for long.
- Ignore the minor details and focus on the more important business stuff. This does give you more time to spend with your clients, but sooner or later the minor details will catch up to you. This may endanger your ability to grow your business. Marketing alone takes time and creativity. You need to market and network to gain more business and grow. If you are spending more time on this, then you neglect your current client base. This sounds like a viable option up front, but not the best solution.
- Hire a Full-Time Assistant. This is a great option for those who have the resources. Unfortunately, not all small business owners, or solo business owners, have the resources, or the space, to hire a full-time assistant. You have to consider training this person, having the extra equipment for them to use and possibly paying for their benefits. There is a lot of time and money involved in having a full-time assistant.
- Ask the High School neighbor down the street to help you. I have seen this done and it is quite effective for certain office chores. They are old enough to understand how to file things for you and maybe run some errands for you. The one area they may lack in is experience. They do not have the experience of working in an office setting. They may not be able to answer phone calls for you because they have not learned certain etiquette, or handle customer service issues. They also may not be able to perform certain functions on the computer due to lack of experience. If you choose this option, be sure to only give tasks that the person can handle.
- Contact a Temp Agency. Temp Agencies are just that...Temporary help. This would be helpful to you in the short run if you are in an emergency situation. Keep in mind, though, that not only are you paying for the temp's hours, but you are also paying the Temp Agency a fee, as well. So, if a temp is $13/hour, you can expect that the actual fee is going to be anywhere from $20-$30/hour. That is the fee that the Temp Agency charges you.
- Hire a Virtual Assistant. This is not a new profession, but one that is gaining in competition. Virtual Assistants, or VA's, offer administrative assistance to small business owners, or entrepreneurs, who do not have the time, or the resources, to hire in-office help. They are not employees, but contracted support services. Hiring a VA offers a number of benefits to you and your business. Specifically, because they are contracted help, you do not pay for their benefits; only the time that they do actual work for you. Another benefit is that VA's are highly trained and experienced administrative professionals. They also do not need any extra equipment from you because they have their own in their own office. They take care of your administrative tasks via the internet, e-mail, fax, phone and regular mail. They set their own fees and pay for their own benefits. Of course, with anything, there is always a down side and that is you may not work near your VA. They are all over the country so seeing them face-to-face could be difficult. There are also certain obstacles to overcome such as software compatibility, sharing the VA with other clients, and time zone issues if your VA is not in the same time zone as you. When searching for a VA, you want to ask questions and be clear about what your needs are so you find that perfect match.
In any business you have to remember that the most important parts of your business are the sales of your product or service, delivering on that sale and developing more or better products and services. Unfortunately administrative tasks do not fall into those categories. It is equally important, but often pushed to the side.
Here on Andy’s 75th Anniversary of his newsletters, I've seen 26 of them go through and out to all of you. How does he do it? You are reading it right now. While it's incredible that he pushes out all those articles, what's more incredible is that you are all able to view them. If you still are interested in how this is all done, ask his Virtual Assistant. My name is Carolyn Berg.
Articles by Birol Growth Consulting are © copyrighted and all rights are reserved. However, articles may be reprinted with prior written consent if attribution is included as follows:
© Copyrighted by Andrew J. Birol, President of Birol Growth Consulting, who helps owners grow their businesses by growing their Best and Highest Use ®. Andy can be reached at (412) 973-2080, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web at www.andybirol.com.