Doing It Yourself Worth the Time?
Nearly two out of five small business owners say their time is their company’s most valuable asset, and one in four would pay more than $500 for an additional hour of work per day, according to a j2 Global survey. Approximately 44 percent of respondents related their time management problems to wearing too many hats at their companies, often performing five or more distinct tasks within the organization. For many entrepreneurs, resolving this dilemma requires navigating a trade-off between the money you’d save doing it yourself and the time you’d gain paying someone else.
How Are You Budgeting Your Company’s Time?
Based on a survey of 1,500 executives, McKinsey & Company recommends approaching a time management system on the business level instead of just as an individual activity. How much time is each person spending on different tasks, and does that represent the best use of time? A one-person business can ponder the same questions with respect to how much time is allocated to various tasks during the workweek.
McKinsey’s respondents were often surprised to find how much time they and their staff were spending on tasks besides their main job functions. Satisfied executives spent more time making key business decisions, defining direction, and motivating people. They spent fewer hours handling emergencies by email and telephone, attending unnecessary meetings and reading long reports.
McKinsey’s survey found effective time managers used high-quality administrative support. If your preference or budget is to handle your own administration, PCWorld provides tips for using Google Calendar and Gmail more effectively to automate tasks such as reviewing daily agendas. If you’re seeking to hire administrative support without paying for full-time staff, VerticalResponse offers a guide on how to recruit a VA using resources such as oDesk.
Tech support for tasks such as website management is a prime candidate for weighing the pros and cons of doing it yourself. If you’re tech-savvy, TechRepublic DIY IT Guy Jack Wallen offers tips for keeping your costs low. If you’d rather outsource your IT, Freshdesk marketer Aishwarya Hariharan reviews some factors to consider, including cost, scale, and quality control.
Creative visual tasks such as logo creation and image editing provide opportunities to cut costs if you’re able to do some things yourself. You don’t need to be a trained graphic designer to create professional-looking logos using automated tools such LogoGarden’s pick-n-click online software. For those who’d rather hire specialists, job sites such as Elance help connect freelance graphic designers with small businesses needing their services.
Publicity and Sales
Another area where your skillset and budget might impact your decision to do it yourself is marketing and sales. If you have some copywriting skills and time to manage your own Internet marketing, you might be able to run your own promotional campaign with support from CRM systems such as SalesForce or ZohoCRM.
Alternately, Forbes writer Ilya Pozin argues that outsourcing your marketing can save you time and be more cost-efficient.