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    What skills should I learn and what to outsource?

    When starting a new business I should wear a lot of hats to run the business. As a newbie however, it's hard to do everything on one's own with limited time and resources. What skills do you suggest to learn and do myself and what to outsource? For example I don't think it's wise to start learning accounting for my business and do it all on my own.


    However, I know it's good to learn a bit of everything to understand how to grow my business.

    6 REPLIES 6

    You do what you are good at.    What you are not good at, you outsource.  


    Pay yourself an hourly rate, for example $50 per hour.   If you can outsource it for less, say $15 per hour, then outsource it, and you do those tasks that cost $50 or more.  


    If you value your time at $1000 per hour, then you outsource most of what has to be done, and you do what costs $1000 or more (for example, if you cut unpolished diamonds you cut the diamonds yourself, and you outsource the advertising and sales to somebody else.)

    Helper III

    First of all, PAY YOURSELF!

    When I started my business 19 years ago (with only $120) I started three bank accounts: 1 checking, and 2 savings accounts, all connected together so I could transfer funds. The checking I used for regular monthly bill paying and deposits, the 1st savings account I kept for quarterly or annual bills, and the 2nd savings was for me. Every time I was paid for work I did I separated the monies into the three accounts. In this manner I was never short on funds.


    When you land an unexpected paying job, give yourself a little bonus and buy yourself a treat--once I bought a fancy pen (really expensive), another time a hand painted porcelain cup for my morning coffee. These things remind me of the benefits of my hard work and touching them daily makes me appreciate the time I've put in. 


    Secondly!!  Don't try to do too much too soon, some things you just don't need to do even though you think you need to, like spending money on a form of advertising that may not bring the best ROI (return on investment) for you. Early on in my design business I "found" lots of new clients just by trolling the big box building stores and seeking out folks trying to decide what to buy to decorate their homes--offered them my card and waited for the calls--it worked!


    Determined patience is one of the keys to success.

    Talk with me. Nothing is more helpful than an optimistic, truthful, and unbiased opinion. (Kudos are welcomed. Thank you!)
    Advocate VII

    Hi All! 


    Learning which hats to wear and which ones to share is a real talent.  In addition, knowing when to put on what hat is also important.


    As we begin to identify and define what time/place restrictions we have, we also have to learn to "dress for the occasion".    For example, while you may not actually do the accounting, perhaps you run reports for your accountant.  Block that event as a routine, put it on the calendar, and wear that hat during that time.   If you decide you are your own social media manager construct an editorial calendar and wear that hat during that time.


    While changing hats in the middle of something is sometimes required, be somewhat disciplined before you do it.  In today's world of immediacy, telling someone that they may have to wait a few minutes is  not an easy social skill to learn.  However, I do think it is necessary.


    Well, there was my thought for the day!


    Not Just Pretty Sites, Pretty Doggone Smart Sites

    You are so right when you say someone may just have to wait a bit for you to answer. I tell my clients that when I am with them, it is their time and that I do not answer my phone or texts. And the same goes for them, if I am with someone when they call, they'll have to wait for a response. No one has ever minded as they want "their time" to be exclusive as well. Thank you for bringing up this subject! It needs to be emphasized more. 

    Talk with me. Nothing is more helpful than an optimistic, truthful, and unbiased opinion. (Kudos are welcomed. Thank you!)

    This is a common issue with small business owners, both new and experienced. They try to wear every hat. That is a really good way burn yourself out and it really doesn’t help your company grow.

    Don’t get me wrong, when you first start out you need to wear most of the hats, but once you’re established and somewhat stable and you have consistent revenue coming in, you should outsource things that make sense to outsource.

    There are A LOT of small business resources that are available. Leveraging those resources will free you up to do the things that you are good at. In my experience, the small business owner, is usually the Subject Matter Expert (SME) in their product or service, they are not necessarily good at financial analysis or looking at trends. By outsourcing those tasks if frees the SME up to continually to improve their product/services or do what they’re good at. It also has the added benefit of not living at work. Let the people who are good at what they do help you. It may cost a little money but almost every time it results in higher profits.

    I own a small business consulting firm, The Recensere Group. We focus on small business consulting, we help small business owners navigate through the waters of small business to achieve operational efficiency and maximize profits. Check out our website. Please feel free to reach out to me with any particular issue or challenge you might be having.



    Rob Larochelle
    President & Principal Consultant
    The Recensere Group, LLC

    Well, we all start off sometime or the other. Waiting for gaining a workable knowledge of everything only delays the start and by the time you think you have gained all the needed knowledge, you might have also realized that something else (business) can be better.


    From my personal experience, if you think of starting a business, it is best to start off with the knowledge that you have. If you can team up with some friends (who are better equipped with the knowledge of "other" things for your business), nothing like it. Start off with them as a team - as you are friends and at the start of your journey into the business, you all can learn from each other and grow. Eventually, though, your friends my leave you but by that time, your business might be established and you might have become a better manager.


    As for outsourcing, identify what you need (beyond your available resources - the team) then research the market better before finalizing the deals.

    Good Luck!