October 17, 2012 in Working From Home
It’s half term so a lot of time has been spent entertaining my children and acting as a referee. I can only snatch bits of time during the day to do any work yet I have achieved lots already, both business and personally related. How have I done this?
Well I have been reading Tim Ferris’s book ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ and watching one of Melanie Duncan’s (from the Entrepreneuress Academy) Courses on Business and Pinterest. I have realised that although I have lots of ideas for improving my business and developing new products I am not implementing them due to spending too much time on other things.
This is particularly the case with social media: do you find you open your Facebook or Twitter account only to find several hours have elapsed?
Now it may not all be work related, a friend may have posted photographs of a recent party you both attended, but as this section of an infographic from Mindjumpers shows 22% of time online is spent on social networking (and I like the fact 5% of time is also spent shopping!).
How Much is Your Time Worth?
There is probably both a monetary amount and a less easily defined personal amount in terms of time that could (or in my case probably should!) be spent with my husband and children. Here is a long but fantastic infographic from Mavenlink’s Blog entitled ‘A Matter of Time: What does Time Mean to Small Business Owners?‘.
Time is Golden
Not surprisingly a survey by EVoice of small business owners showed time as the most valuable asset. However, you may find it hard to put a monetary figure on your time if you run your own business and do all, or most, of the business roles yourself. It is time to step back and consider 2 points:-
- Which aspects of your business that you are spending your time on are directly income generating?
- What aspirations, ideas or tasks that could be income producing are still sitting on your ‘when I get a chance to think about it’ list?
Income Generating Tasks
In the main social media tasks are not directly income generating although setting up a specific marketing strategy may be if you can then step back. Setting up a new website for a product, writing newsletters or producing “How to” YouTube videos that you can sell or use on capture pages or as free gifts to obtain leads are. However, even these can be outsourced to an extent.
Look at Your Whole Business
It is crucial that you take time out from your business and go to a place of piece and calm to look down on your business and see those aspects which you should be concentrating on. This is when you realise just how important those tasks you have not got round to doing actually are: complete them and your income could increase considerably. As an example this week I have written a website brief for my product (and outsourced the design) and, having asked for advice from my Facebook fans and members of Small Business Groups about emailable newsletters, I have started designing and writing newsletters to send out to new Team Members (and I will automate the mailing of these).
You Can Afford to Outsource
If you don’t believe me then go back and read Tim Ferris’s Book The Four Hour Work Week. Now consider the following:-
- Which tasks do you least like doing?
- Which time consuming tasks that you currently do could you outsource?
- If you are to start a new project, how can you complete it quicker and what help do you need?
For me it is most things to do with technology: I am not a technophobe but tend to find that as soon as I start making alterations to my blog and redesigning my website I spend hours on Google asking “How to ” questions. Finding people to help with technological issues is much cheaper than you may think especially on my current favourite website www.fiverr.com.
You can get a range of work done starting at $5 including logo design, solving webpage errors, increasing the number of Facebook fans, article marketing for your blog etc. Warning – this site can be another time waster just seeing what people will do for $5 – fancy happy birthday being sung in welsh by a hairy man in googles and speedos?
You could also employ a Virtual Assistant which again may not be as expensive as you would expect. Any VAs reading this feel free to write about your service in the comments box. There are a number of companies who provide an upmarket version for Fiverr such as Elance , Odesk, and Virtual Assistants. Alternatively you could choose a company such as Virtual Miss Friday where each of your tasks is assigned to the most relevant person: the advantage is not having to check the credentials of each person every time you want a job done.
My advice to getting started is to pick one task that is either very time consuming or which you have not got around to doing and write a short but precise job specification. Then visit one, or more, of the above sources and see just how much it is to get the job done – is an extra hour with your family on Saturday afternoon worth this amount?
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