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Don’t Try to Do Everything – It Makes You Less Productive

Don’t Try to Do Everything – It Makes You Less Productive

It’s pretty common to work long hours and do just about everything yourself when you first start a business – from marketing and managing inventory to booking appointments and handling customer service.

As business grows, many entrepreneurs recognize that spending money can help you make more money. Others continue to overcommit and wear their weariness as a badge of honour. Just in case you’re on the fence and hesitating to invest in your business, here are four tips curated from strong business leaders to help you supercharge your productivity and boost your bottom line.

  1. Don’t step over a dollar to pick up a dime.

    When the cost of something seems high, it’s tempting to try and do it ourselves instead. The tangible expense may be more than you want to pay, but it’s possible you are giving up even more in return. Always take a few minutes to think critically and crunch the numbers. Look at the big picture. Consider any missed opportunities.

    For example, if you don’t immediately know how to fix something that’s gone wrong with your computer, is it a good idea to try? Imagine you’re a bookkeeper who makes $50 an hour, a massage therapist who makes $100 an hour or a store owner who upsells an average of $250 in goods each hour? Do the math. If the local computer shop quotes you $125 to get your computer up and running again, you say no and then spend four or five hours figuring it out – you’re actually losing money by trying to save money.

  2. Bring in help when you need it.

    You’ve spent years becoming an expert in your field, but nobody can do everything. This is especially true if you want your business to scale. Hire some great people when the time is right and your business can afford it – even if you have to start them part-time or on a freelance basis. Train them to fill the gaps and spend more of your own time growing your business.

    “Years ago, I paid a lot of money to be mentored by a leader in my industry. During a small group session, I was explaining how hard it was to run and grow my business, listing all the things I had to get done every single day. My mentor told me to go home and hire an assistant, and that I was not welcome back until I did,” the CEO of a successful Toronto-area business told Dream. “It was a real eyeopener for me. I hired that assistant and haven’t looked back since.”

  3. Focus on what you do best.

    Don’t be that guy or gal who responds, “well, what do you need?” when someone asks what you do or what products you offer. Clearly define what you’re selling. If you try to sell everything, you’re specializing in nothing and taking on work that will distract you from your main goals. Your customers will catch on eventually too.

    “I was at the vet a few years ago, and he was busy trying to fix a rabbit. He's a good vet, but how many rabbits does he actually get to treat?” said international best-selling author and marketing guru Seth Godin. “I think everyone would have been happier if he had announced that the client should have taken her pet to a rabbit specialist.”

    This may seem like an odd way to drive this point home, but an oddity or two often helps people remember things for a really long time. So, don’t do rabbits. Instead, as Seth suggests, “own your work. [There is] no need to do someone else's.”

  4. Learn to say no.

    There are endless opportunities out there for entrepreneurs to pursue – whether you want to learn, network, grow your business, give back or improve your personal brand. If you’re always being tempted or pulled in too many directions, ask a trusted family member or friend for a second opinion. The right person can help you uncover incredible insights, get past the FOMO and channel it as a powerful tool instead. And, by reducing the number of things you’re working on at any given time, you’ll improve the quality of the projects you do take on. So, say no and let your greatest self shine!

Building your dream business takes time, money and an incredible amount of passion. Grab the reins and take control of your destiny instead of trying to do everything or be everything to everyone. Instead, recognize that you must invest when it makes sense, bring in some help to help you grow, focus on your specific area of expertise and learn to say no. Once you’ve established your own priorities and boundaries, there’s no place to go but up!