If I had to pick just one thing I wish I did earlier in my business, it would be this: I would have invested in products and people that make my life easier. Simple as that.
In my early days (and this may be exactly where you find yourself now) I had the perception and attitude that I could do everything myself. Literally – this was my mantra for yeeeeeeaaarrrrrrssssss. That’s so “2015 Kaysha”.
“2018 Kaysha” is wiser, more productive and happier – simply because I’ve let go of this mantra and I’ve found the right professionals to help me in my business. More on that later.
Let’s reflect back on “2015 Kaysha” for a minute. When I tell you, “I did it all”. I mean it. I DID IT ALL. From photographing to editing, submissions to bookkeeping – heck I even cleaned my own office! While it felt necessary in the beginning stages of my business to do everything myself because 1) I thought it saved me money and 2) because I was a total control freak – most of the tasks I spent hours doing were nothing but a huge time suck! Not only did I waste a lot of time doing these tasks – I wasted even more time wondering if I was doing the tasks correctly! Don’t even get me started on talking bookkeeping and taxes (#confusing).
Here’s the truth – one that I learned I had to embrace: If the tasks you’re spending the bulk of your time on aren’t making you money – you’ll be more profitable if you outsource them.
Now, before you roll your eyes and close this blog post – hang in there with me and hear me out….
I know you’re probably thinking….“Well, Kaysha, there are lots of things that don’t make me money, but I still have to do them because it’s part of running a business!” While I wholeheartedly agree (business ownership isn’t always glamorous or fun) – I’m here to help you figure out what areas of your business are ready to outsource. So let’s get to it!
Write down everything you do in and for your business (and I mean everything)! Your list might look something like this:
- Prospective Client Meetings
- Client & Vendor Gifting
- Payment Collection
- Session Reminders
- Sending Quotes
- Writing Contracts
- Social Media
- Album Design
- Email Management
Next, cross off the things that you absolutely HAVE to do yourself. For me that is meeting with clients, shooting and networking. For you and your biz – your “must do’s” might look totally different. Here’s the key to creating a comprehensive list: Be honest with yourself.
Coming straight from the mouth of a Type A – I would LOVE to maintain control of everything in my business – but if I achieved that, I would create a reality that doesn’t align with the life I want to live. I didn’t start my photography business to be tied to it 24/7. There came a point for me (and will for you, too) where you accept that you can’t do it all. Maybe you’re there now (and I secretly hope you are!).
Next, take some time to assess how you’re doing in each area. Are you scrambling come December to get your bookkeeping in order? Are potential or existing customers waiting a week or more for your email reply? Is submitting your work something that keeps getting bumped down the to-do list? If the answer is ‘yes’ to any or all of these tough questions – then it’s a good time to streamline your business processes. This is where apps, software, and outsourcing can come in real handy!
I’m not going to lie – finding the *right* solutions for your business takes time (and money). But once you find them and get everything set up – the benefits will speak for themselves! Piece by piece, you’ll free up more of your time so that you can focus on the things that actually make you money and make you happy!
In an upcoming blog post – I’m going to share some of the resources I have invested in (including my top-secret favorites). All of these resources have helped me to streamline and organize my business. Stay tuned – because you’ll be keen to benefit from YEARS of research, trial, and error.