One of the things that I noticed when I started off in my business was that I was doing everything. I was working 60, 70 hours a week. Then after six months, I sat down and looked at my cash flow and my income and I realized I was making a little over $300 per job. That was with a tremendous amount of time and effort expended.
I quickly realized this was a fast trip to burnout, and that if I was going to be successful, I needed to do two things:
1) Build long-term relationships with clients so I didn’t have to constantly be knocking on doors all the time.
2) I needed to be smarter about how I operated my business.
This is really getting down to how you operate. How do you sustain yourself in a business when you are an independent consultant, or independent trainer?
When you’re a person who is the sole proprietor or the sole employee in your corporation, everything happens because of how you decide to use your time.
A great technique to assess how well you operate is to do a time management chart. What did you do that helped to bring in new clients, income, revenue, or value to your clients? Was it opening the mail? Was it researching on the internet? Was it reading somebody’s blog or was it speaking before a targeted audience of professionals at a trade association?
Was it putting time into your blog to send out a new article or some new information that had relevance based on a conversation with a client you just had two days ago? Think about how you use your time.
After looking at how you use your time ask yourself this question: What are the activities that I do well and what are the activities that I don’t do well?
For example, I am more of an idea thinker, a big picture guy. When it comes to the detail stuff, it’s not my forte. I have an administrative assistant who has been with me for seven years.
She’s fabulous when it comes to the details.
I’m involved in the front end, I handle questions, and trouble-shoot with clients and prospects. I’m there to make sure that she successfully gets to the goal line, but she does 90% of the project.
She’s not an employee, but a contractor. She doesn’t work in the same office I do she works out of a home office. We work virtually, she’s a virtual assistant.
This is a great concept and very popular right now, especially for sole proprietors, independent professionals, and solo consultants like us.
There are people who specialize in certain areas to provide a service that can help you be more successful in your business.
I have a virtual assistant for a couple reasons:
* She’s good at the things that I struggle with.
* It gives me time to really focus on leveraging my skills and my talent in areas where I’m most effective.
If you’re running ragged trying to do everything in your own business, be smart with your time and expertise, hire a virtual assistant. You’ll get back many hours a week so you can focus on the activities that only you can do to grow your business.