It happened in a split second. Do you ever have that thought, that sinking feeling, that you want to go back in time, just one or two seconds. If you could just get time to back up a smidge, so you could re-think a decision, or undo a really dumb move.
As I stood in total disbelief, with mounds (and mounds) of shattered glass everywhere, I'm pretty sure I said a bad word (the air was blue), then I actually put my head in my hand, and shook it a little.
I like doing things all by myself.
I can do it all. And there are a lot of things that I can manage just fine on my own, thank you. But apparently, putting the umbrella through the hole in the centre of our glass patio table, and placing that long metal pole perfectly into the small hole on the stand below was a two person job. I knew that as soon as I heard (and felt) the explosion of glass. I think I knew before I started. That's why I felt soooooooooooo stupid.
As I waited for time to start going backwards, I began plucking the shards of thick green glass off my feet. And started googling how to get all this glass off a wooden deck, out from between the slats, out of the dirt below the deck. It was brutal. A huge job. I'm still working on it. (still muttering bad words)
And that really bad day made me think about the things people do in their small business all by themselves, without help, sometimes creating big messes that could have been avoided if there were another pair of hands to help.
Here are 3 big areas in a small business where asking for help may avoid a big pile of broken glass (you know what I mean)...
1. Bookkeeping & Accounting
Keeping track of sales, expenses (cost of replacement glass, etc), is repetitive stuff. It's something that someone else could easily do for you if you'll let them. There are organized, knowledgeable people out there who do this for a living. If you face that big pile of paperwork every 6 months (OK, every year), and have to re-figure it out because it's been so long, you'd be wise to outsource this to someone who does it every day and can do it for you in a snap.
2. Administrative stuff
Whether it's a real administrative person or a virtual one, (I know they are real too, kind of), if you find yourself too busy organizing your business to actually do business, a little help on the admin side will free you up to focus on what you do best - procrastinating about getting real work done! Get help with things like incoming email, scheduling, booking appointments, and using a piece of bread to pick up the really small pieces of glass on the deck.
Do you stare at the blank page, waiting for inspiration, every time you attempt a communications or promotional project? You aren't alone. Everyone has their own approach to getting ideas out there. You may be able to tell a story easily but struggle to write it down. Or, you write stories but hate editing them into masterpieces. Find a writer/editor to help you over these writing speed bumps. You can share your great ideas regularly without the pain. Get some help if being a thought leader will help your bottom line.
I'll add a fourth area - I wonder why? Websites, email marketing & social media. Some small business owners are good at this and enjoy doing it. It's fun, I know! But if you don't have the time or the inclination, and being on-line is important to your business growth, outsource it! (I know someone who can help with all this and sweeping glass too)
1. Have you done anything as shocking as breaking a glass table, ever?
2. I have.
3. What do you outsource in your small business?
Share your comments below...
The Small Business Guide
Kim Houlahan is a marketing consultant who loves helping small business owners improve their marketing.
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