This is really a life tip, but I’m going to write about it focusing on building your business or brand online.
Recently, at work, instead of outsourcing a data entry task, three people in my office split up the work to get it done. The task was simple, copy data from a PDF into an Excel spreadsheet. This really irked me because the company was spending around $75 per hour to have data manipulated and entered into a usable format. What I would have done is spend one or two hours teaching a few people in another area of the world to do the work.
I could have easily hired the work out for five or ten dollars an hour, and received close to the same results. For twenty-five dollars an hour, I could have hired between two and five people to work on the task. It would have potentially been done both faster and cheaper. I could have even hired someone to double check the work and come out ahead.
One thing that people often forget is that we live in a world economy where your money can sometimes be better spent elsewhere. Sometimes it seems like things are easier or better if we do them ourselves, but the one thing you can’t scale is how much time you have.
When building a blog, outsource what you aren’t good at, and focus on what you are good at. If you aren’t good at design, don’t spend twenty hours tweaking a theme that you’ll never be truly happy with; instead, hire a designer for a few hundred dollars. If you set your own hourly rate to be $10 per hour, and it would take twenty hours to do, that’s $200 you’ve spent on doing it yourself. If you can hire out that same work for $100, then you are ahead. On top of that, it frees you up to do the things you are best at.
If you aren’t good at writing, but instead can market, design and program, then don’t spend all your time trying to come up with content. Instead, hire that out and focus on what you are best at. There seems to be some strange mental block that says we need to become experts at things we don’t have any natural talent at, but if you can recognize that you are struggling and that your lack of skill is costing your business time, money and expertise, then you can start to refocus on what really matters.
People need to be smarter with how they spend their money, especially when they are trying to create or grow a business. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Outsource what you aren’t good at, and focus on perfecting what you are good at. And please don’t take three amazingly talented workers that you pay a premium for, and make data entry their high priority task of the week.