How to Cheat in Your Business

86000-seconds-in-a-dayI have breaking news for you:

You don’t have to do everything in your business yourself!

Now, you may be thinking, “That’s not news. I know that.” Yet I see business owners – often ones just starting out, sometimes ones who have a stable business – who are trying to do everything themselves. They’re publishing their own blog posts and ezines. They’re designing and implementing their websites. They’re creating cover art for their reports and ebooks. Everything.

So what’s wrong with that?

Well, while this business owner is trying to figure out how to set up her autoresponder list and wondering what a widget is, she’s not out there getting more clients. She’s not creating valuable content, or building relationships with potential referral partners, or designing a new program to offer. Anyone with the right skills and experience can set up an autoresponder list and put a new widget on a website. Only the owner of the business can create her marketing strategy and create new offerings for her tribe.

Also, this business owner isn’t usually knowledgeable in all these areas. How does it help you to create your own website if the result looks unprofessional? It’s hard to attract your ideal clients with a less than ideal site.

Well, you can cheat a little. I make an amazing Tomato Basil Parmesan soup in the slow cooker once every couple of months. It calls for a cup each of diced carrots, onions, and celery – mirepoix for those of you who are foodies. Now, I enjoy cooking and have no issue with chopping up a bunch of veggies. Sometimes, though, I just don’t want to spend the time, so I’ll buy pre-chopped mirepoix from the grocery store. Of course, this choice is more expensive than buying the whole vegetables and chopping them myself. In this case, I’m a good chopper, so the quality is the same, but paying more for the store to chop them saves me time I can then spend on something I’d rather do. I’m paying extra for the convenience and time savings. I’m cheating!

Using WordPress and a great theme is an example for your business. Just installing WordPress and a good looking and well functioning theme will give you the framework for a professional site. Even better, hire someone to do it that knows what they’re doing!

Going even further, the many plugins for WordPress offer a huge amount of leverage. When a client asks me for some bit of functionality for their site, I always first try to search out a plugin to do it. There are so many plugins for WordPress that there’s almost always a solution available. There are some caveats – how recently has it been updated, how many downloads does it have, is it compatible with the latest version of WordPress? – but more often than not, using a plugin is going to be a better choice than creating a solution myself. It’s written by someone who (usually) knows what they’re doing and it’s been tested by all the people who have downloaded and used it.

WordPress and its plugins are shortcuts – cheats – to getting an attractive, functional site.

Another obvious “cheat” is to find someone else to help you who has the skills and experience you lack. Once you’ve figured out your marketing strategy, created your report, or written your ezine content, get someone else to actually implement your plans and content. You may not even lack the skills, but I suggest this is still not your work.

Yes, it will cost some money. But let’s be realistic. How many new clients, program participants, or product sales would you need to cover the cost of someone providing this service? And could you accomplish this with the time, energy, and focus that’s freed up by not sweating the details yourself? Do the things in your business that only you can do: discovering your genius, developing your marketing strategy, content creation, and service delivery. Let experts in implementation handle everything else. You’ll make more money in the long run.

If you’d like to have a no-cost conversation about where you could use some help, I’d be happy to explore that with you. Contact me to arrange a time to talk.