We all start our new businesses with aspirations of greatness. Our diary will fill up with meaningful tasks, we'll be out and about networking and taking referrals, we'll create the world's best social media campaign and get tons of leeds and the client work will just roll in.
"We'll be millionaires by Christmas, Rodders!"
Well, maybe; if you've got massive funding and a highly experienced team behind you, but for 99% of small business owners we need to put the hours and the hard work in before we even start to break-even, let alone start to make a profit.
And all those early mornings, late nights, hours spent travelling, time spent in front of a computer screen and, most importantly, time spent away from our friends, family and loved ones, all take their toll on us.
I can remember back to when I started The Office Genie. I was originally doing call handling and administrative work for my husband Ian's decorating business. And it was great to be working together to make a success of his dream.
And then I realised I had spare capacity and could be offering my services to other small businesses too ... and The Office Genie was born. Having one client (Ian) was a breeze. Having a few clients was relatively easy, but when it got to around 10, I started to run out of time.
My hours stretched from before sunrise to after sunset and I was feeling really overwhelmed with not only having to work for my clients but having to get all those important business tasks done too.
It was at 10pm on a Sunday night, after spending my entire weekend catching up on the business tasks that I couldn't do during the week, I had a relevation. It was simple, it was easy to think about in my tired state and it meant I was practicing what I preached.
"Delegate or Outsource; you can't do everything yourself!"
So I did. I got an accountant to outsource the bookkeeping and statutory returns to, I found Genies to do the call handling, and I hired an assistant to delegate all the things I didn't have time to do myself during the week.
It's quite a decision to delegate or outsource and it's really difficult to get out of your own way and overcome the fear of letting go. You may think you're saving money by doing everything yourself, but it really is a false economy. If you're hourly rate is ten times that of someone who can do it for you, why are you doing it yourself?
Suddenly, I noticed that I had more time free. My weekends were my own again and apart from a couple of hours on a Sunday evening planning for the week ahead (which both myself and Ian do at the same time) I get to rest up, relax and do what I want to do rather than what the business needs me to do.
So if you're feeling stressed out, overwhelmed or have no time for yourself because you're working from dawn until dusk (and beyond) then seriously consider delegating or outsourcing.
"The Office Genie can help you with that!"
If you'd like to hear more about our call handling or virtual assistant services, that are cost-effective and will free up a lot of your time, why not call us on 01604 529170 or click here to ping over an email and let's see how we can help you.
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!
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