Are you spending a dollar to save a dime? Alright for the most part the ratio is not that bad, but many people (myself included) have at one time or another made this critical mistake and some do it on a regular basis. For some the ratio may be a dollar to save fifty cents or seventy-five cents or whatever and about now many of you are asking… what are you talking about!
Ask yourself. Do you tend to do everything you can, yourself or at least more than you should, because you think only you can do it or that it will save money? You will find that really successful people find that one, two or perhaps three things that they do best and they focus on those things and delegate the rest or even outsource it. Granted those options are not always available for one reason or another, budget, manpower, time or whatever. Just make sure you are not justifying it for the wrong reasons.
Read Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” or Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles” and/or many of the other mentors and authors on the subject. You will find the same time proven methods for running a successful business and life!
Let’s look at some examples:
This is a simple example, but do you mow your own lawn? It could be that you enjoy doing that and if you can and really have the time, then do it, but if you can make $15 an hour or more doing what you do it’s a mistake. I have my lawn cut for $18/week and they are done in 20 minutes or less with the equipment and manpower they have… cut, edged and blown… Done! It would take me an hour and a half or more and I guarantee I can make more than $18 in that amount of time, plus it saves my back (no chiropractor bill), looks great and gets done not put off for one reason or another. That may be slightly exaggerated… no chiropractor. If you think about it the examples are endless.
In an office environment, do you type out everything yourself, do your own proofreading, fill out forms or paperwork someone else could do, run every errand yourself etc. or if possible do you delegate it to someone else while you accomplish more productive things. I deal mostly with attorney’s and many would say of course not! But when you think about it, if you are an attorney as an example do you do it (whatever it is) yourself or do you have a $10 or $15 an hour employee do it when your billable hours are $200, $500 or whatever?
You might even be delegating it to the wrong people. Do you have an employee that makes your firm $75, $100 and up do it when you could hire an assistant or temp. Most successful attorneys would say of course not! Granted sometimes even seemingly simple tasks require a certain level of expertise. But if that is your only choice then so be it. At least for now. If you have enough work to keep you busy and you are not delegating or outsourcing properly you are making a huge mistake.You have to work out the numbers but I think you get the point.
Do you use software that is difficult to learn because it has all those bells and whistles when it could be done with something less complicated and probably less expensive? Don’t get me wrong, I am a gismo kid so to speak and if it is truly worth it, then do it, but I always ask myself will this really make my life easier, can I justify the cost, if an employee that usually handles those tasks leaves for one reason or another, what will it take to train their replacement or bring them up to speed? Could the task be done with something more commonly know for the next person you hire.
Sometimes it could be the other way around, do you look for the free stuff in an effort to save money when it takes more time to manipulate and perform tasks that other programs could do automatically. Here is an example with what we do. You can get PDF forms for free, But are they really free? Can you save them in case you need to edit or refile them? Does it do math redundant entry or other things that you need the more expensive Adobe reader to set up and if so how much time does that take? Properly formatted Word or Word Perfect forms are inexpensive, do much more than PDF without having to have Adobe Pro to save or edit them.
You can check them out and get a free sample here: Indexes & Samples
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It is a balancing act you have to work out yourself!