About two years ago, I decided to avail myself of the services of a business coach. I figured after 30 years in business that I had probably done as many things the wrong way as anyone could. Maybe it was time to start trying someone else’s ideas?
My new coach asked me about my goals and I told her that I’d really like to be off the truck, but I had a real run of bad luck trying to find and keep a decent technician. Most of them couldn’t find their own rear-end with two hands and a flashlight – and that was on their good days.
Rena (my coach) apparently wasn’t listening very well, because the very next thing she said was, “Mike, I think that you need to hire someone to take care of your office work.” Was she nuts? Office work isn’t like real work. I mean you hardly ever sweat or have to stop and catch your breath. You get to spend all day indoors. You get to sit rather than be on your feet all day. Plus, a secretary wasn’t going to be out making money for me like a technician would. Coach Rena sensed my apprehension. She explained that so far, no technician that I hired had made the cut. She was right of course.
Hiring an office person has proven to be the single most significant thing that I have ever done to help my business turn the corner and get on the road to success. I honestly thought that office work wasn’t “real work.” I have been absolutely astounded to discover how completely wrong I was about this. My assistant answers the phone, sets appointments for estimates, answers customer questions, pays the bills, reconciles the checking account, orders supplies, sells jobs, follows up with customers, tracks marketing, creates the daily schedule, maintains the web page, screens calls, buys stamps, makes deposits, does payroll, completes tax forms, files them on time, and much more. The really insane thing about all of this is that she actually enjoys her job!
For 30 years I did everything I could to avoid the administrative work involved in running a business, including simply procrastinating. Of course eventually things would pile up to such a degree that they could no longer be avoided.
It took a very astute and insightful business coach and a certain degree of willingness on my part (OK – desperation) to follow her advice, but it has really paid off.
Having a competent and trustworthy assistant handling the administrative side of the business has freed me up to run the other parts of my business with greater success. Because the administrative stuff is no longer a source of stress, I have been able to take the time needed to develop written systems and focus on.
The idea that your office people don’t make money for you could not be any farther from the truth. If you are looking for ways to make your business run better and make your life easier, give some serious thought to hiring someone to do the office stuff. I guarantee that you will not regret it!