What Is Your Time Worth?

When is it time to hire help? It’s hard as a small business owner to make the decision to “cut into your earnings” to hire help. But that’s just what you may need to do in order to increase your revenue.

It’s a huge leap of faith, but if you are organized and know what you need and what you want it can be well worth the expense to hire help.

It can help you go after new business and not worry about the little things. Sure many of us can’t take on a full time employee and pay benefits and so on. But there are so many options out there from temp services to virtual assistants, to outsourcing. See my last post on outsourcing. All of these are short term solutions to help you grow your business, and not go insane while trying to do it.

I just saw a tweet at 9:30 am from the same person who was going nuts trying to figure out something on their WordPress blog at 10:30 pm last night. How many hours has she sunk into her frustration with trying to get a certain function to work?

WordPress is great. I love all the options and I recommend it to clients who want an inexpensive solution to creating an interactive presence online. And while I know “Just enough to make me dangerous” I realize I know far more than the average bear. So I do help people with this service. I put out the disclaimers that I’m not an expert, I’m not a designer, but I can put what you want into the site if you are explicit on your needs. And I can do it for a budget that won’t break your bank.

But when the time I put into it starts to exceed the amount I am making from it, that’s when I have to decide, is it worth while to put in that time, or is it a function that I can outsource to share the load? This is when I cut my losses.

If I know something is going to take me 15 hours to do, and I have someone that can help me with that in a couple of hours, it may be better for me to pay them for the 2 hours, and take back my 15 hours for other tasks.

This is just smart business.

If your time is worth $50 an hour, and you can pay someone $10 an hour to get something done or even $35 an hour. (And they really do the work and don’t just wallow on your clock) Then you are gaining so much productivity!

Yes your overall profit is smaller, but you will deliver a quality product more quickly to your client, you will gain recommendations, and you still have control over the finished product. And while the work is being done, you are pursuing new business, or providing top quality service in a more specialized expertise to your existing clients. It’s a win win all the way around.

Some questions to ask yourself when trying to decide if you need help, and what kind of help:

  • Where do you need help with your time?
  • What projects could you give to someone else who will do as good or better a job than you?
  • What are the ideal skill sets you would need in an assistant?
  • Have you priced your work in such a way to afford help?
  • Have I created a process that someone else could follow? (if not, how easy would it be to do so and would this help you get more organized)
  • How many hours a week/month do you think you could keep someone else busy?
  • How much supervision do you have time to provide?
  • What could you do if you took back X number of hours from a certain type of work?
  • Where avenues do you plan to investigate to find help?

The nice thing is there are options out there that can help you only with the skills you need and the time you need to use. This cuts down on having employees who have little to do or need lots of training. Until you get to the point where you can consistently keep a full time employee busy there are some great ways to get the help that you need, and nothing more.

As your business begins to grow you need to start evaluating your time and make sure you are using it to the best of your abilities. I used to laugh at that saying, time is money….but it really is!