hand buried under paperRecently I’ve found myself in the happy situation of having too much work.  I’m very definitely not complaining, but in some ways its been getting a bit much!  I spend far too many evenings locked in my office with a bar of chocolate, and far too little getting any me time at all.  And worse, I keep putting all my exciting new business development ideas on hold because the day job is taking up too much of my time.  So for me, its time to seek help.

What are the telltale signs that you shouldn’t be trying to do it all yourself any more?

  • Work life balance is a phrase that makes you laugh hysterically
  • You keep on putting off business planning and business development until you “have more time”
  • Your house starts resembling a war zone because you no longer have time to keep it as clean and tidy as you would like
  • You haven’t had a haircut / manicure / facial for several months
  • Your ironing pile has reached dangerous proportions
  • You are behind on your accounts and don’t have a clue whether your business is making money or losing money

I could go on.

I’ve recently hit a bit of a decision point.  Should I:

  1. Get more childcare
  2. Give up on new business ideas until the girls are at school
  3. Get some help (and be prepared to pay for it!)

Its taken a while to really think through where I want to go with my business while my girls are still so small – they will be 2 in May – and I’ve decided that I don’t want to increase my childcare until September when I am hoping to get them started at a local nursery.  I’ve also decided that I am really passionate about my new business ideas, which I really want to drive forward to help women in business who can’t currently afford the sort of business support they need.  So the only remaining option is to get some help.

That difficult decision on when to start bringing in outside help is one that every business will eventually face if it continues to expand.  And while my natural inclination is to believe that only I can do everything the way I want it to be done, in reality that isn’t even true, if I can find the right people then there are many things that they will be able to do better than I could.  Especially with my constant time limitations.

Here is my list of areas where I am getting help on board.  Yours will almost definitely be different, but maybe this list will prompt some ideas.

  • My website.  I am working with the delightful Helen Potter of WebMuggle to transform my website into something that better reflects me and my business, that will allow my business to grow in new directions, and that will also house my blog!  Watch this space
  • My business direction.  I find I have so many ideas at the moment that I need help in getting some focus and clarity.  If you haven’t already come across Terry Murphy at Grasshoppers Don’t Walk then you should take a look, he always has fantastic tips and advice for busy working mums, and his coaching support is incredibly helpful
  • My admin and organisation.  The more clients I get, the more time it takes to keep on top of the invoicing, the organising, sending out payroll, engagement letters, …..  I am now working with Julia Blake from Blake Consultants who has the gargantuan task of getting on top of my processes and making them more efficient
  • My workload.  I am chatting to a couple of fantastic women about getting their help with some of my to do list, from writing training materials and fact sheets to support my clients, to help with processing transactions.  This is the hardest thing for me to let go of and I am also working on the best approach to review and ensure that the quality is still high
  • My house.  I now have a cleaner, and the last month has been sooooo much easier – I can sit down at my desk without the constant nagging guilt of the bathroom that needs cleaning, or the floor that needs mopping.  Such a relief

What else do you want to have help with in your business?  A couple of other areas you may want to consider:

  • Accounts and tax – these are easy for me to do in house, but definitely something you should consider getting help with if you haven’t already.  You can save time, money, and avoid getting yourself into a mess with compliance issues
  • Marketing and / or PR – not something I feel I need at the moment as my business is growing mostly by word of mouth, but I know I will need this when I start moving forward with some new business plans
  • Social media support – this is something I may well look into in a few months time as I just don’t have the time I need to spend on social media and its been an excellent source of business for me in the past

Please add any other ideas below, I’d love to hear what works for you, if its something I haven’t thought of I may well act on it!