One problem with being a solopreneur (and I’ve been one for nine years now) is we have no one to handle the administrative work. With Secretaries Day approaching I am often reminded that I would love to be able to hire an administrative assistant. Actually what I need is a scheduling secretary, but with three kids who are active and multiple clients every week, that person would have to follow me around and be inside my head at the same time. Even more frustrating is that my accountant husband told me the income level I need in order to hire someone full time. Let’s just say I’m not there yet! So in the meantime I do it all: the writing, the scheduling, the social networking, the delivery of services, the invoicing and the promotion. Whew, I’m tired just typing this!
So what’s a control freak to do? Well, I’ve come up with interim solutions until I get to that income level where I can just hire someone to do my logistical work so I can concentrate on organizing, writing and speaking.
- I have kids, so I’ve trained them. This is not a sweat shop, but it’s not a free ride either. Since they were 5 years old, my kids have put away their toys, clothes and cleaned their places at the table.
- I took the craziest time of day (4-6 pm) and delegated the duties. Someone walks the dog, another person sets the table, I make the dinner and we all sit down together for a family meal on most nights. After dinner my husband and I split the homework & clean up duties.
- I realized I was spending half a day every week cleaning my house and that I could be making more money spending that half day working for a client. So I hired a cleaning person and although she comes every other week, I’m okay with that. If the house starts to look hideous in between I do a “quick clean.”
- I hired someone to set up my social media connections. Last year I had an urgent need from my publisher to participate in a Twitter Party and I didn’t even have an account yet. I hired an old friend and had her do the set up and then give me a simple tutorial on how I could manage my Facebook, Twitter and Blog on a daily basis.
- I hired someone to revamp my website and business cards to create a unique brand. Up until this year I’ve been maintaining my own website and functioning with basic white & blue business cards. Now I have a style.
- I’ve decided to swap services with a business coach. I need to build my business and she needs to get organized. It’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
- I’ve agreed to teach someone how to become a professional organizer in exchange for helping me with some administrative work.
So you see there are alternatives when you can’t afford to hire a full time employee, and you can’t afford not to get some help. We all have our areas of expertise, admitting what you’re not good at is the first step, letting go of something you don’t need to handle is another. As a woman you may feel like you have to be Supermom with a great career and a perfect house. Let your family pitch in, they will appreciate you even more. Be creative, make offers to other professionals and soon you’ll have a support team at home & at work that could take your business to the next level.