I'd love to hear your thoughts, questions, or even your own lessons you've learned while running a business! Feel free to leave those in the comments below.
Lesson #2: Outsource.
I love this one. Outsourcing is kind of my favorite thing because not only has it saved me a ton of time, it's also saved me a ton of money.
When I was filling out legal forms to start Bustle + Buzz, there was an area that asked if there was a CPA (certified public accountant) working on my behalf to handle future paperwork. I quickly googled average cost of a CPA, laughed, and put down my own information because I thought "I'm just one person running a service-based business out of my home, with no employees... how hard can it be??"
Long story short, within a few months, I hired a CPA.
Why? BECAUSE I'M NOT AN ACCOUNTANT! And business taxes and deductions get really, really confusing. Not to mention, I don't have the time, patience, or attention span to deal with all that.
A similar scenario happened regarding my graphics. I am not a graphic designer, but again, I was in full bootstrap-mode thinking I could cut corners by creating them on my own.
But for someone like myself who is a perfectionist and stresses over the smallest details, it ended up being a complete time suck in my business.
True story, I once spent THREE HOURS curating an Instagram graphic that I ended up deleting a week later. Really.
The same principle goes for website creation and management, marketing, content creation, copywriting, PR, customer service, etc.
A great site that allows you to easily outsource various projects like the ones above, and even more creative projects like voice overs, animations, and jingles- just to name a few- is Fiverr.
Obviously depending on your business, hiring an employee makes more sense than outsourcing. But really consider your options, because if you can get by with outsourcing projects over hiring an employee, you can save money on: paying full-time salary, paying US federal payroll tax, the extra office space/equipment.
Bottom line, by outsourcing the tasks you're not an expert at, you're freeing up valuable time to focus on the areas where you do your best work. And if you use your new-found free time wisely, you'll quickly recoup the money you invested on the extra help!
OH, ONE MORE THING!
Talking about graphics made me think of one of my dearest friends, Maria Murphy. She's the genius behind the fashion and lifestyle blog: Tasty Southern Chic, and a kickass entrepreneur who does everything from graphic design, to wardrobe and interior styling.
She's worked with major brands like HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Travel Channel, GAC- just to name a few- and she's as talented and professional as she is pretty!
If you're like me and looking for some help with graphic design- or any of the other services she offers (did I mention how talented she is??!) I HIGHLY recommend you check her out!
And of course, if you're looking for help with your digital marketing/social media management- I'm your girl!