if I could go back and start my business all over again knowing what I know now, I'd definitely have hired help with teaching the classes a lot sooner.
When I was first starting and probably even five years into my sewing studio biz I was teaching almost all the classes myself. And I got totally burned out.
I would teach after school classes all afternoon and then evening classes all night.
And then I'd teach as many classes as I could squeeze in on the weekends. I would fill in the gaps with as many private lessons as I could muster. It was WAY too much for one person. But I needed to do it (I thought) so I could make money.
Then in between all this teaching I would try to squeeze in all the other things every small business owner needs to do to grow a new business. I was answering emails, working on my website, sending promotional emails, posting to social media, creating my class calendars, cleaning my studio, buying fabric and supplies, figuring out my curriculum, seeking new opportunities, among other things. I was dead tired but I didn't know how to do it any other way at the time.
I was just starting out and I didn't think I could afford to have people help me.
And if you're just starting out, you're probably thinking the same thing.
But looking back on it now, it was probably the biggest mistake I made when starting my business.
I was a lot younger than I am now, so I definitely had more energy. But I remember teaching 6-7 hours of back to back teaching on a Saturday and I'd just come home and lock myself in my bedroom and not talk to anyone for at least 3 or 4 hours in order to decompress from being "on" for that long.
My customers would say to me, "Megan - You're so patient." But meanwhile at home I was short with my husband, I didn't have the mental energy to spend quality time with my friends and I neglected walking my dog as much as I should have because I WAS BEAT!
If you're starting your own business, there is probably a part of you that think of yourself as a super woman who can accomplish anything. And in some ways you can.
But do you need to?
I'm here to tell you not to make the same mistakes as me! Hire some help sooner than you think.
The process of hiring help can seem very daunting. And this isn't something that needs to happen overnight.
Also hiring someone doesn't mean figuring out how to have a full time employee and giving them health benefits and 401K and vacation time, etc.
I'm talking about part time helpers.
Consider some of the ways that part time help could help you delegate tasks and allow you to get more done without burning yourself out.
Here are some easy ways I've utilized hiring helpers to àlleviate some of your workload:
- Virtual assistants: Generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely from a home office. Help with email, office tasks and small business tasks
- Hiring part time instructors to help with teaching classes when you need it
- Hiring high school and college age interns
- Task Rabbit matches freelance labor with local demand, allowing consumers to find immediate help with everyday tasks, including cleaning, moving, delivery and handyman work.
- Virtual designers who bid on your jobs. I've used fiverr before for jobs like this and it's been a great experience.
- Bookkeeping - Keeping tabs on bills and other bookkeeping matters can be one of the easiest things to assign to someone else.
- Social Media Manager Social media can be fun but it's a total time suck. You get distracted, you're looking at things, you're no longer "working" and you've lost an hour doing who knows what... Consider leaving this task ot the professionals.
I know it's hard to think about hiring someone else. No one could possibly do it as well as you. But this attitude will get you into trouble. I've been there and it's not pretty. You don't need to hire someone tomorrow, but keep it on the radar if you're feeling like doing it all yourself isn't working for you.