The best business leaders know not to take everything on themselves. After all, that’s the quickest route to burnout, not to mention inefficiency and the potential for poor business decisions.
To run a successful and sustainable business, it’s essential to not just accept help from others but actively seek it out. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a step in the direction of taking charge, delegating, and maintaining laser focus on what you do best and what’s most important to your business.
Here are five common situations entrepreneurs find themselves in that are a sure sign it’s time to ask for help.
1. You’re investing time learning how to do a task yourself.
Why waste your precious time learning how to build a website or write a press release? With countless resources available that enable you to easily outsource tasks like web design and writing, you can save yourself valuable time and avoid rankled nerves so that you’re able to focus on what matters most to you: your vision for the businesses.
For example, rather than finding yourself stuck trying to figure out how to update your website or write a more effective business plan, hire a freelance web designer or business writer who can not only save you lots of time, but can also give the job a more polished and professional look.
2. Managing your finances is eating away at your workweek.
Keeping your eye on the bottom line is essential to running a business, no matter how big or small, but that doesn’t mean getting lost in the weeds of managing day-to-day finances.
Handing tasks like merchant services and depositing checks to a trusted advisor like PNC Business Banking frees up your time and most importantly, gives you the added assurance that your money is being handled and managed by a professional with a reputation of excellence behind its name.
Working with a business banker also gives you access to financial resources like business loans, lines of credit, and digital real-time resources like Cash Flow Insight(SM) that can help you easily track and review your business’s receivables and payables. What’s more, getting help managing your money means you can automate otherwise time-consuming tasks like invoicing customers, reminding them when payments are due, and paying vendors on time.
3. You’re constantly putting out fires.
One of the thrills of entrepreneurship is that every day can feel like a new adventure. You’re poised to take on whatever challenge comes your way but having a system in place to help you deal with particularly stressful times will make sure you don’t burn out too quickly or find yourself in a rut.
For example, you can hire a virtual personal assistant, organizer, or productivity coach to help optimize your workflow, manage emails and handle scheduling when unexpected things pop up in your calendar. If you know you have a large order to prepare and ship out, bring on extra hands to help you make that process more manageable.
4. It feels like you’re sitting on a mountain of menial tasks.
Sure, handling the dirty work often falls to you when you’re running a lean small business, but if you’re not careful, it may drain you of valuable energy and time needed to keep the business afloat.
You know those days: You’re stuck on the phone for hours troubleshooting a tech support issue, a leak in the ceiling requires your attention, the printer needs to be unjammed, and boxes of furniture are waiting to be assembled in the middle of the office. These menial tasks pose the threat of overtaking your day to the point of sucking all your energy from you.
Remember that time spent on menial tasks is time away from strategizing and making important decisions. Rather than wrack your brain on how to assemble a maddeningly complicated cabinet, hire someone to come in and do the dirty work for you. For an estimated $50 or less an hour, you can hand those dreaded but necessary tasks off and keep your mental sanity.
5. You look at other businesses and wonder: How’d they do that?
A beautiful ad campaign, a well-designed website, a flawless online customer experience. If you’re wondering how other businesses manage to get so much done exceptionally well, the answer is simple: They probably aren’t doing it themselves.
Don’t let the polished exterior of other companies fool you. Underneath each is most likely a boss who knows how to delegate tasks to the people who can do them best. Guard your own time preciously and don’t hold back on asking for help when you feel like you’re becoming consumed by specific tasks.
Your job as a business leader is to keep the ship afloat, but without a crew and the right support in place, you’ll have a heck of a time navigating rough waters.