Are YOU the Bottleneck in Your Business?

I get it, part of running your own business is having control of what goes on. You control your brand, content, launches, customer service…. everything! It’s exhilarating, but do you ever find yourself backlogged with the tasks?

As a wedding photographer, I always hear colleagues talk about how much editing they have backlogged when the middle of the year rolls around. It takes them months to get to editing the previous weekend’s weddings because they haven’t finished editing the weddings from the prior two months.

Maybe your bottleneck doesn’t look this extreme. It could be the hours you spend cleaning your house, writing blogs, or even responding to emails every day. What are the tasks that slow your productivity down?

Now, I’ve got an assignment for you. Write down the tasks that slow your business work down, then narrow that list down to the top three worst offenders.

When I first did this exercise, my top three tasks went like this:

  1. Editing Images
  2. Culling (narrowing down the best images from a shoot)
  3. House cleaning

Why was editing my number one task I wanted help with? Well, I’m a very slow editor!

My perfectionism kicks in, and it takes me hours to do what others could do in 30 minutes. After a little research and a few calculations, I realized that I could pay someone else to do top quality work for less than I was paying myself to do it. Hello, outsourcing!

What is stopping you from outsourcing your list of tasks right now?

The top excuses I've heard are:

1. It's too expensive. 

Re-evaluate and calculate how much you’re paying yourself to do these tasks, then research outsourcing options and compare how much they cost in comparison to doing the work yourself. Outsourcing is more affordable than you think! 

2. I'd feel guilty outsourcing.

Don't let guilt fool you. Outsourcing buys you more time to spend on the activities where you add the most value, and that is nothing to feel ashamed about. In addition, it frees you up to spend more time with family or give your customers a better experience. Guilt vanquished.

3. I want control because I do [insert activity] best.

Step off your throne (yeah, I just said that!) and realize that anything can be taught. If you want something done in a particular way, hire for quality, create foolproof processes, and teach when necessary. You are not the only human that can handle this task. If this task really is slowing down your business, then it is in your best interest to outsource it.

What now?

My advice is to start now by outsourcing the first task you listed. Get it going during slow season so you don't have any questions about the process during your busy time. Once you see how much time outsourcing can free up time, you'll be itching to follow up by outsourcing the rest of your list.

Comment below and let me know what you're inspired to outsource!

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