With Valentine’s Day in the air, it seems like a relevant moment to ask what you love (and hate) about owning your own business? (If you haven’t yet started your business, learn from what other business owners love and hate!) According to the 2015 Infusionsoft Small Business Market Research Sales & Marketing Report, which polled business owners in both B2B and B2C industries, here’s how it shakes out:
- The most popular task is customer service: 60 percent love it, while just 9 percent hate it.
- Close behind is product or service development (don’t we all love coming up with new ideas?): 57 percent love doing this, and only 3 percent hate it, making it the least-hated of any task.
- Marketing and advertising is also fairly popular (46 percent love it and 14 percent hate it), as is sales (44 percent love it and 17 percent hate it).
- Somewhere in the middle is “managing a website/web content”), which 25 percent love and 22 percent hate.
- The scales tip, however, at IT/technology activities. More people (34 percent) hate this than love it (27 percent).
- Even less popular? HR activities—37 percent hate them, and only 11 percent love them.
- Nearly half (44 percent) hate administrative tasks, while just 18 percent love them.
- And the winner for least popular business-related activity? (Drum roll, please): A whopping 56 percent of entrepreneurs hate doing financial tasks; only 17 percent love them.
Whether or not your pet peeves fall into one of the common categories, I’m sure there are some duties of your business you really don’t enjoy. Whether you’re not good at them, find them deadly boring or simply would rather spend your time doing other things, how can you get around this problem? Here are a couple solutions:
Delegate. This also solves a couple common challenges small business owners in the survey cited: getting everything done (55 percent struggle with this) and managing everything solo (43 percent). If you’re not good at something, consider outsourcing to an expert or taking on a partner or employee to handle it. If a task isn’t worth your time (say, admin work), outsourcing to virtual employees or independent contractors is a smart move.
How do you know if something’s worth your time or not? Use your pricing structure to figure out the value of an hour of your time. If you’re starting a consulting business and charge $250 an hour for consulting, should you really be spending an hour sorting paperwork or inputting figures? A good rule of thumb is that if you can pay someone to do it for substantially less than your hourly cost, it’s worthwhile. Even if you lose some money doing this in the short run, in the long run you’ll be able to spend more time doing what you do best: grow your business.
Educate. For those tasks you hate because you’re not good at them, the secret is getting good at them! Your SCORE mentor can help you learn more about all of the tasks above. If you still want to delegate them afterwards, that’s OK. But who knows? Once you’ve had accounting thoroughly explained to you, you just might enjoy it after all. Visit www.score.org to get matched with a mentor today.