Recently, I was in the audience at a Women's Summit listening to business coach Jodi Johnson answer questions when Maria Guadamuz asked one that intrigued me. Maria, owner of a locksmith company, wanted to know how to take something off her plate. She wants to improve her work life balance but feels like every task needs to be done by her for her company to prosper.
Johnson urged her to let go -- to turn payroll over to a firm that specializes in that area.
It wasn't the first time I've heard a business owner verbalize the struggle with knowing when and how to outsource a function or hire someone to do it. I decided to explore the topic further in a column. Experts like Nell Merlino of Count Me In regularly coach business owners on how to get low priority tasks off their plates. An owner needs to focus on growing the company. Below is my column with some suggestions from experts.
Posted on Tue, Jul. 05, 2011
Learning when to call for help
By Cindy Krischer Goodman
MARICE COHN BAND / MIAMI HERALD STAFF
Maria Guadamuz, left, her husband Diego Castro, right, with their son Sebastian Castro, 2, own a locksmith compan in Miami. Maria is about to have a second child. The couple want to grow the business but Maria needs more work/life balance.
Each Friday when Maria Guadamuz prepares the payroll at her small business, she goes through an internal struggle. With her second child on the way, she knows she can’t do all the tasks she does now, particularly payroll, and raise her family. Yet, she frets over the idea of hiring someone else to take over the job.
“I want to be able to oversee everything and do everything,” says Guadamuz, co-owner of AAA Miami Locksmith. “Because it is my business, it’s hard to let go.”
Many people leave big companies to start their own businesses because they want more flexibility or more of a personal life. But where do you draw the line on guarding those perks when your business starts to grow? The decision to hire or outsource a function often is a necessary step for any maxed-out entrepreneur or business owner seeking to expand, but it’s a scary move fraught with a variety of concerns.
“A lot of business owners are afraid, “ says Jerry Selevan, a counselor with SCORE Miami-Dade. “They don’t know if they can afford help, they don’t know if someone can do the job as well as they do or if that person will learn too much and come back and compete.”
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