Guest post by Noah Kagan of AppSumo.
Last night I shared a bottle of wine with some very successful entrepreneurs. How successful? Some days they are generating $100,000 a DAY in revenue. That’s $36,500,000 a year.
The fact that surprised me most wasn’t how much they were making, but that THEY were still doing their own data entry and dealing with their smaller clients.
Think of it another way: if you look at their hourly revenue, $100,000 / 8 hours a day of work / 2 guys = $6,250 an hour.
Do you see where I am about go with this?
They should pay $40 / hour to an account manager to deal with data entry and handling smaller clients. They should ONLY be doing work that is the worth their $6,250 / hourly they produce, doing anything less than that is inefficient.
(After spitting out my wine) I started berating them with hate words about how dumb they are and why aren’t they focusing on higher value things for their business.
Their response: “we want to make sure it gets done right.”
Aww, now it makes sense. They’re control freaks.
This is something I had a problem with myself. As entrepreneurs we often want to do it ourselves AND we don’t focus on the highest value things we can be doing for our businesses.
I used to do that same kind of data entry, write up the emails for AppSumo, do the support emails (which I like most of the time) and other things.
It all changed when my buddy Joe opened me up to outsourcing.
“Come on Joe. Those outsourced people are crappy and it’s so weird,” I said.
He finally convinced me to try, so I paid a guy $4 an hour start aggregating certain data from me.
— LIGHT BULB —
It wasn’t about outsourcing to India, it WAS about maximizing the best use of my time.
What do you think is better use of my hour: writing this article that hopefully attracts 1,000 smart and attractive Think Traffic readers to check out AppSumo OR data entry to put a new deal in our system?
Go ahead, take a guess. Writing this article obviously generates way more value which is a way better ROI / value / monetizable use of my time than doing data entry.
How you can save yourself today:
Start small in hiring other people to do your tasks. It’s a lot to transition your favorite task of data entry to someone else right away. Start someone off with one task a week that you routinely do and build from there. (message me on twitter and I can recommend some people for you)
Think investment. Don’t think of it as a cost. I LOVE hiring for my company. When we bring new people on, it helps grow the business and it makes ROI sense. Here’s the secret to adding employees as investments: if someone has a salary of $X, ONLY hire them if they can help the business generate at least $X+1.
Guard your time. Next time you think about doing something, think if you are really adding value (i.e. only your super special brain can do it), or if someone who’s value of time is lower would free you up for better things. An even easier way to do this is to assume an hour of your time is worth $500. That gives you a bar to help evaluate the tasks and things you choose to spend your time on.
Don’t get me wrong, if you love data entry and you get enjoyment out of it, don’t let this post stop you. I just want you to leverage your time for the maximum impact on your business.
Ultimately, while you are starting or growing your business you should be constantly asking yourself if what you’re doing is the best use of your time.
That’s the key to not suffering from business suffocation syndrome.
What have you done recently to stop suffocating your business? Let’s chat it up in the comments.
(Hey everybody, this is Corbett): If you haven’t heard of AppSumo yet, you’re missing out on some incredible deals on applications and services that can really help your online business.
Go check it out and let’s see if Noah’s theory about 1,000 smart and attractive Think Traffic readers holds up: visit AppSumo.com for daily deals for web entrepreneurs. This isn’t an affiliate link, I just have gotten some great deals at AppSumo and have learned a lot from Noah as an entrepreneur.