The owner of a small business today faces challenges unknown in earlier days. No longer is the competition from other businesses within the same geographic area. The business must now compete with the rest of the world. It is not enough to do everything yourself and dabble in a little marketing every now and then.
That was the business model carryover from the old days of store merchants. In today’s world, the owner of a business must focus all his energies on growing the business, both it’s financial health and it’s sales. Back in the days of your grandparents, people made their own soap. Yes, they were being thrifty and doing essential chores, but today we don’t have time or the desire, it’s better to just buy the soap. Doing your own payroll each week or two is a chore that adds nothing to the growth of your business. It is a chore, not unlike landscaping, cleaning, or machine maintenance. These are all things you could do yourself but the question is, should you?
One important difference is the sensitivity of the information involved. But how many times are problems caused when pay rates leak out, or you want to give a raise but don’t want the employee who does the payroll to know. About 28% of you end up doing the payroll yourselves. That’s not being productive with your time. You also want it done right, so you do it yourself. This is not the way to grow, by doing everything yourself.
The chore of paying the employees and paying the taxes does not add any value to what your customer buys from you, or the experience your customer has dealing with your company! Small companies become big companies when the owner learns to delegate, when he starts working on his business, not in his business, when he hires talented people who do specialized tasks for him.
He (I say “he” because 78% of business owners are men, although I think this is changing rapidly) works on how the business delivers something valuable to the customer, he works on the marketing message the world sees, he works on the systems that make the business work in the eyes of his customers.
The owner of the growing business does not spend his time on mundane tasks that customers don’t care about. Your customer could not care less whether you spend a couple hours every Friday doing your own payroll. Look, just get the facts on the different ways to get the job done in the least amount of time.
Small business, I believe, is the backbone of our great nation. It’s people and it’s energy are what make our economy work, although they get none of the attention. It’s where all the growth comes from, it’s where the action is, it’s where work gets done, but don’t try to do everything yourself.