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Let Others Expand Your Time

13 October 2010 No Comment

By Helen Kaiao Chang

See original story on AboutFreelanceWriting.com

“What do you do that someone else could do for you?” The answers to this question can mean more profits in your writing business.

The key, of course, it to find the tasks you can pay someone else to do for less, so you can concentrate on activities that generate more revenue.

As I have asked myself this question over the past few years, the number of people I have added to my team has grown – and so have my profits.

The first person I hired was an admin assistant. This job started small – just two hours a week. I needed a real person, rather than a virtual assistant, to open mail, file papers, sort documents and do other office tasks. This job has now grown to about nine hours a week, including bookkeeping. My assistant does things like: pay bills, track timesheets, clear email, run to the copy store, and talk to the phone company. The time she saves me allows me to spend more time with clients.

The second person I hired was a cleaner. She comes in about once a month to clean the kitchen and toilet, mop floors, vacuum, change sheets and so on. At first she came over once every two weeks, but because I’ve been traveling so much, once a month is working out just right.

You have to understand – I live in a 760 sq ft, two-bedroom apartment with not even a TV. I live a simple life. Yet, having a cleaner has freed my time up so much, I feel like a queen in my apartment.

Despite this help, I found myself stretched in my work. I had to ask myself again, “What do you do that someone else could do for you?”

I looked closely at my writing projects. I realized that I could engage others to help in some areas. So I hired copy editors, proofreaders, associate writers and video editors to work with me on certain projects. Besides, after editing something for the 15th time, I’m pretty blind to mistakes. It’s wonderful to have partners who can spot those errors.

These associates freed me up to concentrate on more creative and analytical aspects of projects I’ve taken on – and to make sure I’m giving clients exactly what they want.

I’m still a one-person shop. I have no employees, and I am a sole proprietorship. But having a network of associates to help get the job done sure makes life more fun, enjoyable and satisfying. I contribute to my associates’ growth, while expanding my capacity to serve my clients.

The parts of my work that cannot be outsourced are the aspects that people hire me for in the first place – my experience, insight and writing skills. Outsourcing to others allows me to focus on what I do best. After all, that’s why I started this business – to write, express my creativity and serve people.

What can you let others do in your business? I’m sure the answers can help you grow, too.

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenChang.

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