The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point

If your business stems from delivering a skill or creating a product then I’m guessing you were the one initially setting the standard for what your business sent out into the world. You’d be the one painstakingly creating the product or delivering that service. You might have been the teacher endeavouring to impart a skill in keen minds or the carpenter whose hands crafted a chunk of timber into something ergonomic and beautiful in someone’s home. Every job you did was yours from start to finish. You could take responsibility and credit for everything your business sent out into the world and were able to bask in the glow of that success.

I think it’s different when you go from working for someone else to working for yourself. Fundamentally, when you delivered that skill for a company you were invested in how you did it, when you did it, who you delivered it to and beyond your own personal involvement with each client you didn’t think much further. When you made that leap to running your own business there was a larger, more intoxicating sense of pride with every client, every completed job and watching the hours and enquiries swell served to enhance your feeling of ownership and the fierce protection you laid over your new enterprise.

However, it’s important to note that as the business grows and you have to keep up with demand for production of goods and services, you’re also now facing a surge in background administration to keep things flowing. There is a tipping point to recognise. How much paperwork can you do when combined with delivering the maximum of your business core to the public? Where does that tipping point occur and how long before the quality you were so proud of begins to suffer as you strive to keep up with the growing demand.

You’ve heard the phrase “spend money to make money” and it’s all too true. When a business is conceived we blow money on branded stationary, new equipment, prototypes, relevant books and materials and this is not only to legitimise ourselves to the outside world but to cement it in our hearts – to make it real until that first client materialises. The thing is, people wrongly assume that once they have spent that initial wodge that they will then begin the process of making money and that this will consistently outweigh the outgoings topping up necessities like printer paper, software subscriptions and overheads.

That’s like assuming that once you’ve bought all the baby stuff that you’ll never spend money on your child again. I hope you’re laughing right now because sweet Jesus is that wrong!

It’s important therefore to see early on that there will be a second wave of spending required (and a third, fourth, fifth etc etc etc and so on unto infinity, amen). To source the support for the next phase of growth in your business you need to look at the tipping point and what it will need.

Will you choose to offset the growing demand by hiring someone to do the in house administration for you? Will you take the reins for the management of the machinery of your business and hire more talented people like yourself to deliver the service or make the product? Or will you do a combination of both?

More quantity produced requires bigger premises to produce it.

More people attending classes requires a more sophisticated software system to organise it.

There are endless ways in which a business can grow and it’s your job to decide which direction it goes in, but you cannot do EVERYTHING FOREVER. At some point you either have to say “I am providing Z amount of service/goods and that requires X amount of practical productivity and Y amount of administration” and call it good. No further growth – glass ceiling reached and you’re quite happy.

The likelihood though is that if you love and believe in what you create you will want to keep sharing it, to reach more and more people and that will take decisions. An ability to delegate.

A Virtual Assistant can be the solution in all the above scenarios. Specifically, because we can fill the void in so many ways both long and short term.

Ultimately you might choose to hire and train an additional contractor – this will take time so a VA can put up a recruitment ad, make discovery calls to sort through candidates and then arrange those interviews for you.

If you choose to then hire them, they can either do the sign up for you or handle more administration while you work with your new hire.

Juggling your time to deliver product/service, sign up your new hire, sign on your new space and no time to deal with in house daily matters? Your VA can deal with emails, enquiries, customer service and keep on top of your marketing.

If you choose the right VA before you begin any of the above processes, just a couple of hours a week can give you time to expand your business in the ways only you can.

So sit down, write your Growth To Do list; how many hours of your time will it take to achieve? You have two options – decide if you can add those hours onto your current weekly demands (ouch) or if you have reached the tipping point where an extra pair of hands would be a valuable second wave.

Like I said; spend money to make money.

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