One of the books that changed my idea of what Little Fish could be was Company of One. When I read it in 2019, I was struck by the idea that I didn’t have to continuously grow my team to scale my business. I remember thinking then that we’d be great at a team of 3, mostly contractors, and no full-time employees. That’s all we need.
We’re now a team of 6 FT and PT employees.
Everybody won’t need to grow beyond their goal. But what I realized then (and was outlined in the book) is that it’s near impossible to run a profitable business by yourself. In fact, while I’m sure there are some, I can’t think of one business or business type that can be successfully run by you, and you alone. Maybe at first. But eventually, you’ll need someone.
The truth is - You can’t get out of hiring.
For some entrepreneurs, the first hire will be a VA or bookkeeper. As I remember hearing from Jereshia Hawk*, these are “limb” hires, necessary task managers that help you focus on providing your service. Many small business owners may not need to go beyond this, but most will. Eventually you’ll need “brain” hires - folks that can own and manage a process beyond tasks you assign. This someone may be hired to help you with operations or subcontracting the actual work. As you make more money, it may be time to hire for accounting and tax advice to interpret financials and support you in growing towards your goals. Regardless of who you hire, the point remains - everybody needs somebody sometimes. It’s not healthy or sustainable to do it without help.
At the end of the day, you’re paying for everything you do for your business in one of two ways: money or time. When you first started, there may have been no money but a lot of time. (For many of us it was no money AND no time). So we didn’t have a choice - everything that needed to be done required our time and attention. Funds weren’t available to hire help. But then we grow.
Look at your business now. What are you spending time doing that you should outsource? Scheduling appointments? Taxes? Paying your team?
Think about the value of your time. It’s a nonrenewable resource that no one feels like they have enough of. And yet you’re giving it away towards tasks that you shouldn’t be doing. That - real talk - you aren’t even good at.
People often ask me when it’s time to hire a CPA. The answer is always the same, but really it applies to any hire or partner with your team:
When you don’t want to do it anymore
When you don’t feel confident that you can do it correctly
When you can afford it
Notice the budget is last. Not because it’s not important - but because you can make more money if you have more time. Affordability is relative then.
*Get INTO Jereshia’s Instagram account. I’ve never listened to one of her videos and not caught a gem.