Benefit by Delegating Part 1

October 13, 2003

BUT I CAN’T AFFORD TO HIRE! (Part 1)

By: Linda Leigh Francis


In my class on how to run your business, Nick, a remodeler, complained about having so much work that he had no time to market.

Like many people in the building industry, Nick’s sales looked like the Alps--peaks of plenty, followed by valleys with very few jobs. He would start running out of work, which induced a frenzy of marketing, which created lots of work, which resulted in no time to market, which caused no work, resulting in a frenzy of marketing, and so on and on.

Fortunately, homework in my class included an analysis of how Nick spent his time. He tracked his week in 15 minute intervals. (A pain to do, but extremely insightful!) Nick found that he was averaging 10 hours a week doing jobs a laborer could do, like delivering materials, running errands, gassing vehicles, cleaning up job sites, etc.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Do you recognize yourself here? Do you think that if these jobs need to get done, that you need to suck it up and do it, despite the number of hours you are putting in or what else you should be doing?

I asked Nick if it made sense to hire an employee to do this work, so he could concentrate on doing the tasks on his owner’s job description, which included marketing every week.

Nick said he couldn’t afford to hire a worker because of the peaks and valleys of his sales. Hmmm? So, instead of hiring someone at, say a total of $7.00/hr or 11 cents a minute, he was paying himself a total of $28.00/hr or 46 cents a minute to do the work.

With these numbers in mind, Nick saw that hiring a worker would make him money. First, he understood that the $280 he was paying himself for ten hours, would pay for a full-time minimum wage employee.

Second, he could use the hours he saved to do marketing on a consistent basis. With consistent marketing, he could flatten out his business’ peaks and valleys, resulting in more profits.



Linda Francis teaches workshops and seminars on business management and it the author of Run Your Business So It Doesn’t Run You. For information on her seminars or to order her book, call 707-485-0162, or e-mail lfrancis@pacific.net.

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