We're Duct Tape Marketing Coaches and we make our living by coaching business owners on how to market their businesses. When we work with a business owner, we get to see how they run their business and can help them by offering our observations—often on things that really are not marketing issues although they might affect the marketing.
Case in point: Yesterday, I was having a session with a business owner and giving him some findings of a telephone research project we conducted for him. We had spoken to a number of his clients and one thing that was coming through clearly was that there was a seeming lack of communication between the office and the project sites—this is a company involved in construction.
Clients told me that there were often scheduling problems and that the men on the front lines, at the job site, didn't seem to communicate with the office.
I asked the owner about this and he said that he didn't think the guys were giving him the right information when they called, if they called at all. I asked him how often he visited the sites and he replied that he went to once-a-week meetings.
Curious about this, but trying to be diplomatic, I asked, "What is keeping you so busy here at the office?"
He told me that since the bookkeeper had retired some months back, he had been doing a lot more paperwork and keeping track of the financials. As well, he had taken on a new software program that was intended to "streamline" the operations and he was busy learning it.
The result was, he was not able to get to the job sites as often as he used to and things had begun to get out of control.
I asked him how much he used to pay the bookkeeper per hour and he said it was about $11 per hour. I suddenly noticed a light go on in his eyes!
You see, you can't be doing work you could download for $11 per hour when as a business owner your time is worth so much more—the hourly rate this firm was charging for labor averaged about $55, never mind what the business owners time was worth.
I believe it was Bill Gates who said something like, "Do what you do best and delegate the rest."
If you try to do it all yourself you're not making the best use of your time and your business will suffer.