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        Find out how to get the extra help you need in the form of hiring assistants and delegating tasks.

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        Lightening the Load ... Getting Help When You Need It


        © 2013 Elena Fawkner

        If there's one immutable fact of life when it comes to this
        business, it's that there's so much to do but so little time to
        do it all in.  At some point around the one year mark, if you've
        been even moderately successful in your online business,
        you'll find you've reached the limit of what you can do with
        the time you have available.  At that point you have a choice:
        to deliberately retard the growth of your business to maintain
        the status quo, or take on additional resources to help you
        cope with a business that continues to grow beyond the
        capacities of just one person.

        That's just the choice I was faced with when I returned to
        the full-time workforce last month after running my online
        business on a full-time basis for two months.  I realized
        almost immediately that if I kept on the way I was, my
        business wasn't going to go any further.  It was taking all
        my time to deal with the administrative side of the business
        and that left none for the really important business-
        development activities that kept getting pushed to the
        back-burner until I magically found the time to get to them.

        In this article, we look at getting help when you need it.  And
        no, I'm not talking about going out and hiring a wage-earning
        full-time employee or even a part-time employee for that matter
        although that, of course, is one option open to you.  Instead,
        with a little bit of lateral thinking you may well find you can get
        the help you need for very little (if any) up-front cash outlay.

        COMPENSATING YOUR ASSISTANT

        Because (I assume) you're still running your business
        on a shoestring, you can't afford to pay someone a wage
        in advance of generating additional income.  This means that
        whoever you choose needs to be someone who's prepared to
        work for a percentage of the profits of the business rather
        than a wage.  For this reason, the person you choose will
        most likely be close to you ... a family member, spouse
        or very close friend.

        As for the proportion of profits that you pay to your assistant,
        this is up to you and your assistant to negotiate and will
        depend on several factors including the types of tasks your
        assistant performs, the time they have available to work (and
        actually do work) and the overall contribution they make to the
        business.  An assistant who takes an entrepreneurial interest
        in the business and contributes to its growth in addition to its
        maintenance should be rewarded accordingly.

        TAX CONSEQUENCES

        Be sure to get professional advice before you start your
        arrangement with your assistant.  You need to think about
        tax and other issues such as whether your profit-sharing
        arrangement might create a partnership rather than an
        employer-employee relationship (this may or may not be
        something you want).  Also, assuming you're not intending
        to create a partnership relationship with your assistant, think
        about whether you want an employer-employee relationship or
        whether you prefer your assistant to be an independent
        contractor. There are tax consequences for each of the
        above scenarios so be sure to talk to your accountant about
        your options.

        CONVERTING TIME INTO INCOME

        It should be self-evident that you are going to have to
        convert the time you free up with the help of your assistant
        into income.  In other words, if your business doesn't
        generate any more income as a result of you taking on an
        assistant, by the time you split your profits, you're going
        to be behind.  So it's crucial that you take the time you save
        and spend it wisely.  That means using your time on projects
        that are going to increase the income of your business by
        more than the cost of splitting your profits.

        WHO TO CHOOSE FOR YOUR ASSISTANT

        Now, who should you choose for your assistant?  To start
        with, consider who in your immediate circle has both the
        time and the ability to help you in your business.  It could be
        a spouse, teenage son or daughter, parent, next door neighbor,
        brother or sister, close friend or colleague.

        In my case, my first choice for an assistant was my
        computer-savvy mother but, because she is retired and on a
        pension, she can't earn an income without jeopardizing her
        retirement income.  I therefore  didn't consider her as a real
        possibility.

        I then considered one of my sisters but, because
        of technical problems (she didn't have a suitable computer
        and wasn't in a position to get one quickly) that wasn't
        going to work either.  Then my other sister, not computer-
        savvy but obviously a lateral thinker, suggested that, instead
        of paying my mother her share of the profits in cash which
        would have jeopardized her pension, why not pay her in airline
        tickets from Australia to the US?  Because I have recently
        relocated from Australia to the US, this was a perfect
        solution because it was expenditure my parents would
        have incurred anyway.  And, from my business's point
        of view, because my mother works for the business, the
        airfares the business pays for will be tax-deductible as
        our visits will be, at least in part, business-related.

        So, give some thought to your particular circumstances
        and think laterally.  Perhaps you have a teenage son or
        daughter who is good with computers and is looking for a
        way to earn additional income.  Not only does appointing
        them as your assistant achieve this goal, it also gives your
        child crucial experience working in the ecommerce field and
        that sure can't hurt!

        Perhaps you have a close friend who is a single mother
        and is looking for at-home ways to supplement her part-time
        income.  Perhaps a sibling is in a similar position.  You get the
        idea.  I imagine that most people know at least one person that
        they could strike such an arrangement with.

        TASKS TO DELEGATE

        OK, so you've lined up your assistant.  Let's turn now
        to the kinds of things you can delegate to him/her.

        As a general rule, you want to delegate those tasks that
        are routine, repetitive and which maintain (rather than
        grow) your business.  Growing the business is your job.
        That's what's meant by working "on" the business rather
        than "in" the business.

        Consider the following:

        => Processing Subscribe/Unsubscribe Requests

        If you publish an ezine, then you know what an administrative
        headache it can be processing all those subscribe and
        unsubscribe requests even with the aid of automating software.

        Despite your best efforts, and clear instructions in your ezine,
        there are always at least a dozen people who can't seem to
        figure out how to unsubscribe themselves and send you a
        message asking you to do it for them.  Then there are those
        who write asking to be added to your ezine list because they've
        been referred by a friend and don't have your subscribe URL.
        So you add them manually too.  Then there are those who want
        to unsubscribe but keep trying to do so using an email address
        other than the one they signed up with.  They send abusive
        emails to you when, for some mysterious reason they keep
        getting your ezine.  They, of course, think you're so desperate
        for subscribers that you have set up your devious systems so
        that once they're subscribed they're on your list forever.

        Annoying as this is for ezine publishers, the real problem is the
        time it eats up dealing with this stuff.  So delegate this task to
        your assistant.

        =>  Processing Advertising Orders

        Another routine task that can be delegated to your assistant
        is the processing of advertising orders in your ezine.  Set up
        your systems so that all orders go straight to your assistant
        (with a copy to you so you're in the loop) who then schedules
        the ad, confirms the booking with the advertiser and then
        formats the ad ready for the next issue.

        => Sending Your Ezine

        Actually sending your ezine to your list is something that
        you can delegate to your assistant, too.  Just email your
        ezine to your assistant when you've finished it for sending
        to your list.  You may even leave your assistant to insert the
        classified ads.

        => Submitting Your Articles

        Another routine task that your assistant can take care of is
        article submissions.  I have a list of article submission
        services that I submit my articles to on a weekly basis,
        as well as a handful of publishers who have specifically
        requested to receive them.  My assistant sends for each
        article after it is written (they're all available on autoresponder)
        and submits it to the article submission sites/lists I
        specify.  A longer-term project is to seek out, on a regular
        basis, new article submission points.  That, also, I have
        delegated.

        => Submitting Your Ezine

        Similarly, I have delegated the task of submitting my
        ezine to the various ezine announcement services that
        are always springing up all over the place.

        => Negotiating Ad Swaps

        If you're an ezine publisher, you know that receiving ad swap
        proposals from fellow publishers is a frequent occurrence.
        Delegate the negotiation of these swaps to your assistant.

        => Web Site Updating

        Depending on how computer-savvy your assistant is,
        they may also be able to take on some simple web site
        updating for you.  We're not talking about major design
        changes here, just making routine updates to add your
        latest ezine, article or advertising information, that sort of
        thing.

           ~*~*~*~*~*~

        By delegating these routine administrative tasks and any
        others that may apply to your particular business, you will
        save yourself several hours of work every week.  Don't
        squander this time!  Now you have the time you need to
        overhaul your site, write the next month's articles for your
        ezine, investigate and respond to the half dozen joint
        venture proposals you've received this week, create that
        ebook you've been meaning to get around to writing and,
        most importantly, *promoting your business*!  As stated
        earlier, you MUST convert your newfound time into dollars.
        If not, your business is just going backwards ... the very
        circumstance you sought to avoid when hiring your
        assistant.

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        Copyright 1998-2017, AHBBO.com. All rights are reserved. Tuesday, 26-Jan-2021 03:09:12 CST


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