I Can’t Move Mountains Alone!
A few years ago, I did something that changed the trajectory of my business, and my personal life. I hired a third-party company to take on certain tasks in my business that I hated and quite frankly kept me up at night. The task of collecting payments from my clients was a horrific position to be in, especially when you are building a new business and want to keep good relationships.
After many years, I decided to hire a third-party accountant to help me with the accounts payable and accounts receivable. The issue was, companies would either handle AP/AR or handle the taxes & filings but not both…until I was introduced to Chris Cox, owner of Kimcox Inc.
Chris is an accountant and a tax guru, who became an integral part of my business. He immediately stepped in and took over all the billing; he mastered my software program, learned about our clients and created better processes.
Many of us became business owners because we thought we were smarter than our employers and that we could do it better… or we were lucky enough to be born with our last name on a fleet of trucks or buildings, either way, we now know that our chosen profession is only a small fraction of what we do day in and day out and that we are actually the CEO of all the “shit work.”
As business owners we are all overworked and overwhelmed. Even if we have good help, when it comes to things like effectively managing money, insurance and legal contracts, it is doubtful that we or our support staff have ALL the skills needed to navigate complex issues.
I do not want to offend anybody, so if you happen to have support staff that used to be a paralegal/insurance underwriter/CPA, then you are incredibly lucky, and this article is probably not for you.
For the rest of us, with unemployment at 3.6%, we are all struggling to find great staff. And if we are fortunate enough to find an extraordinary person that can stand being around us 40 hours a week, the last thing you want do is burn them out.
The question becomes, what do we do with all these tasks that we hate to do, that are not our core competencies, and in some cases, like insurance, can have a seriously negative affect on our business if not handled correctly?
You do the same thing I did, you outsource it.
How do you do that?
By asking for help.
Who do you ask?
Everyone! Especially the professional services you pay. You may be surprised, but one of your professional services might have a program that will take some of these tasks off your plate.
Since COVID, most businesses are finding ways to innovate and many of them, like Kimcox and SIS, realize that we can no longer just be an accountant, or insurance agent. We need to find real solutions to our client’s problems.
I have already shared what Kimcox (through their innovative thinking), has done for my business; let me share some of the programs we have created for our clients.
Besides providing complex insurance solutions, SIS created a program that will not only collect the subcontractors’ certificates of insurance, but verify their insurance is valid and compliant. We also help our builder clients document and streamline their home warranties.
Believe it or not, some of our clients actually like doing warranty work; they feel it gives them an opportunity to have one-on-one time with their client after the sale. However, very few builders have an actual warranty process. Most of the time they are getting a text or an email and are simply reacting to a problem. Wouldn’t it be great if somebody took the call, scheduled the appointment, followed-up and managed the process all while documenting everything? You can have your one-on-one time, when they invite you over for dinner to thank you for a job well done.
I have never met a builder who said, “I love insurance, cannot wait to talk to my agent next year!” That's because doing taxes, handling payroll and dealing with insurance sucks.
My point is, if you do not like doing payroll, hire a third-party company to do it for you. I happen to have a great one. If you do not like collecting certificates let SIS not only collect, but also verify your subcontractors’ insurance is compliant.
Going back to Chris, it has been almost 3 years and he has become our interim CFO- meaning he oversees human resources, hiring, payroll, taxes, he manages our licenses in 22 states, all government filings and so much more.
When looking at your business, ask yourself - Can you outsource an answering service that picks up your phone and greets your clients as if they were sitting in your office? Can you outsource a CFO, or a risk manager? How about a marketing department, IT, or technical writer?
When outsourcing pieces of your business, think of it this way - You are working with your business partners, who are experts in their field, so they can help you grow your business… which will ultimately grow theirs. Sounds like the best Win-Win ever!
Note: If you have questions on how Stephanie is outsourcing to build her business, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org