Trying To Go it Alone: Why It Is Less Productive To Work Alone

Posted by Heather Villa, CMA, MBA, MSM on October 19, 2009 in: Delegation for Success, Freelancing

Many small businesses begin as one-person operations. A new small business owner may have neither the budget nor the workload to justify hiring employees. In the early days, this generally works just fine. A small business with a slow stream of work usually allows its owner plenty of time to focus on all aspects of each project.

However, success tends to breed success. Soon you may find yourself with a steady stream of projects. You may even get to the point of turning down projects that you simply do not have time to complete. The decision then becomes, do you continue to do it yourself, or hire someone? It can be a difficult decision. But you must take into consideration that continuing to work alone can be counterproductive.

There are several reasons for this:

No business owner is good at everything
You probably have a natural aptitude for the work that your business produces. You can quickly and easily turn out finished projects that are of the highest quality. Other types of work, however, may not come so easily to you.

Perhaps you have trouble producing high quality written work. You struggle with putting words together in just the right combination to convey your meaning. Consequently, preparing written reports, ad copy and other documents takes you an inordinate amount of time. Or maybe math is not your strong suit. While words flow quickly out of your fingers, you struggle to understand spreadsheets, complete payroll and perform other tasks that involve long strings of numbers.
No matter what your weaker area is, you will find yourself dedicating extra time to those projects. You will lose valuable productivity simply due to a natural weakness.

No business owner has time for everything
The sheer quantity of tasks that must be performed by a small business can be onerous. Even if you are the rare person who is equally talented in all aspects of business management and production, performing them all by yourself ensures that you have less time to produce your main product. Every task takes time to complete.

So you have to make the decision, should you do it yourself or hire someone?

The solution
You may not be ready to hire an on-site part time or full time staff just yet. That’s okay; after all, those costs can be high when you factor in overhead and equipment purchases. But there is an intermediate step you can take: Outsourcing. Whether you choose a virtual assistant to work consistently with you or a freelancer to take on specific projects, you can scale up or down or hire on an as-needed basis.

The advantage here is that you can start small and slowly build your business in an organic way, rather than hiring an employee and hoping that you’ll get enough extra business to cover their wage. Outsourcing your work is the way to go!

About the author: Heather Villa, MBA CMA MSM, is a Business Coach and Entrepreneur. She helps business owners achieve success in operations, productivity, project management, and social media. Read her other articles at and visit for more information.

Disclaimer: © 2009 Heather Villa. Permission is granted to repost this article. Article must be published in its entirety, including author bio, and all links must remain intact.

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I love working with coaches, freelancers, and entrepreneurs to help them become more successful. If you'd like to improve your business, find out how I can help.

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