After being an entrepreneur for over 15 years, there are several lessons I’ve learned on what it takes to be successful on this sometimes weird and misunderstood road. Of the many things I’ve learned, there is one that is rarely taught on school, even on books. This is that entrepreneurs have many jobs, that start with the main duties of the entrepreneurship, but can go to other non related jobs, including going to the banks, making coffee and doing all types of chores. At one time or another all entrepreneur do some of these jobs, however, our goal as entrepreneurs should be to focus on the core of our business and let this jobs in the hands of qualified experts.
For instance, one job that I had to do in my early days as a full time entrepreneur was paying taxes. I had someone to prepare the tax forms, but that wasn’t the best decision I’ve made. Today in many countries you can use great tools, such as tax software and make this process something simple, freeing your time for other tasks. I’ve always favored good software, as it frees your time, but you can still keep track of what you’re doing.
Another task I don’t like is going to the bank to pay checks, make deposits and others. At one time I had a secretary/assistant who helped me with this task. Today I try to pay all my bills online, transfer money electronically and avoid as much as possible going to the bank. I know there are some skeptics about the security of online banking, but as long as you take some simple measures, like accessing your online banks only from your own computer (no public computers), using antivirus and firewall software, you should be fine. Also it’s a great idea to login into your bank account a couple of times each week to control and check the activities and statement.
There is another last task that I hate doing, which by the way usually takes a lot of time. This is the task of asking for governmental licenses and permits. Several years ago you had to go to the government agency or one of its branches to ask for the certificates and permits. Fortunately today many government agencies in all parts of the world allow you to make these requests online, in a few clicks and even pay for them online.
Whenever you are faced as an entrepreneur with these type of jobs, just ask yourself how much money will this cost you? For instance if by working 8 hours a day for 5 days a week you average $200 an hour, that’s the amount of money it costs you to do any of this chores. Lets say you have to prepare your taxes. If it takes you 2 hours to do this, this is $400 you loose or stop earning (however you see it). I’m sure you’ll find great software at a cheaper price that will be a better deal and free you to actually earn this money.
Remember you probably didn’t become an entrepreneur to do taxes, pay bills, make long lines and more. If there is software, give it a try. If it’s not available, just hire someone to this for you; it will be smarter and cheaper.
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