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What roles should you play in your business?

by Jeanette Cates

Copyright 2006 Jeanette Cates

Michael Gerber, in his book the e-Myth, talks about the importance of working ON your business, rather than IN your business. In one case you're doing the planning, creating the vision, leading your organization (regardless of the size). In the other, you're doing the actual work of the business - the details.

As entrepreneurs our tendency is to take on all the detailed work in our business. Primarily because it's what we know how to do. And secondarily because we're sure no one else can it as well as we can.

But what role should you be playing in your online business?

There are three major functional areas in online success:

- Decision making - things that only you, the business owner can do

- Marketing activities - which you can hire out

- Technical activities - which you can hire out

You need to understand what each role does, but not necessarily how it is done.

Let's use designing a web site as an example.

One of the biggest mistakes I see is people who are experts in their field spending the time and frustration trying to learn web design. For $100 you can pay a web designer to set that up for you - then you can get on with the process of making money. While you are uniquely qualified to decide what content should be on the site, any web designer could implement that for you.

Creating web pages is like any other profession. Doing it well takes professional skills.

In your business, do you do all of your own taxes or do you hire an accountant? Do you write all of your own contracts or do you hire a lawyer? Do you create all of your marketing materials or do you hire a professional designer? The same thinking applies to designing, maintaining and marketing your website.

Do you want to spend the time and effort it takes to learn web design? Some will say "yes" and learn a new hobby. Others will say "no way" and hire a professional. Others will say "I have no choice at this time" and do the best they can. Some will hire a professional to set up the site, then do the maintenance themselves.

The important thing is to recognize that when you decide to do it yourself, you need to be willing to spend the time and effort it takes to learn it. And that time *will* detract from the time you can spend thinking about your business, making decisions, and working ON the business.

Remember what business you are in. Unless you have a strong desire to learn the intricacies of HTML (the code for web pages), don't bother to spend your time learning web design.

Instead, become a good manager of your website. Most business owners are better served learning the what's and why's of good online business and leaving the how-to's to the professionals.

Doing the actual marketing activities, such as submitting your articles to directories, building link exchanges, managing your pay-per-click campaigns are also detractors from your major role as the visionary and decision-maker for the business. All of these activities can be hired out to someone else.

Can you afford to hire all this help? In most cases, yes! In fact, if you calculate how much you can make per hour, using your unique expertise (working with clients, creating a product, offering a teleseminar), you'll find you can hire a lot of help at $10-20 per hour - and actually increase your profitability!

And while we're talking about hiring help, look at the time you spend on personal tasks that could be hired out. For example, if you spend 5 hours per week cleaning your house, you could hire someone to do that for you at $10 per hour. So you could "buy back" 20 hours of your time for only $200 per month. What could you do with 20 hours dedicated to your business? How much could you earn in that amount of time?

Deciding on your role in your business is one of your responsibilities as the business owner. When you choose to work ON your business, rather than IN your business, your profitability will soar!

About the Author

Dr. Jeanette Cates is an Internet strategist who works with experts who are ready to turn their website and their knowledge into gold. She is the CEO of TechTamers, a full service web design and marketing firm. Inquire about how to build your online success at http://www.AskJeanetteCates.com

Tags: Start and Run a Business



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