There are 2 questions you need to be asking yourself every single day.
Write these down, then put them on the top of your computer monitor.
Stick them on the wall.
Make a calendar event go off daily at 6am.
Set an alarm on your phone.
Do whatever you need to.
1. What is the most important thing I can complete today to push my company forward?
2. What’s the most cost efficient way to accomplish it?
With 1, you want to be always always always keeping it at the top of your mind that you’re accomplishing things that are important. We get caught up in the day to day of answering emails, reading blogs, in general just fucking around not doing anything actually productive. It just feels productive because you were busy. If you answer this question every single day, I promise you will push much farther ahead than your competition. Because no matter how innovative your idea is, how spectacular you are, I promise you – your competition is out there. Even if you’re first to market – someone is learning and waiting to pounce the second you fall behind.
With 2, this is to keep COST at the top of your mind every day. To get you in a lean mindset. To constantly keep you thinking about what’s the most cost efficient way to accomplish tasks in general (not just your most important task du jour). I implemented this a bit too late the first time around unfortunately, but it has been making an enormous difference in the rebuild.
This can range extremely heavily, but there’s tons of ways to do something cheaper.
Here are some example scenarios:
1. You’re a therapist.
You have 26 clients that need to be scheduled over the next 3 weeks so you can complete their appointments and get paid. This would definitely line up with #1 because if you’re not meeting with your clients/customers, you’re not making any money. So now, let’s say you e-mail all 26 of them. For all of you who have dealt with scheduling, I’m sure you already have a slight panic attack at just me saying scheduling 26 people at once. For those of you who haven’t, believe me it’s a mess – finding times, re-finding times, reschedules, cancelations, you name it.
So, what can we do here?
Well, let’s start with the math:
In this example, you currently make $110/hour as a therapist. So every hour that you spend scheduling is, in essence, costing you $110 because you’re spending time with scheduling that you could be spending meeting with a client. Let’s say that scheduling all these people takes a grand total of 3 hours of your time for the month. You have now, in essence, spent $330 for scheduling. Now that you have your total cost, let’s figure out how to reduce this as much as possible.
A. Automation – I like trying for software and automation first, because the cost (both time and money) will usually be lowest here. So just googling (should be your #1 go-to and *ahem* an industry secret – what your IT person uses 95% of the time) “calendar scheduling software” pulls up 5 or 6 companies that do exactly this. I see Calendly, which I’m going to use for this example, since it’s one I have heard of before. Calendly has a free option or an $8/month option (based on your needs). It would handle 99% of your scheduling problems. So you have now saved $302/month, potentially every month. Then even more once you can start booking more clients! And if you don’t like Calendly, here’s an article I found with other competitors as well – https://www.techrepublic.com/article/8-tools-to-help-streamline-scheduling-meetings/
B. Outsourcing – A contract job or part time person. Let’s say there is no calendar scheduling software. Some online virtual assistant type services (again, found by googling “online assistant”) – taskrabbit, fancyhands, zirtual. Fancyhands has 15 requests for $75/month and each extra request at 5$/month. Scheduling 26 people would cost $130 ($75 base, then 11 more requests at 5$ each, $75 + $55 = $130)
C. Employee – Always going to be the most expensive route, so only go for this option if the other 2 aren’t available. A part time administrative assistant would be probably around $11/hour (depending on your location). $11/hour at 10 hours/week (the least amount of hours you’re going to get someone hired on for), $110 per week, 4.5 weeks per month = $495/month. Not including any extra costs like workers comp, taxes, and all that other fun stuff though. 1099 would be great but there’s not a good way to legally have a 1099 administrative assistant. So this would definitely be your last option.
Your options in this example are:
Automation – $0 or $8/month
Outsourcing – $130/month
Employee – $495/month
The first 2 are under the cost of yourself completing the task for $330. The full time employee is costing more, but you’re also getting many more hours of work. So it’s definitely something to consider when you scale up with more clients. Preferably because you’ve already used automation or outsourcing to have the ability to spend more of your time seeing clients.
2. You’re a recruiter
This is one I have 0 experience with, so I will be learning as I type this. Hopefully you can see the thought process and see how easy it is to implement in order to cut costs.
For some sample math, let’s say for every 150 LinkedIn profiles you message, you get 10 new applicants in your database for a job search.
You also make an average $1,000 commission per job applicant placed. If it takes 1 month to get 2 out of 10 applicants placed, you made $2,000 for the month. (See how important it is to know your metrics?)
If anyone with recruitment experience is reading this and thinking “but that math is way off”, I apologize, but the process remains the same no matter what.
Next up, let’s say it takes you 2 weeks of scouring LinkedIn full-time to find 150 profiles worth enough to message. Here’s where you can really cut costs.
A. Automation – Again a google search “find linkedin applicants software”. That brought up results for “8 things you need to know about applicant tracking systems” and a few other articles about “applicant tracking systems”. Now searching for applicant tracking systems brings up some different softwares including “Newton” and “JazzHR”. Looking over the websites – this isn’t quite what we’re looking for. This is mainly after the applicant emails in to take them through the interview process. Let’s try searching “automated linkedin recruitment”. This is what we’re looking for – I found an article from Quora “What are the best LinkedIn automation tools for recruiting?” and a piece of software called “LinkedHelper”. LinkedHelper is $15/month for a month to month plan and has way too many tools to list in order to improve your ability and efficiency of bringing in new LinkedIn recruits.
B. Outsourcing – You could use a virtual assistant service again, but with recruiting new leads being such a huge part of your job, looking at hiring a part-time assistant could be a great option here. Using upwork.com as an example, hiring an overseas part-time assistant could cost around $100/week. Again at ~4.5 weeks per month, $450/month. If they are able to message 150 qualified applicants per month, that would net you $1,550 ($2,000 averaged commissions – $450 employee expense)
Again, a few different options here based on how large you want to go. My advice would be to start with the software, get good with it, then train someone to use it. This could literally quadruple your current productivity and sales.
- What is the most important thing I can complete today to push my company forward?
- What’s the most cost efficient way to accomplish it?
Use #1 to ensure you’re doing something important every day, not just busy work.
Use #2 to take cost (in this order from lowest to highest) – automation/software, contractor/part time help, full time employee.