When to hire help is often a topic of discussion among entrepreneurs, and it came up a few times in interviews Andy and I recorded for release this summer. In one example, fashion designer Jevon Terance, whose episodes will air this June, spoke about how he sews all of his pieces to insure high quality and consistency. After all, that’s what earned notoriety for him and his fashion brand. When I asked if hiring someone to sew would free him up to focus more on design and other activities to expand his business, he did say it was something he had been considering.
The first step is acknowledging the need for help, and then determining when to seek it. Part of that decision-making process is recognizing what could be done with any time saved by having others do certain activities to allow you to grow your venture. It will also free up time to allow you to focus on “big picture” initiatives, what some describe as working “on” the business rather than working “in” the business.
We’ve spoken with many arts entrepreneurs, and for some, the hesitancy to hire is due to the fear of losing control of the process. As noted above, it’s what got them where they are… Plus, in the near term it will probably negatively affect order quantity and perhaps quality, but soon, efficiencies will improve to free you up to be more impactful in your business.
I’ve known artists who genuinely enjoy looking after all aspects of their business, but don’t have the drive to expand. They enjoy the lifestyle of being entrepreneurs because they “get” to do activities that could easily be done by others. That sentiment isn’t purely associated with business per se. For example, I enjoy working with my hands and doing home repair. It stems from percussion instrument repair I would do when I was starting out as a young professional musician. This past week I repaired and stained the deck on our home, rather than hire a contractor to do the work. I chose that over monetizing my time by teaching percussion lessons or pursuing some other revenue stream.
Finally, “hire” does not only mean to employ full or part-time personnel in your business. Work can also be outsourced to other entrepreneurs who are specialists in areas where you need assistance. That tends to be more obvious in fields such as accounting or law, but there are many people who specialize in all types of business activities in every field.
In Jevon’s case, when one considers the cost vs. opportunity costs, it should prove more cost-effective to teach someone to sew in his style than it is for him to continue sewing. If you are someone who needs help in your arts business, it’s worth taking a serious look at the value of having someone else working with you, and what you could be doing with the time saved on tasks you can teach others to do. Beyond growing your business, it might just help you remember why you got into business in the first place.
Thanks for reading,
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