Ruth Slavid talks architecture

Farm out the things you don’t like doing – freelance post 12

Posted in Uncategorized by ruthslavid on January 24, 2013

When you work in an office, however skeletal there is likely to be some admin support – somebody to do at least some of the jobs at which you are no good or that you don’t like doing. Working on your own, you may well feel that you have to do everything yourself. It isn’t true.

You can get help to do the things you don’t want to do.

They may be the tasks that you dislike, or at which you are rubbish – and the two often coincide. Most of us dislike the things we are bad at, and are bad at the things we dislike doing.

In my case the weakness is keeping track of invoices and assembling accounts information. So I employ a bookkeeper – freelance of course. There are very few freelances who could justify taking on somebody full time.

Not only do many people pay slowly, but when they pay it is not clear which invoices they have paid, and sometimes money goes into your account with no indication at all who it has come from. 

If you don’t know how much you are owed, it is impossible to chase it.

When I first started working with my bookkeeper (she is called Sally – we work with people not functions) I was working flat out and not on top of things at all. I would be embarrassed to admit just how much outstanding money she magicked into my account in the first few months. Now things are on a more even keel, but I am still very grateful for the work she does.

Of course it is easy to farm out admin tasks if you are over-worked and earning well. But even if work is scarce it may be worth considering if you can afford it. Will you be better employed chasing invoices or chasing work?

The other advantage of having somebody chase my invoices for me, is that it is Sally who gets on people’s cases, not me. Of course they know she works for me. But that little distance means that I can be the friendly one, and the one who says, ‘Yes I would like to do this’, without having to say ‘and can we discuss my unpaid invoice please’. I think that is really valuable.



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