Hiring Help – Expense or Investment?

Published on April 8, 2013


People frequently call for real estate coaching or are involved in coaching groups I belong to or lead and when the topic turns to investing money or time into their “business” - especially money - they get audibly or visibly uncomfortable and edgy. I often hear comments like, “but that would cut into my commissions/income,” or “it’s too expensive to hire someone to _____.”

First, let’s define a business. Basically, it is where a person creates a system to exchange goods and/or services for money. Clearly there is a big difference between having just any old "business" and having a PROFITABLE business. I know people who say they own businesses yet they do not even know if they are making a profit or not - they may know their gross income, but are totally oblivious about their expenses.

Time for a coaching moment... 

Business 101: Know your numbers. Without having a budget, knowing your income, cost of sale, and overhead, it is a crap-shoot whether or not your are coming out ahead each month, quarter, or year.  Unless you created your business specifically as a tax write off, this isn’t usually the end goal. Actually even someone who creates a loss-leader biz tracks their numbers as to insure they AREN'T making money!


Going from making a little to making a lot typically requires an infrastructure expansion. 

There is no doubt that when you first start out that you can make a little money in many sales careers by just going solo - real estate agents do it all the time. But when you decide to grow beyond just a few clients to a number that hits bigger digits, you have to invest in an infrastructure that will support the growth - especially if you ever want to sell your business like we did or let someone else take the reins as many choose to do.

A quick story: I went to the doctor’s office for my check up and my chiropractor for my regular adjustment last week. On both occasions, I walked in and spoke with a receptionist who helped me with the basic check in procedure - the same receptionist who made my original appointment, sent me a confirmation, and updated my insurance, contact information, and reason for visit. At neither location did my doc handle those tasks - nor did they handle the website updates, marketing pieces, insurance billing, sales calls from the local newspaper rep. or lawn maintenance for their buildings.

Huh - what a novel idea - leverage. I have been to chiropractors and doctors before who didn’t really have much if any help and did this stuff themselves - they only saw 1 or 2 patients a day. They were usually either a brand new practice or on their way to retirement (one D.O. was 82 years old and worked out of his house - awesome!).

The reality is that when growing your business, hiring help means spending some money. Or does it?

The question is whether or not the money spent on hiring help is an expense or an investment. If the “help” allows you to do more business and live in your zone of genius (where you are at your best) the chances are that they are an investment in the growth of your business. However, if the “help” holds you back or keeps you from growing or better serving your clients, it is merely an expense and of no benefit to your overall goal.

The fact is that most of us go into business for ourselves with the intention of making money. I know I did! Otherwise, I could just volunteer somewhere and get great joy, have fewer headaches, no stress and no responsibility. If you have that luxury, I highly recommend it!

With few exceptions, to go from making a little (serving few) to making a lot (serving many), an investment in adding people is required. Whether it is a full-time on-site staff person or one or more virtual assistants, getting help is a key business requirement in the expansion phase.


What are the 5 consequences of NOT hiring help? 

Should you choose to continue killing yourself to learn how to build a new WordPress site, write effective blogs, manage daily social media changes, write marketing pieces, set up 33 touch email campaigns, create logos, track paperwork, handle billing, collection, purchasing, payables, and respond to emails, go for it. Who am I to tell you not to. But you may as well be aware of the possible consequences...

  1. Stay small.
  2. Burn out.
  3. Lose money.
  4. Get divorced.
  5. Gain weight. 

Yes, I said gain weight and get divorced. You may be thinking that is overkill, Nikki, but I can assure you that if you try to do all and be all for very long, something has to give! If you are a self-proclaimed “I never lose or fail” high-achiever, you will work long hours to get everything done and what will be left behind is  your family, friends, and your personal health - guaranteed.

On the contrary, if you are highly family oriented and 100% committed to your health and wellness goals then chances are you will end up letting putting the fundamental tasks of customer service and lead generation on a back burner and you will ultimately find yourself in the red.

How do I know this? Because we have been there and done both. Yes - BOTH! We have done it both successfully AND we have failed miserably - with massive learning along the way. For the record, we did it in our real estate careers and are doing it yet AGAIN in both of our coaching businesses.

If you are going from small-time to big-time, budget for help and then HIRE IT - sooner is better than later. Yes, you may need to incur some debt in the beginning of expansion phase, but you can budget to pay it off quickly. Is it risky? Of course it is - so is having your own business my friend.

Commitment and belief in yourself are KEY!

You can do this - I promise. We are here to support you and help you through the rocky spots, anxiety, and uncertainty! That is what SoulFire real estate, sales, and leadership coaching is all about - helping you being the best YOU possible and having the SoulFire life and business you desire.



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