I travel often for work, meeting entrepreneurs from across the country. No matter where I might be, I hear the same recurring complaints over and over: entrepreneurs simply don't have the time to get done all the things they need to do.
Of course, entrepreneurs aren't alone in facing this problem-- just ask anyone with kids-- but business leaders hold a heavy responsibility for fixing that problem because there's no possibility it resolves itself on its own.
Sure, you can partially fix the problem by better delegating responsibilities, but many entrepreneurs-- especially those with early-stage companies-- tend to be control freaks and personnel tends to be limited.
There's more to it than just delegation. Think of the tasks that take you the most time to complete, especially the ones you don't particularly enjoy.
What changes could you make or what person could you hire so you don't have to do that task anymore? It's a simple question, but it's not asked often enough. Have you really ever thought about how you can make your work life easier?
Money (or the lack thereof) talks.
There's a strong probability that the answer to the question above is to hire someone to take over the work you can't or don't want to do. There's likely also a strong probability that the biggest drawback with that solution is that you think you can't afford to hire someone.
The logic many entrepreneurs cite for not hiring someone is usually sound: They contend they either already are losing money or, if they are profitable, their margins are so narrow that hiring an additional employee would send them into the red.
But what you might not know about or be overlooking is Small Business Administration-backed loans that can be used for hiring an employee. They generally make that much-needed hiring affordable.
Let's do a little math: Say you obtain a $60,000 loan through the SBA's 7(a) program that you'll pay back over 120 months with an interest rate of 7.75 percent.
That means your monthly payment is just $720. That's not exactly chump change, but if that amount is going to break the bank for you, you've got bigger problems than being overworked.
Ideally, the new employee will provide more than $720 of value to you by freeing you to work on things that will improve your bottom line.
If things go as well as expected, you can always pay that loan back early. And if things take a while to get going (but they're going), you could always take out a second loan to cover another year of the employee.
The point is that you have options that can prevent you from getting stuck. As an entrepreneur, one of your key duties is making sure obstacles are overcome-- something that a bit of financing can accomplish.
Remember that while too much debt is crippling, a manageable amount is a tool that can lead to the growth you desire.