Q: Wearing every hat from bookkeeper to marketing coordinator becomes a pain when those tasks cut into my work time. Often I wish there were someone to pay invoices or order new inventory and supplies. While my business is successful, it could be a while before I can afford another employee. Any suggestions?
--Matthew Baxter, a photographer in Boise, Idaho, who has been a homebased business owner since 1989
A: Set your rates so you can factor in nonbillable time. That way, you can take time off to handle routine matters no client will pay for. Another idea is to employ occasional help. While at networking events, I look for people who perform office services. I recently met a woman who files for $15 an hour. When things get out of hand, I hire her for a day to get things back in shape.
For help with errands, search classified ads and the Yellow Pages under such categories as Delivery or Errand Services. I also suggest you invest in software that can help you save time by tracking billable time, creating invoices and tracking aging receivables.
--June Langhoff, owner of Softwords, a Pacifica, California-based business writing and communications firm