Saving Time Costs Money
If there's one thing that we can never get back, it is time. As an entrepreneur we often seek ways to save time, but despite the endless articles providing tips to do so, the truth is - if you want to save time, you have to spend money. "In order to make money, you have to have money." You need money to start, you need money to invest, and you need money to delegate out tasks to save you time and give you time. So if you are like me and rather spend time creating instead of 5 hours at the laundry mat, then you're going to have to start paying someone to do it for you instead.
I know someone is going to say right off the bat, "well they have money that's why they can or I rather save the money and do it myself." First off, I am not rich and I am not claiming to be. I make a decent amount and can pay the bills on time, and I do have credit card debt and school loans. However, I have decided that there are a few things that are worth paying for in order for me to stay productive and get the most out of my day. Therefore, in the last 6 months I have decided to invest in services for my laundry, groceries, finances, and even my social media. This is a personal choice and is not for everyone. You're right, you can save money by doing it yourself, but you end up with little time for your business in return. It's completely up to you what you choose to sacrifice and this article is for those who are looking for ways to save time.
If you don't know what you should pick and choose to outsource or pay for, here's Gary Vaynerchuck's advice -
Vacuuming, washing dishes, scrubbing down the kitchen and bathroom, and taking out the trash are things I do every other day or once a week. I live in a studio apartment so these tasks don't take too much time so I don't need a maid - yet. Once I move and get a house, I may change my mind.
What does take me forever is my laundry. I'm usually out of the house and travel often, so I let my laundry pile up. By the end of the month, I'll have 3-5 loads including linens, towels, and coats, which ends up taking up a full day at the laundry mat. (My apartment complex only has 3 washers and 3 dryers and there's about 15 apartments). I discovered that the laundry mat around the corner offers a wash and fold service, in which you can just drop off your laundry and give them a time you want to pick it back up. I've been using this service for the last 4 months and can't imagine going back to doing my own laundry at this point. I go once a month, drop it off before I head off to LA for the day, and pick it back up on my way home. As for pricing, it varies as it is dependent on weight. The most I have paid is $55 - for 2 full size blankets, bedsheets, and 2 large loads of laundry.
Lifestyle blogger, Gwen (@TheLAGirl), also delegates her laundry using a pick-up and delivery service called Rinse. In addition, she also has help when it comes to walking her dog (Rover) and uses Ographr, which is like an Uber for photographers.
"Amazon prime for sure! Cuts down time driving and running errands when I can get everything shipped to my home conveniently." - Lisa Lee, Co-Founder of Seduire Lashes
Groceries / Food
I recently started using Amazon Fresh and love the fact that they offer same-day delivery as well as a ton of timeframes. I prefer getting my deliveries before 7AM, so as soon as I wake up, it's at my doorstep. There is a downside to Amazon Fresh, you have to be an Amazon Prime member and you have to pay an additional fee to have Amazon Fresh (of $14.99). However, the selection they offer is great and I stick to my budget every single time since I can see the total in my cart right away.
When it comes to cooking dinner though, I have tried several "meal prep" services such as Blue Apron, Plated, and FarmBox, which delivers fresh and organic groceries to your door. None of these I would use again to be honest. It just isn't practical for one person meals. It also takes a minimum of 40 minutes to complete these meals. Instead, I use DoorDash for lunch and dinners, when I don't have time to grab or make something. For example, I may be deep in a project or on a roll with a blog post, so I don't want to leave the house and ruin my mojo. Instead I'll just hop on my phone, open up the app and order Vietnamese food via DoorDash. I'll spend $15 max, including tip. I prefer DoorDash because of the restaurant selections, they have more local options as I'm usually craving Asian food (and I live in San Gabriel so the places near me are so good).
Photographer and food blogger, Sylvia (@sylviageatery), uses Postmates, which is another great option. When I travel alone, I will opt for Postmates for dinner and stay cozy in my hotel room. I also do have a Postmates Plus membership so delivery fees are $2.99 (for selected restaurants).
Lifestyle and Beauty YouTuber, Sonia Casaneda also uses a food delivery service called Sakra Life, which delivers healthy breakfast and lunches all week. "I have food delivery services - breakfast and lunch all week to stay on track or I forget to eat OR eat a bunch of bad food. In this industry, we have to eat good to look and feel good!"
The great thing about Postmates is that they deliver more than just food, such as feminine care products for when you run out or if you're like me, don't keep track of your menstrual cycle so I am not always prepared. Aside from deliveries, let's talk about girl problems such as washing and drying your hair.
I have to admit that I never considered Dry Bar as an option to save myself time when it comes to hair care. But after hearing Host, Influencer, and Branding Expert, Dawn McCoy, rave about how much time she saves with Dry Bar, I definitely am going to try it out.
Another time saver is Blushington, a make-up and beauty lounge. I've used it once for a photoshoot and loved how they did my make-up. Prices start at $55 for a full face and they also offer eyelash extensions, brow maintenance, glycolic peel treatments, and waxing.
An alternative to Dry Bar and Blushington is RA_Bar, which offers hair cuts, make-up application, brow tinting, and spray tans.
"Blowouts. I haven't washed my hair at home in a year because I can multitask and do makeup in the chair while my hair gets beautified, and can also answer emails and post posts.
Not cheap but well worth it.
Thank GOD for PRÊTE Society Salons (which I'm about to try) and the Dry Bar Barfly membership. Extra time and efficiency are musts for multitasking, event-going, always-on-the-go girls like me." - Dawn McCoy, Host, Influencer, and Branding Expert
Social Media + Business
To save time when it comes to social media, planning ahead is essential. I use Planoly for my Instagram account and my social media clients. Of course, to schedule posts you have to have content ready and that's a whole other thing I'm not going to get into. I typically schedule a day ahead for my own Instagram and 2-3 days ahead for my clients. I believe the business account for Planoly is $15/month for up to 2 accounts and $79/month for up to 5 accounts. (This counts as a tax write off so don't forget to include it during tax season).
I've tried Hootsuite for Facebook and Twitter, but honestly didn't end up liking it after 2 months - but a lot of people do prefer it so I wanted to mention it. I just draft up my Tweets on Twitter itself and schedule Facebook posts on the page.
Miracle Kerr, CEO of Miracle Management, saves time while growing her Instagram following with Likestagram. "It's a likebot that allows you to choose locations and tags to like. In less than a month, I was able to generate 200+ followers from doing absolutely nothing. But, you will end up liking random stuff."
Other entrepreneurs have assistants to help them with administrative tasks like these. I'm aiming to get one by end of summer.
"It really helps me to have an assistant even if for just a few days a week to help answer emails, book collaborations, scheduling, etc! Even just a few hours of her time frees up mine to really focus on the creative side of my business and makes me more efficient!" - Digital Influencer, Brand Strategist, and Designer, Rachel (@lovelyinla)
However, having an assistant can get costly especially if you are just starting. Real Estate agent, Bao Huynh, uses virtual assistants instead.
"I have a VA to help me with my real estate deals, acquisition, and lead generation. She makes outbound call, takes inbound calls, and does all daily task that I trained her on." - Bao Huynh, Real Estate Agent
Bri Seeley, founder of The Inspirational Woman Project and Transformational Coach, also has an assistant but uses Calendly for scheduling appointments, which saves time on back-and-forth emailing. Best part? There's a free basic plan you can use!
Lastly, Trello is another favorite amongst business owners as it allows you to create and share tasks, connect with others in your project, and set deadlines. Great for businesses who have employees as it keeps communication all in one place. Graphic Designer and business owner, Melanie Kim, loves Trello and gets a "huge hit of dopamine" every time she crosses something off.
Bottom line, there is a service and an app for whatever it is you need done. Outsourcing and delegating tasks to others is a great way to save time, but you have to really prioritize what you think is worth paying for. Of course, there are interns available and you can find people to do things for free, but at the end of the day - you get what you pay for. When it comes to business, you always want to be safe and secure so always do your research before investing.
Hope this has helped you guys and if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to everyone who contributed in this article!