Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Want to Maximize Your Time? Leave the Writing to the Writer

Even with the extensions granted due to the pandemic and the Texas winter storm, the tax man cometh. I knew that sooner or later I'd have to get to work on my return. And by “working on,” I mean collating information, itemizing business expenses, printing out 1099s and so forth. Since I’d been keeping all the information more or less in one place all year (a hard-earned lesson in itself, believe me), the process took maybe an hour, tops. I then sent it off to the person who really does the hard work -- my CPA.

It’s a good thing, too. Apart from my general mathematical ineptitude, I hardly understand what I’m looking at when I study all the various forms the IRS seems to have for every possible situation. The instructions alone would be enough to keep me busy long past the due date, never mind tabulating every figure in its corresponding little box. Even if I could figure out the basic mechanics involved, I couldn’t possibly keep up with all the changes in the tax code that seem to pop up year after year like some bureaucratic Whack-a-Mole game. The result of my fumbling and stumbling would be a mountain of errors (which I’m told the IRS doesn’t appreciate), along with countless hours of lost writing time. Instead, I will pay a chunk of money to my CPA and let her sail through the paperwork like the experienced and knowledgable professional she is. Not only will she get the numbers right, but she will also make sure I’m taking all the right deductions (and none of the wrong ones) for my own good. What a deal!

But that’s the beauty of outsourcing to experts. You keep chugging along doing what you do best, the experts do what they do best, and everybody wins. My CPA’s billable time probably carries a higher price tag than my own, but she can do in an hour what would take me ten hours away from my everyday work. Better yet, she’ll do it right. That’s why outsourcing to a CPA makes sense -- just as outsourcing to a freelance copywriter makes sense for business owners who want to maximize their precious time.

Some of my clients are perfectly capable of writing their own marketing content -- but why should they? Whenever I hear resistance over the concept of paying for writing services, I ask, “How many hours would it take you to (a) do this work and (b) make sure it attained the right level of quality and effectiveness?” The invariable answer is that it’ll take them a lot more time, sweat, and frustration than it’ll take me. So the client actually spends considerably less money than he’d lose in the form of wasted time and stalled business productivity. 

My advice? Take those saved hours and put them into fulfilling orders, submitting bids, landing new accounts, and other immediately profitable activities -- and leave the writing to the writer!