"I worked 10 hours a day to become a manager. Now I can finally work 14 hours a day" (Anonymous)
There's a ton of interesting topics on how to be a manager, to be a leader or to be the boss. What to do. How to do it. The problem is, all those fancy inc-com magazine publications are created for hipster manager wanabees, moreover, for those who want to manage a "startup" of 500 people or a Fortune 500 company and have a salary of $1,200,000 a Year. You and I know there is only a handful of people who can do that.
Despite the fact, that the thought seems interesting at certain times, small business owners could never really grasp that, or implement in their lives.
What it would be like? To be the CEO. A real one. With hundreds of people that report to you. Well, You won't find the answer to that question in this post. Let's leave that to people who are born to be "slaves to corporations" (not that I have anything against corporations, don't get me wrong).
On the other hand, the small business managers are the backbone of the economy. It's the small business that makes the world go round, we represent a much bigger part of the working force than the top CEOs and their employees.
And often, we own our businesses. Which means every decision is crucial. You can't go wrong and get fired. You go wrong here, and both you and your colleagues are fired.
Do you know who is The Manager With the Lowest Salary in the World?
Let's hope it's not you. Hear this:
In any company, it is always the Manager who's time is the most expensive.
It's not your consultants, the best Project Managers, the best colleagues etc. Even if it might seem so, because your top tanslators made 3x more than you did in the last two months (which is sometimes the case), even then, You are the one pulling the strings, and driving your company forward without stopping.
Or driving it into bankruptcy.
You know, like you have a V6 Aston Martin without the Break pedal. Forget that pedal. There's only Full Throttle ahead! And it's very important to know, which direction you are driving towards.
But, working like that requires sacrifice, requires determination and in the beginning, requires a lot of time.
So you are willing to work overtime, doing tasks that could easily be outsourced, or, automated. Tasks that could be finished faster if you had a software to help you with that.
Tasks you hate, but you do it. Because it has to be done.
Tasks that are same, month in, month out, and you know it inside out but it still takes you too much time to do is.
One day at a month. Or two. Or more.
That's 24 days a year. A month a year that went into the gutter...
So what if some of that time could be bought with a simple system that won't cost you an arm and a leg?
What if you could buy time like a Boss and go play with your kids, or watch the 3rd season of The Affair instead of working until 22:00 in the office. On Weekends.
You know how we are creating funny memes about people in the translation business working 0-24? Well who's fault is that?
But this is not the time for memes. This is the time for decisions...
Time to decide whether you want to invest in a company management system or not. I'm not talking about miniTPMS only, you can invest in any other translation management system too.
So you go and bite the bullet and decide to pay the $97 a month, or $197 a month (with "mini" we're still not there, but that seems to be a pretty acceptable ... actually very small price to pay)
Now that might seem like a lot of money, but compare it to your Phone bill, Netflix, Electricity. This is just another utility bill you need to pay. And instead of taking away your time, this one buys-you-time.
I sound like a broken record, I know, but for me, time is very important. Especially since my baby girl was born - you know, trying to spend the most of the time together until the moment she starts hating me for no particular reason.
Because puberty happens.
Whether you are an employee or an owner, time is the only thing you can't get back. Ever. It might seem too "American" to calculate time with cold hard cash, but in the end, this is what it comes to.
Because if you can't make enough money, and you can't even have enough time for your beloved ones - and I fear this is often the case with small translation agency owners - then you have just became the most expensive liability of your own company.
As a manager, if you are overworked it is a huge problem
You are the one in charge of better marketing, client acquisition (hey, let's call it sales), client relations, and everything else that might/should/would push your company forward at least a little bit.
Sure, you can do it with pen and paper. Or with an excel table of some sort.
Then you just clone yourself, like Michael Keaton in the movie Multiplicity and all is good.
But if you are somewhat a realist, you know it's either living in the fantasy land, or knowing you need business decisions right now.
And better sooner, than later to realize you need a tool to organize your agencies work completely. You need a TMS. Why?
Because you're the boss, and every serious company has some sort of an ERP.
Because it's cool.
Because it shows you all the current works. And past ones.
And income and revenue and expenses and it has fancy little graphs.
Because it automates e-mails for you.
Because it organizes your complete business and you can watch cute cats on Facebook while your system works day and night for you... and sends those emails too.
Or you know, You go out and play with your kid. Or with your cat. From Facebook.
Okay. You do all your stuff on your own. You don't need a paid system because you keep it all in your head. You have absolute control and you love it.
In which case, well, you ain't gonna go skiing with us in Austria, because you will be stuck between the four walls of your office forever. Doing tedious tasks you hate.
Is that an answer to a common question of: "where do you see yourself in 5 years"? I don't have time for TMS because I need to write these invoices manually?
Is this how you want your life to continue? "All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy"
It's either skiing in Kaprun, or you stay up late with your laptop.
It's either fishing with your kids (while they are still interested in you), or working overtime on Saturday because the Accounting team needs everything by Monday Morning.
It's either taking the afternoon off and going to a late lunch/early dinner with your husband/wife - because love knows no boundaries, and doesn't care 'bout business hours - or it's another day when you are late for dinner because someone misplaced a file and you can't find it and the Client deadline is approaching...
It's either You get it, or not.
It's simple as that.