Thursday, April 02, 2009

New Writers and Updates

Things are moving along well for TAG. We've taken on a couple of new writers in the past few weeks that can offer us some depth just in time for the busy season. We're also doling out projects as they come in to our regular stable of writers who are hard at work again. Its nice to get back in the swing of it again and I'm amazed at how much more organized I stay when I'm busy.

We're once again working on the websites as they went by the wayside over the past few months and we will be producing a couple of Cds - one on how to get a book published with our company and then a set on how to write a non-fiction book to expand your business. We've had so many requests for the how to set that we decided to meet the demand. As soon as we have them ready, you all will be the first to know.

I'm getting better at handing things off to Chris (our marketing assistant) instead of being my normal control freak self and that is working well. I think hiring a person is one of those steps that some writers wonder about. When do you know you're ready? The truth is you don't. But once you hire someone, you'll be amazed at how you ever got along without them. The determining factor for me was when I was working 12-14 hours per day (and so was my business partner) and we just couldn't get it all done.

We talked about hiring someone and so each of us made a list of the tasks we did each day for a week. The first thing we looked at were those tasks that took a large amount of time or interrupted our work flow that didn't produce much. This biggest culprit in that area was lunch. We used to do lunch with writers or friend a few times per week. We realized that this was draining our time and so we limit those outings to one every two weeks and we never do business over lunch anymore. We have people come to our office and that way we stay in the flow of work.

Once lunches were deleted (or severely restricted) we looked at our lists and picked out the second most time consuming culprit - errands. Trips to the bank, post office, fed ex, office depot, and a myriad of other tasks was eating up a huge chunk of time. We also discovered that we spent a lot of time doing very small projects - Internet research, press releases, web copy and other tasks that took up way too much time for too little return. We thought we needed someone with some writing skill and could easily justify part time. So we hired Chris last October. As we were able to focus on the things that made us money, projects, authors and money poured in. Way more than justified what it cost for us to have an extra person. By December he was working over 30 hours per week and in January he started full time.

The lesson here is that by taking the risk to add someone we expanded our business to the next level and having realized that we will be looking for more people to add to the staff to take it to an even higher level. We've had that 'aha' moment and are well on our way.


Jennifer said...

Great post! Lots of business wisdom.

dee said...