Value is a funny thing. We look for it everywhere we go - if it's not a good value, or doesn't provide us with benefits, we keep moving. I wonder why it is we don't feel WE have a value?

Several months ago I spoke to a prospect with a small home-based business. They use a $15/hour person (4-6 per year, by the way) to handle their database and eNewsletter. They had high turnover because once they got to the 1099 threshold ($650), they would find someone new. Different concept! The first thing that crossed my mind is that this person had to be spending an awful lot of time interviewing, hiring, and training.

These people are putting together an eNewsletter that should be an integral part of their marketing plan, and represents the 'brand' for their company. This constant turnover doesn't allow the staffer to be able to understand the focus and culture of the business to consistently support and expand their expertise.

They were unhappy because they were 3-months behind in getting their database updated, weren't connecting with new prospects, and they were spending at least 3-hours a month going back over the eNewsletter proof to correct assorted problems on a piece that the admin was taking four hours to create.

I then asked what their rates were. They charged $200/hour for their services, so I simply said, "So, in essence, you're spending $660 per month to create this eNewsletter. Are you getting a significant return on it?"

I knew they weren't, but that opened up an entirely new conversation. When we started trying to figure out how much time they spent in interviewing, hiring, and training, well, you can imagine! Putting a dollar sign to those tasks quickly allowed them to understand why they were frustrated and why they didn't have any return on investment.

We spent several telephone conversations going over their needs, and created an assessment of what we suggested as a way to create a system that will work better for them and help grow their business.

After three months of working together, their eNewsletter now costs them about $45/month; the database is current, we now send prospect letters to people they meet networking within 48-hours of when they met; and we have an extended marketing plan in place. At the time of this writing, sales have increased 37% for this client and we're talking about adding to the marketing plan.

Why is it so difficult for us to remember that our time has value? We believe that if we do it ourselves, it costs us nothing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Don't sell yourself short. Remember that your time has value and doing it all yourself is really costing you a lot more than your in-house staff and their expenses and liabilities.

If you find yourself consistently having to go over your support person's work, that person doesn't have the right skills and expertise for your needs. Find someone who has the expertise you need. It may mean paying them more than $15/hour, but if they save you the time needed to go over their work, it can represent a huge savings over time.

Consider what tasks could be outsourced to someone else, leaving you more time to devote to working ON your business instead of IN your business.

Author's Bio: 

Jeannine Clontz, IVAA CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit:, or contact her at