When Should I Delegate My Email To An Admin?

You’re thinking way too corporate here.

You have a choice when you are starting a company:

  • Are you going to be company that spends lots of money and burns through its runway, or…
  • Are you going to be appropriately frugal?

My vote is for being appropriately frugal.

The thought process of being appropriately frugal means you spend money where you really need to spend it and you save money everywhere else. Having an administrative assistant early on reeks of blowing your money.

So bring on the chef, the masseuse, and the fancy office that you don’t need while you’re at it.

Being appropriately frugal means saving money on things you can save money on.

For example:

A. Buy all your office furniture used or get it for free. We got our first set of 20 cubicles for $500. The next set we got for free. They didn’t match, but who cares.

B. Buy all your test equipment used. We bought everything in our lab second-hand. The equipment was perfectly fine, and we saved a bundle of money.

C. Fly coach. This is an obvious one, but I’m still surprised at how many people don’t do it.

There are many more you can do, but setting the tone of frugality is contagious. The rest of the team automatically starts thinking of ways to save money when you lead by example.

It sure strikes me that having an administrative assistant fits in the “we can save money on it” category.

Determine the crossover point where it makes economic sense to hire an admin.

You’ll likely hire an office manager as a first step. Part of the office manager’s responsibilities can be offloading some of your administrative tasks.

But don’t offload your email.

There are several reasons why I wouldn’t offload my email:

A. You don’t need to. How long does it take to go through your email every day? I’ll bet it isn’t that long. And…

B. You’re going to have to go through the messages your admin forwards to you anyway. So your time saved isn’t really that much. And…

C. What if your admin misses something. Try telling your board that your admin didn’t see the email from your largest customer that cost you millions of dollars. Finally…

D. You’re sending the wrong message to your team. Word will get around what you’re doing. Then you will look vain.

So don’t hire an admin. Just keep reading your email and being appropriately frugal.

For more on being appropriately frugal, read: Are You Being Appropriately Frugal And Why It's So Important? - Brett J. 

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