Comparative Advantage, Or Why Entrepreneurs Should Hire an Office Manager

One of my favorite classes in college was an introductory economics course taught by David Johnson. During a section, we got into comparative advantage, which is the idea that even though you might be able to do something yourself, your time is best spent doing what you’re uniquely qualified to do. From Investopedia:

Comparative advantage is an economic law referring to the ability of any given economic actor to produce goods and services at a lower opportunity cost than other economic actors.

Here, the key is opportunity cost, defined as the highest valued opportunity foregone. Meaning, doing a low-value thing takes away time from doing a high-value thing. For entrepreneurs, this is spending time writing code, selling product, leading the company, etc. and not tasks that are readily handed off to another team member.

Entrepreneurs should recognize comparative advantage and hire an office manager after their first round of funding. An office manager is the perfect way to delegate tasks so as to focus time and energy on the most important tasks. Start with a key hire, start with an office manager.

What else? What are some more thoughts on comparative advantage and hiring an office manager?



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