I currently do everything, but really need to start bringing in help. I just celebrated 10 years of successfully running my design and web dev firm. I've got a list of contractors who do design work, programming, copy writing, and other tasks that build the products that my clients pay me to make for them. Where I struggle is that I have to be involved in every little thing, and I really only want to oversee the general growth and success of my company in its second decade. Where do I start? When you are the one person 'wearing all the hats', what is the smartest investment in hiring a part- or full-time employee? In other words, what tasks should I push off to a lower cost person so I can start to realize my next goals? I need to free up more time to sell more, grow more, and increase the business profitability. Right off, I feel that either a production manager or a general assistant would be good. If you've been through this in the same or a similar industry, I'd love to know the path you found to free up time and work fewer roles in your business.
Time to read Gerber's E-Myth (go to Youtube and search for it for a 45-minute overview).
It can be adapted for service businesses: you've got to write down the processes, and the milestones and guidelines for injecting your "Eleven Secret Herbs & Spices" that are the reason your clients choose you. That way, anyone can produce the same results.
In a creative business there has to be room for smart people to figure some things out for themselves. But they operate inside the framework you set out.
Think IBM. Somehow Watson got all those people to behave the way he wanted, and deliver the service he imagined...without him having to be there on each visit.