For the Past 9 years my mantra has been: “Do it Yourself!”
But sometimes, in some situations, outsourcing is the thing you need. You may be tired, overwhelmed, working day and night. You’re making money, but you don’t have enough time to spend with your friends and family and enjoy the fruits of your labor. If this is you, it may be time for you to start outsourcing some of your tasks.
Unfortunately, knowing when you should outsource and what you should consider outsourcing can be tricky, especially if you’re a solopreneur. We have a tendency to just do EVERYTHING all by ourselves, and not recognize what we should let go of.
Time is one of your most important assets, so you want to spend it wisely! You can actually calculate what your time is worth by dividing your monthly income by the number of hours you spend working in a month (approximately). Now ask yourself, are you spending your time wisely? Or could you be outsourcing certain simple activities to spend that time focused on revenue generating activities, or even just freeing up time to create more space in your life?
Check out these six strategies for successful outsourcing.
1) Do Not Outsource Your Marketing
When it comes to your message, your website it the primary place where people go to learn about you, your programs, your services, and who you are here to serve in the world. By being in control of your website, you can update, modify, and clarify your message. Having to wait on someone else to do that for you is a big mistake. So always be in control of your website, and always be nimble enough to make changes anytime you want!
2) Outsource super advanced skills
Do you need some help with advanced SEO strategies or a Google AdWords campaign? Are you struggling to learn QuickBooks? Sure, you may be capable of learning all you need to know to handle your own bookkeeping or run your own ad campaigns, but chances are someone could perform these specialized tasks better and much more quickly. Outsource advanced activities that would take you 10 times as long to complete and focus your time elsewhere.
3) Outsource Simple Supportive Tasks
Again, it goes back to how your time is best spent: doing your own housecleaning or prospecting for new clients. Supportive tasks could be advanced (like the ones mentioned above) or they could just be basic administrative tasks like invoicing clients, performing customer support, managing your calendar, entering in expenses into Quickbooks, etc. Supportive tasks could also include things outside the office like running errands or hiring someone to clean once a week. Again, calculate the cost of the service and decide how your time is best spent. If your time is worth $X dollars an hour and you can hire someone to help you clean for a fraction of that? Think of all the time (and money!) you would be saving!
4) Know what you want to accomplish with Outsourcing
You may be thinking of hiring an amazing assistant or virtual assistant (VA) who can juggle with one hand and type with the other, but if you can’t tell her what you need, she won’t help you. For example, if you were thinking of hiring someone to manage your social media ad campaigns, you need to be able to tell them how often you want to post, the types of content you want posted, the color schemes you have in mind, and how you like to communicate. You may want your VA to help you set up a complicated membership site, but you have to be able to tell him or her what you want it to look like and what types of content you plan to put into it. You need to start with a goal in mind in order to identify the steps that need to be taken to get there.
5) Don’t become entirely dependent on your Assistant
While outsourcing is an amazing thing, you don’t want to become completely dependent on your assistant to run your business. For example, you should still know how to work on your own website so that if an update needs to be made and your assistant is sick or on vacation you don’t have to wait until he or she is available again. Sure you may not be able to step in with advanced activities like bookkeeping, but you should still know how to perform all the activities that are necessary for day-to-day operations. This means knowing how to make modifications to your website, post to social media, send emails to your list using your email service provider, etc.
6) Start small and then Grow
If you’re just getting started with outsourcing, you may not want to commit to hiring someone for a specific number of hours per month. Start by using a Vitural Assistant periodically for specific projects and over time scale up and use them more. If you’re ready to hire a VA and don’t know where to start, check out my blog post, How to Hire a Virtual Assistant.
Even by just outsourcing a few basic administrative tasks, you’ll start to notice a difference in the amount of time you have. You’ll probably also notice that you’re happier having those tasks off your plate and that you can focus your time on your marketing and your message and attracting the best clients for you!