“The most dangerous thing you can assume is that people have reached their success on their own.” - Brene Brown
What is even more dangerous, I believe, is assuming YOU can succeed on your own. Yet, many times as entrepreneurs, you may find yourself juggling multiple tasks, because, after all, it is your business and you are the only one able to do the necessary tasks well enough in order to succeed, right?
So, let’s face it, unless you have a hidden superpower that suddenly allows you to be ten places at once, you can’t do it all.
Laura Lee Sparks, owner of Legal Marketing Maven, has learned first-hand how vital outsourcing is for a business. She said, "Most entrepreneurs have great talents but many times they think they can do it all. That can really stall the growth of the business. By outsourcing the day to day back-office tasks, the business owner has more time to focus on generating income." She practiced outsourcing from the birth of her business and within months, her revenues reached six figures so she knows what she’s talking about.
How do you start?
In order to determine which tasks to contract out, first evaluate your own strengths. What are you best at? What can you take on, personally, that would benefit your business the most? Once you determine that, you can focus all your energy at being the best in your industry.
Consider the following example. Imagine a baker who wants to start a bakery. He’s an expert baker, yes, but knows he will never be able to independently manage his business plus keep baked goods production high. He has a vision for his business and wants to keep his focus on building it, not get caught up in the regular tasks that can easily be done by someone else. He decides to hire and train employees on the production side, still keeping close tabs on the quality of the goods, making sure his recipes are baked to perfection. He also decides to hire a book-keeper to manage the accounts and payroll, as well as an accountant to manage his taxes. He also outsources a marketing specialist who sets him up on social media, advertising online, getting his name out there. He can now sit back and watch his business go from a sputtering switch engine to a powerfully-forced locomotive, stopping briefly to lube the gears where necessary. As the conductor of his business, he can assess the gains and determine what exactly his customers want in baked goods. He has set it up to essentially free himself up for the thinking work. This allows him to work ON is business, not IN his business.
Jacqueline Whitmore, Business Etiquette Expert and Author, suggests five tasks that can be easily outsourced:
Accounting and Taxes: Hire a CPA or other reputable professional to keep your books in order and you will save yourself a lot of time and headache. Ask around. Chances are someone knows exactly where to find a great match for your company.
Writing and Social Media: Hiring someone to come up with wording for your website, blog, brochures, even social media accounts, such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, could save you several hours per week, depending on your need. Zapier provides a great resource in knowing the particulars about hiring a freelance writer.
Graphic Design and Web Development: An eye-catching website or blog is key to growing your business and a graphic designer with the skills you need is definitely something you can hire out for. With their know-how, coupled with your instruction, and your website will be thing of beauty in no time. Trust me. Do it. You’ll thank me later.
Administrative Assistance: Leave the secretarial and clerical tasks, such as prioritizing your email inbox and scheduling appointments or travel plans, to a virtual administrative assistant. Many times you may only need to employ an assistant part-time, but overall, doing so will free up so much of your time.
Web Research: Keeping up on the latest statistics and developments in your industry could be very time-consuming, but a task that can easily be outsourced. A web researcher can do the research for you and organize it into a document that is concise and easy to understand.
There are a few things to remember once you’ve decided to farm out some of the tasks that are piling up on your list of to-dos, most importantly, that there will always be a learning curve. Give it time, remember your provider will improve, and soon you will have the freedom to focus on your more pressing tasks. You must also trust them in their tasks, resisting the urge to micromanage their job, or else, what’s the point then of outsourcing?
It takes time to initially set up your team members, but it will be worth it in the long run. Chances are you will find many ready and willing hands, able to do what is required. All it requires of you is to simply ask.
Let Me Know: How has outsourcing improved your business?