For the independent business owner, the demands on your time are often overwhelming from day 1. There are so many moving parts and things to do that there are never seems to be enough hours in the day. They know they need help to get everything done. However, even for the seasoned businessperson, it’s often difficult to relinquish control of any part of their business. Still, every successful business owner comes to the point where they have to outsource some of their business in order to take it to the next level. So, how do you decide which things to outsource when you’re ready, especially if cash is tight?
Before you even start to look for people you can outsource tasks to, here is a process you can go through to outsource effectively:
Step 1. Make a list of all the tasks you hate to do
It doesn’t matter whether you’re good at it or not, if the task is something you truly dislike doing then it’s a good candidate for outsourcing.
Step 2. Look at where you add value in your business.
Make a list of tasks where you don’t actually add much value to your business. What are tasks that you are not particularly good at? For example, if you’re not very good at writing, that’s a great opportunity to outsource.
Step 3: Identify one-time activities.
Are there any jobs in your business that just need to be done once, and then they’re complete? Those are great for outsourcing too. For example, setting up a new blog and configuring it with plugins and themes is a one-time task that can be completed quickly by one person.
Step 4. Look at tasks that are easy to outsource first.
The one-off tasks are usually the easiest to outsource first and allow you to try someone out without immediately having to make a commitment to a longer-term investment. However, if there are mundane activities you are doing that are taking time away from the true value-added parts of your business, then outsourcing these can help you grow your business by leaps and bounds. If you already know that your business is profitable and could expand if you only had the time, then it may be worth outsourcing basic ongoing tasks.
Step 5. Make some decisions and start your search.
Organize your list of tasks to outsource into immediate, short term and longer term. What will you outsource right away vs. in a few months or a year? Once you’ve made a list of what you’d like to outsource, you’ll be able to tell just what you need in terms of a real person. This often means hiring different people for different tasks since not everyone is good at everything. Get recommendations, search for people with good reputations on freelance sites, and make sure you always get samples of work. Finally, be sure to test someone before you commit a lot of money.
One of the most common statements by successful marketers is that they wish they’d outsourced sooner. However, it’s always easy to say something in hindsight. Take care to outsource wisely by making the most of your budget and testing your business model on a small scale first. Then, unless you want to drive yourself insane or want a smaller income from your efforts than you deserve, you will probably need to begin to outsource sooner rather than later. So, what are you ready to outsource?
Sue Painter says
I know so many small biz owners who just freeze at the idea of outsourcing. Your tips for them are spot on. Without ridding yourself of things you don’t do well and don’t like to do, your business will really NEVER grow big. Great article, Sue.
Sue Guiher says
Thanks Sue! Asking for help and getting rid of tasks is often hard for many small biz owners. Once done, however, the benefit is often immediately recognized.
Great info! I have to “outsource” to volunteers but your idea about one-offing to try folks out has worked like a charm for me. I have found folks that are great and follow through, and ones that don’t… but at least now I know my go-to folks and can turn entire task areas over to them!
Sue Guiher says
Great point Kristin! Same principles apply when you are using volunteers. Great that you can create a team to help you grow your Foundation and it’s reach.