If your dream to run your own business so you can set your own lifestyle is proving harder than you thought, perhaps it’s time to consider outsourcing some key tasks, writes Kate Christie, time management expert and CEO of Time Stylers.
Let’s face it – you started your business with the dream of being your own boss, of setting your own hours, paying yourself what you are worth, working when it suits you and spending a lot more time with your family. So, what on earth happened?
The reality for many small business owners, especially those that fly solo, is that we tend to work non-stop. So much for the dream.
Yes, in the early days it makes sense to be the Jack or Jill of all trades to keep costs down, but maintaining a Jack and Jill mindset is not sustainable in the long term. Eventually, something is going to have to give, and we don’t want it to be our mental health, energy, physical wellness or family happiness.
I mean, just how many of you do you actually think there are?
Outsourcing might be the solution
On top of that, are you really, genuinely good at (and/or love doing) all of the many elements that your business needs: from product design and development to production to sales to legal to IT to HR to graphic design to social media to finance to book-keeping to data analytics to coding to web development to … ?
Perhaps the time has come to outsource?
Outsourcing allows you to focus more of your time on the tasks you absolutely love to perform – your passions – the very reason you went into business in the first place. If you are a jeweller, you went into business because you adore making beautiful jewellery. You do not adore – nor are you likely to be very good at – bookwork, payroll, process development or managing a CRM.
I have a very simple decision tree I use to help me decide what to outsource in my business:
1. Does the business need this task completed right now?
If YES, I will move on to question 2 below.
If NO, I will park the task for now.
2. Is the task revenue-generating?
If YES, as a solopreneur, I will complete the task myself.
If NO, I will most likely outsource the task to free up my time to invest in revenue-generating tasks. By engaging the right people with the right skill sets for the non revenue-generating tasks, I not only free up my time for the tasks I excel at, but I also expose my business to the opportunity for growth.
But, before I outsource the task, I ask myself question 3.
3. Is there an expert who can do this task faster, better and cheaper than me?
If YES, I will always outsource the task – unless it is something I absolutely love doing. Sometimes it might make financial sense to outsource a task, but for mine, I am in business not just to make money but to spend my time doing what I love.
If NO, then I will eat the frog and do the task myself.
50 tasks you might think about outsourcing in your business
- Email management, email triaging, email templates
- Calendar management
- Booking appointments with clients
- Task organisation
- Travel arrangements and planning
- Cloud management
- Document management
- Preparing PowerPoint presentations
- Creating forms
- Creating document templates
- Social media management
- Blog writing and commenting
- Blog publishing
- Managing Facebook pages and posts
- Managing LinkedIn
- Managing a YouTube account and uploading videos
- Managing an Instagram account and posting
- Answering calls
- Sending invoices
- Paying bills
- Personal tasks
- Website design
- Website build
- Website management and maintenance
- Website analysis
- Google analytics
- Google AdWords
- Payment gateway integration and management
- SEO writing
- Link building
- Keyword research
- Creating landing pages
- Press release writing
- Engaging and managing other consultants (for example, IT, designers, web builders)
- Data analysis
- Database building
- CRM management
- Campaign design and management
- Logo design
- Podcast creation and publishing
- Ghost writing
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