Outsourcing can be scary – like handing over your baby to a stranger
Believe me I know. You have worked so hard on your baby (I mean business), building it up from nothing. Getting branding right, a loyal following, customers. You’re it!! The one woman (man) band – the sales person, the accountant, the graphic designer, the content writer, the web developer (and lets not forget lackey)……. You crafted, shaped and raised your baby just like you wanted….. how could you trust anyone to love and care for your baby as much as you do?
Trust me I felt exactly the same. I didn’t know if I could trust someone (a stranger no less) with my baby (I mean business). But at some point you realise that for your baby (business) to be the best it can be it needs an outside influence or two. I mean no-one is an expert at everything. Yes you can cover the basics but for your baby (business) to grow up and be successful they need more than basic, they need experts in their field to encourage them stretch and expand on those initial ideas you introduced.
So I took a Leap of faith…
That’s right I started to get busier with paid work that I found myself having less time for some of the other tasks (and while my business is my baby – I do have to dive back into reality with 3 kids and a hubby and realise that I have a lot of other responsibilities outside work). So I started off small I outsourced a little bit of Graphic Design work here and there. A new Cover Photo, a Video for a website promotion I ran….. some relatively low cost work that was important but not life threatening (if you know what I mean). This helped ease the control freak away from having to be 100% in on every detail. And you know what – it was AMAZING!!!! I got great stuff back that puts my earlier attempts to shame (and lets face it I would never have even tried a video myself). So that little step loosened the death grip I was holding onto in my business (the need to be 100% in control of every detail).
“They often say that the first step is the hardest……
and they are absolutely right.”
So once I started (and as work kept getting busier) I started to think about other tasks that I could maybe outsource…. I picked the things that either took me a long time or that I didn’t 100% enjoy, (well lets be honest I have only just started outsourcing that list but it’s there and I will continue to hand out tasks as I’m ready). Top of the list was something that I loved in parts but that took up A LOT of my time – finding and Scheduling content for Social Media – now don’t get me wrong I love interacting with people on my SM Accounts, but it would take me hours each week to scour the net looking for the right quote, a good relevant article etc. I was so lucky to have the perfect person on board as a client already, so I got in touch with the lovely Louise (from In Deed We Can) who has taken over the job of searching out an scheduling content for my Social Media pages…. and you know what she does it so much better than I ever could. And you know what: it used to take me three plus hours per week and it takes Louise an hour max. I still get to enjoy all the interaction and can post or share as I want to but know that if I get busy there will still be great, relevant content posted for my fans.
Now, I couldn’t forget to mention my Accountability Coach
Hold up before I even get started – I know your thinking it. What on earth is an accountability coach anyway? Well – briefly she kicks me up the bum when I need it (virtually of course). No really, Amanda explains it so much better in her article here. So Amanda really is at least half of the reason I have got myself (and my business) to where it is today. She keeps me real, focused on the goal, and moving forward. It really is hard when you are in business on your own – who do you bounce your ideas off (we all know our hubby’s love us to much to tell us our latest idea warrants a trip to the psychologist – instead they will tell us its a great idea – and we love them for it), Amanda helps me get real – is this going to get me to my goal faster (or better)? Do I have the time to implement it 100%? Could I outsource it?
She is also amazing at reminding me that I need to work on my business not just in it…. yep we are all guilty of it. We get busy and can only focus on getting the work done (meeting the deadline or getting those orders out). And really at the end of the day we all need to take time out to grow ourselves and our businesses, by focusing sometime each day or week to get away from the daily grind and look at the big picture. Are we heading where we want to go? What can we do to get there faster? Under Amanda’s amazing guidance I have smashed my goals for the 2016 financial year (yep I’m a bookkeeper – I have to work in financial years) back at the start of December – a whole 4 months early. She gave me the tools and the confidence to believe that I could do it – and I SMASHED it.
My top tips for outsourcing
So there you have it, it certainly hasn’t been easy for me to let go of the control (even just a little), but I did it. And it has been amazing – my business has continued to grow (it didn’t die because I let others in to help a little), and I am happier and less stressed (I am no longer up at 2am searching the web for relevant content to share on FB). So if I can do it you can do it too……
Let me share a few tips to get you started:
- Make a list (or two) of the tasks that you either don’t like or that someone could do better (faster or more efficiently than you).
- Take that list and think about how long each task takes you
- Pick something (either something small, or something you really dislike doing) and then find someone who is an expert in that area, ask for recommendations from fellow business owners, google, however – and just try it. You can always change your mind.
- If you are struggling to let go think about the time that you can save if someone else does that task for you? What could you be doing with that hour a week?
- And if you are put off by the cost think about it this way? The experts can usually do a better job, faster than you can. My Social Media work for example: It used to take me 3 hours a week (at my hourly rate of $50 thats $150. It takes Louise 1 hour and costs me $45. If I utilise even 1 hour to complete some of my paid work I am better off (and I have 2 more hours of freed up time and that is worth GOLD)…. not to mention the stress and guilt it saves me.
So what would be the first task you would out source if you knew they’d look after your baby (I mean business)? Let me know in the comments below.
Now if you are ready to take that first step….. go for it!!! If dealing with your accounts comes in near the top of the list why not take the first step right now. Flick me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and lets chat about your baby’s (I mean business’) needs.