Business owners are a rare breed (to say the least).
We like to march to the beat of our own drums, create our own schedules, chase after goals most wouldn’t even attempt and are led more by faith than sight.
Which is also why we got into our businesses in the first place. To have the freedom to do all of that, and more.
But, as businesses continue to grow, we can all face a conflict between what we want and our current realities.
You see, the more your business grows, the more that needs to be done.
- Selling more courses?
More people will respond to emails for tech support, more payments will decline and more conversations will be going on within private communities.
- Getting featured on more outlets?
More logistics to coordinate, more follow ups and more promotion scheduling to share with your audience.
- Expanding your social media reach?
More content to be created, more time to check in with your audience and more promotion of why they should follow you there.
All of which are great things.
That is, unless you’re trying to do it all yourself.
As all the sayings go…
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
“There’s only so much of you to go around.”
“What got you here won’t get you here.”
Which is where outsourcing comes in, as a way to give your business, and yourself, the support you need in order to grow in a way that serves both you and your audience.
The Three Signs That Show It’s Time to Outsource
How do you know it’s time to outsource? I find that the below three to be the most common signs to outsource with our clients inside Clients to Courses® and The Collective.
1. It’s time to outsource when you’re maxed out and things are falling through the cracks as a result.
At this point, you have realized that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, you’re burning the candle at both ends and things are falling through the cracks at a rate that’s not just embarrassing but keeping you up at night.
If you’re in this stage, you most likely already know you need to outsource but can’t imagine finding the time in your schedule to onboard or training them because, well, you’re maxed out.
2. It’s time to outsource when you’re unable to focus on revenue generating tasks because you’re stuck in the weeds.
This one shows up the most with the business owners I support where you find yourself wearing all the hats in your business, with very few of them being in your zone of genius. You are the tech support, the design team, the social media strategist, the customer support… the everything… and it’s costing you more money than it’s saving.
If you’re in this stage, you most likely feel like you’re in a catch 22. In order to get support, you need to pay for it but money seems to be going out faster than you’re making it already so it doesn’t feel like you’ll be able to take on another monthly investment.
3. It’s time to outsource when you already know you want to scale fast and have more money than time to do so.
This is an interesting one because you typically only go right to this place when you have either personally experienced the pains of #1 or #2 or watched someone else do so and want to do things differently. Either way, you have a mindset that is already wired for growth because you’re aware of the exchange rate of money vs time.
If you’re in this stage, your biggest struggle is typically around making sure you’re bringing in the right person for the right role so that the investments you’re making into your team don’t become a waste.You want to do this “right.”
No matter which stage you’re in, what we’re going to do together is going to be important for you so that you are outsourcing in a way that’s both intentional and profitable for your specific business and needs.
How to Identify What To Outsource in Your Business
Just like every business is different, so are your outsourcing needs.
And if you find yourself outsourcing, simply for the sake of “saving time” or because someone said you “should” — you’ll find yourself spending money you either don’t have or spending money that you will never get a return from.
So, I want to take you through an exercise that has been incredibly powerful, for both myself and my clients inside Clients to Courses® and The Collective, identifying not only where the gaps are in your own business but what you need to outsource in order to effectively bridge them.
STEP 1: Track Your Time
Warning: No one likes this step. Not myself. Not my clients. Not anyone I share it with.
Do it anyway.
Ok, so the first thing we’re going to do is either grab a sheet of paper or open up a time tracking tool like Toggle. (Note: if you’re in Clients to Courses®, I created a full spreadsheet in the Toolbox area for you to use!)
For the next two weeks, you are going to do the following:
- Write every single task you are doing in your business as you go throughout the day.
- At the end of the day, highlight only the tasks that 100% you can do. (This means that if another human can do it at even 90% of your capability, do not highlight it and just trust me on this for now.)
- Do this everyday for two weeks of your business.
Note: Something happening during these two weeks that’s “out of the norm?” I suggest doing this exercise anyway vs putting it off to the “right week.” Life will always be happening within our businesses and I’m much more interested in what you’re doing vs how much of it you’re doing right now.
STEP 2: Complete Your Time Audit
Now that you’ve been able to see a full week within your business, it’s time to take a look at everything we have.
Auditing your time will happen in two ways:
- Your 100% tasks (what you highlighted each night that only YOU can do)
- Sales Generating Tasks
- Visibility Generating Tasks
- Connection + Service Tasks
- Your team tasks (the non 100% that other than you can do)
- Admin Tasks
- Tech tasks
- Support/Customer Service Tasks
- Social Media Tasks
- Other Tasks
Based on the information you collected from the past two weeks, you’re going to put any of the highlighted tasks that are only you 100% in the appropriate buckets above.
From there, you’ll do the same with any task that was not highlighted.
Here’s an example shot from Clients to Courses® to see what I mean:
STEP 3: Identify the Gaps
Here’s where we get to be really honest with ourselves by seeing where our time is really going and if it matches our vision.
The first thing we’ll take a look at are YOUR tasks.
Is there an area that’s much lighter compared to the rest?
Maybe you want more sales but find that you only have two sales generating tasks listed and 20 under connection — and you need more time to do more sales tasks.
Or maybe you are heavy on sales tasks but lacking in visibility, which has you putting the same offers in front of the same people who have already shown they aren’t buying — and you need more time for visibility tasks.
Or maybe you’re feeling good about all these areas but you have way more on your plate than you want — and you simply need more time for YOU.
Where is that time?
You guessed it. Over on the “Tasks that Others Can Do” list!
This list can both free up more time for your 100% activities and give you more time for yourself.
But we need to see which is the most beneficial for your business.
STEP 4: Deciding Who to Bring Onto Your Team
With the buckets we have set, we can see which one is overfilling, compared to the rest, and make smart decisions based on that.
Let’s go back to this example tracker from Clients to Courses®:
Based on what came from this exercise, it becomes clear that hiring a Social Media Manager isn’t the best use of resources at this time. While, I agree, you don’t need to be doing all these tasks – it’s clear that the true need right now is somewhere else.
There’s a heck of a lot more tasks going on in that area that’s taking time away from your 100%. Also, if we look at your social media tasks, those could even be a fit for an admin role as well!
Now, imagine if you hired a Social Media Manager when what you really needed was someone to handle more of the admin tasks in your business?
That’s what tends to happen a lot and what I hope this helps prevent.
Another thing that can come up for people?
You may already have someone on your team who can take some of these tasks off your plate. You simply haven’t asked them yet and this will give you that awareness needed to do so.
Ready, Aim, HIRE
See what I did there? 😉
With this knowledge on hand, about your specific business and its needs, you can move forward with either hiring a new team member OR delegating to a current team member… with confidence!
Was this exercise helpful for you?
If so, let me know over here on Instagram!