Wondering what to outsource in your business and feel like you’re getting conflicting answers all over the place?
On one hand, it seems to make complete sense in order to reclaim your time, while also staying in your zone of expertise.
On the other, you fear that outsourcing right now is going to dip your profitability and you find yourself wondering if your business can handle that.
The more you start weighing out the outsourcing pros and cons, the more you find yourself putting it on the back burner until “next quarter when I have time to focus more.”
And then the cycle repeats again.
That is, until we simplify what YOU actually need when it comes to outsourcing in your business.
(Spoiler alert: There’s no one size fits all approach to this!)
The Truth About Outsourcing
Entrepreneurs 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 more 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 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.
None of this is a bad thing unless you’re trying to do it all yourself.
In that case, you’ll find yourself on the fast track to burnout (or, may already be there!)
When It’s Time to Outsource
In short, it’s time to outsource when you’re maxed out.
Of time, of energy and/or ability.
Yes, it’s really that simple.
When you’ve reached a point that you realize there isn’t enough hours in the day to get everything done for your goals, you’re burning the candle at both ends consistently and/or take 2384 hours to do something that’s outside of your skill sets (when someone else could do it in just two), it’s time.
The real question is what to outsource.
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, identifying not only where the gaps are in your own business but what you need to outsource in order to effectively bridge them.
Even better? I just did this exercise with myself a few weeks ago and can show you the exact process from behind the scenes as well!
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 either grab a sheet of paper (or, if you’re in Clients to Courses, I created a full spreadsheet in the Toolbox area to do through this with)
For the next week, you are going to do the following:
- Write the day of the week at the top.
- 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 one week of your business.
Here’s a shot of mine:
Note: I found that the first week I was doing this wasn’t a “typical” business week so I wound up doing mine for two weeks to make sure I could get a full picture. This just goes to show that waiting for the “right week” will never happen so simply do what you can.
STEP 2: Make the Most of Your Time with an 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 week, you’re going to put any of the highlighted tasks that only you 100% in the appropriate buckets above.
From there, you’ll do the same with any task that was not highlighted.
Here’s a shot of mine with the tracker we have in Clients to Courses:
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 my own business:
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, I 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 my 100%. Also, if I look at my social media tasks, those could even be a fit for an admin role as well!
Now, imagine if I hired a Social Media Manager when what I really needed was someone to handle more of the admin tasks in my business currently?
That’s what tends to happen a lot and what I hope this helps prevent.
(It probably goes without saying but, just in case, I’m just using Social Media Manager as an example because it’s what came up for my own business but yours will be different and you may very well need that role filled!)
The great thing in my position (and maybe yours too!) is that, I already have an amazing Virtual Assistant who can help with most of this. I simply haven’t asked her to before.
This allowed me to see what I need to delegate to her.
If this wasn’t the case though, this would tell me who I need to go out and hire, as well as what I need to cover in the job description.
Ready, Aim, HIRE
See what I did there? 😉
Now you’re ready to either:
- Delegate to a current member of your team
- Hire a new team member
… with the full knowledge of what your business needs!
This can be done through personal referrals (my favorite!) or finding the right person on sites like upwork.com and other online job boards.
Here’s also some previous podcast episodes that can help in this area:
Was this exercise helpful for you?
If so, let me know in the comments below!