When I started my freelance writing and virtual assistant business in July 2014, I had no idea that just 12 months later I’d be leaving my full-time job at a banking institution to forge my own path into full-time entrepreneurship.
In fact, until this time last year I had always thought of my business as a “side hustle” to help me bring in extra income. It was not until a client-turned-friend asked me if I had thought about scaling my business up by bringing on a contractor of my own that I began to think of myself as a fully-fledged entrepreneur.
At first my answer was that I didn’t have the money, or enough work, to bring on someone to help me with my business. But after being convinced to start outsourcing a few small administrative tasks I’ve come to realize that I’m able to get so much more done by hiring help!
Here’s why you need to start outsourcing some of your business tasks today!
Outsourcing Frees Up Time for the Big Picture
Some of the first things small business owners typically outsource are either: things they hate, or things they don’t want to learn how to do. For many, this means hiring someone else to take care of admin tasks, social media tasks, or maybe even household tasks you dread doing and that can take away time you need to be working on your business.
Not having to use precious time or brain power on these small tasks allows you to put more concentrated effort into the things you can’t hire someone for, like taking your business to the next level and thinking about the future of your industry.
My first move in outsourcing was to hire someone to clean my home. Although this might not seem related to my business, I was still running my business as a side hustle in the evenings and weekends when I wasn’t at my full-time job. Cleaning my home had become a burden that was taking time away from my business. Hiring someone to clean my home freed up time for my business and I was able to earn more money, offsetting the cost.
Outsourcing Gives You Access to a Team of “Experts”
Another huge benefit of outsourcing is being able to gain expertise that you might not already have. For example, if you aren’t well versed in turning social media followers into long-term customers, you can likely find someone who is an expert in that particular area.
Hiring a team of “experts” who all specialize in different areas is often a better idea for a small business than hiring one person to do all tasks. This way you can ensure that you have the most knowledgeable people and you’ll likely save money by not paying a jack of all trades a higher wage than necessary to do more menial tasks.
How (and Where) to Get Started Outsourcing in Your Business
Getting started with outsourcing in your business can seem difficult and scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few steps to take now:
- Make a list of tasks you hate, don’t have time for or just wish someone else could do
- Create a simple job description, if there are several categories of assistance that you need, create more than one. For example, you may need someone to handle social media for 8 hours a week and someone else to return client calls for 8 hours a week.
- Calculate a minimum and maximum that you can afford to pay, it’s okay to start with only a few hours a week or bi-weekly if need be. You may pay by the job as well. You need to determine this before you post the job, but rates are always negotiable.
- Set up accounts on popular job board websites like Upwork, or on Fiverr and post your job. There are also numerous freelancing organizations, websites, and Facebook groups where you can find people to join your team.
You can also outsource tasks that earn an income if you are concerned about the price of hiring help for your business. For example, you can hire an assistant to help you with part of a client project. The income you earn from your client will pay your new assistant and you will simply take a little less profit.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of outsourcing in your business, I can almost guarantee you’ll never go back. In fact, if done correctly, you’ll likely end up outsourcing more and more tasks in your business as it grows beyond what you first imagined.
Have you ever outsourced business tasks? If so, what did you outsource and where did you find your first team member?