Let’s be honest, regardless of the season, as an entrepreneur you are probably either on vacation, wishing you took a vacation, or hustling your little booty off to make a real vacation happen. It’s a constant cycle of loving our jobs yet wanting and needing a real break. And we are right there with you. There is one thing we know you can do to help make this vacation dream a reality.
One of the very best things we did in our business within the last year was outsource, and it’s one of the reasons we have been able to bring in the consistent revenue we have now, even while Court is out on mat leave! This wasn’t easy.
As entrepreneurs, we constantly think of reasons NOT to outsource. Do you relate to any of these?
- I’m nervous.
- I have no idea how to hire someone, let alone find someone I trust.
- I can do it better.
- It will take me too long to train someone.
- It’s going to cost me too much money.
I have felt every single one of those, and I still feel them! Even though we do outsource, we could absolutely outsource more. It’s a constant battle to figure out what is worthy of outsourcing!
How to Get Started With Outsourcing
So, let’s start there… how the heck do I even get started?
1.) Open a Word document and make a checklist of all the things you could possibly outsource.
This includes things you don’t know how to do well, what you hate doing, or things constantly falling off your overloaded plate. Think about:
- Social media
- Podcast editing and show notes
- Email marketing
- Client work
- Admin tasks
- Project management
- Content creation
- Graphic design
This was the very thing Court, and I did together. We made a massive list of what we needed help with everything from “update our monthly content calendar freebie” to “repurpose our reels” to “write our podcast show notes”.
Some of these tasks were only 15 minutes a week or month, but by the end of the list, we added up all the time we estimated for each task, and it was a total of 30 hours.
Thirty hours a month that we just got back into our lives. Can you imagine the impact that can have on your business?!
Stop saying “This task doesn’t matter, it’s quick”. Even quick tasks add up. Take the time to make your list and identify tasks you would feel at least a little comfortable handing over to someone else.
One of the best ways to find ways to outsource or automate is to peek at your SOPs, which stand for Standard Operating Procedures. It’s really just a fancy word for “what is your process when you get a new client?” or “when someone purchases a product” or “when an inquiry comes through”. We talked a lot about SOPs with Taryn on episode #61, so if you haven’t listened to that… it’s a good one!
By seeing your process laid out, you can ask yourself, “Does this have to be done by me?”
If the answer is no, then outsource it.
2.) Find the right person to help.
Start with your community and network. Trust has to be earned, and chances are, you might already know someone who wants to help!
- Former students/clients/customers
- Friends of friends
Fun fact: Almost everyone we outsource with from an SEO perspective has been a former student of our group coaching program!
3.) Think about who you need.
Does this person need to be a jack of all trades? Consider hiring a VA instead of someone specialized. Do you need someone to be an expert in your area to leverage them for client work? Would an intern work or someone looking for experience? What about a DFY service provider? You have a lot of options! Think about who would fit in best with your processes and business.
4.) Set a budget.
If you haven’t listened to Episode 33 with our former coach Val, do it. Breaking down our business into a profit-first mindset was one of the best things we could have done. It helps us understand how much budget we truly have to hire without it feeling like it’s coming from our bucket of money.
In short, we have a salary bucket, an expense bucket, a tax bucket, and a profit bucket. Each of these is allotted a certain percentage and right now, expenses hold 25%. Meaning that is our max spending budget each month. This helps keep us in check and set realistic expectations.
In episode 50, we share all the financial details of our money.
5.) Finally, just freaking do it.
Get started! That is honestly the hardest part of letting go. If you never try, you will never feel the relief that outsourcing can bring you. And let me tell you something… you will fall down. You will probably hire someone that doesn’t work out. And that is okay. It’s a learning experience for next time.
How to Set Up Your Team For Success
The final note I will leave you with is about setting up your team for success. Although you’re hiring someone to take tasks off your plate, you’re going to have some extra things to do to make sure they can be successful in their role. Here’s what I mean:
- Set boundaries
- Set expectations
- Communicate a lot
- Ask for what you need… don’t be wishy-washy
- Critique… have the hard conversations
Now grab that notebook and start making your outsource list. Write down each task with a timestamp next to it. When you finish, you can add it all up and see the magic that outsourcing can give you back to your business!
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MORE FROM THE DUO
Abbey Oslin and Courtney Petersen are Minnesota-based marketing experts, educators, and co-founders of boutique marketing agency Duo Collective, which specializes in SEO, social media strategy, and branding for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. To learn more about Duo Collective, or to inquire about working with our team, head over to www.duocollective.com.
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