Remember when you first thought about starting your business? You envisioned working on the things you loved, spending your days honing your craft. The thought of escaping your soul-crushing cubicle job was thrilling; at last you would be your own boss! You took the leap and started getting your first real clients. Things were looking good…you were finally free to do what you wanted to do. But then something happened. You found yourself overwhelmed with all these other things involved in running a business-like invoicing, website optimization, sales & marketing and so on and not much time left in the day to focus on that thing you set out to do.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Doing It All
You started a business to work to do what you love most and share your gifts with the world.
Along the way, you found yourself doing less of what you love and more of these other things that aren’t necessarily your strengths but what choice do you have?
You have to do the work, keep getting the work and also get paid for it.
And doing it all is something that you’re used to. Juggling many projects and multitasking is the name of your game.
However, there are only so many hours in the day and eventually you feel frustrated because you are doing everything and not making as much progress as you’d like.
What causes frustration and overwhelm?
Suddenly you are faced with not only doing the work, but also doing the work that ensures that you keep getting more work. Whether that it is through blogging, participating in forums, it all takes time and at some point you have to prioritize. Does it make sense to be spending many hours a week on invoicing? Or should you be out there networking and doing business development? Perhaps you can whip up an epic blog post in under 20 minutes but the mere thought of formatting and SEO makes you cringe.
You have to accept that there are only a certain amount of tasks that you can accomplish in a day. And that there are certain items that are better off being done by someone else so you can focus on the things that are more important.
Freeing Up Your Time To Focus On What You’re Good At
That’s where outsourcing comes in.
Now, you’re probably thinking-
How can I afford it? I’m just starting out!
How can I trust someone else with my business?
I’ve never outsourced before, where do I start?
Affordable outsourcing options do exist and you can outsource the little things that add up and take a lot of time.
Optimizing your website-not your thing? Outsource!
Editing podcasts always a challenge? Outsource!
Sharing posts on social networking sites? Outsource!
On these sites you can post your project, budget and select a contractor from the proposal submissions you receive. With these sites you are tapping into a global workforce, and consequently prices can vary from the very cheap to very expensive. Quality of work will vary as well but you can choose from credible contractors who have ratings, references and a portfolio of their past work.
How can you get started?
Break Things Down and Make Lists
Getting started with outsourcing does not have to be complicated. Take a look at some of the things that you do on a regular basis. A key aspect of successful outsourcing is defining clearly what you want to outsource.
For instance, suppose you blog 2-3x a week. Your process could look something like this once you’ve decided on a topic:
- Do keyword research
- Write blog post
- Format blog post and add images
- Fill in All-in-One SEO information
- Share posts to: StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn Groups, Twitter, Facebook etc.
Looking at the list you may find that the part that is easiest for you and actually requires your expertise is #2 and the rest is time-consuming but not worth your time. If we estimate that tasks 1,3,4,5 all take on average 15 minutes that is a total of 60 minutes per post. Do that three times a week and we’re looking at 3 hours a week or 12 hours a month! What could you do with an extra 12 hours a month? Find new customers? Develop a new product? A lot, I’m sure!
Start by making lists of the various things you do regularly to figure out what you could potentially outsource. I would also recommend doing a trial project with a contractor before you commit long term just to see how you work together.
By outsourcing small parts of your business, you will free up your time to focus on your area of expertise. Say goodbye to overwhelm and get back on track to taking on the world!
What can you start outsourcing? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear!