How to Figure Out What to Outsource First in Your Business
Discovering that you cannot do #allthethings in your business is an important milestone. First of all, it's okay to accept that you can't do it all (sorry to tell you, but we're all human!)
If you don't realize that you need to outsource, you're headed straight for my least favorite roadtrip down Burnout Boulevard. You'll start missing deadlines, feeling frazzled, and making mistakes. You might even find yourself working ten or more hours a day just to get everything done.
I do have some good news for you, though: life doesn't have to be that way. And business definitely doesn't have to be that way.
But for the control freak in you, how the heck do you do it without feeling like you're giving up control and letting a total stranger steer the ship of the business brand you've worked so hard to build? There's no way around it- it's not easy to let someone else in. But when you find the right person, you will become addicted- soon you'll be looking for all opportunities to outsource everything you can!
Don't make the mistake of going hog wild when you're brand new to outsourcing, though. You could make some mistakes like outsourcing the wrong stuff or hiring someone who's not a fit for you. Once you terminate that relationship, you'll be bitter about outsourcing in general. So let's avoid that, shall we?
In order to figure out what to outsource first, let's make it super simple: keep track of what you're doing for a day (if your days are pretty much the same in terms of the work you do) or a week. My fave tool for this is Toggl- set up projects with different colors and literally stop and start the timer when you do things.
Some examples for you to categorize your work:
- Admin stuff
- Answering emails
- Client work
- Updating your website/newsletters/blogs
- Social media
Once you've got your list, keep track and see how you're really spending your time.
Newsflash: the easiest thing to outsource first is something you know a little bit about, but aren't crazy about doing. Essentially, something you hate.
Some of you might be thinking: "Wait, if it's something I understand, shouldn't I do it myself?"
The truth is that you want to choose something you know you could do, but you recognize that it's not in your zone of genius for you to do. Why? You want to be able to hire someone else to help you but know enough about the system to pass it off to someone else and know that they are actually handling their end of the bargain.
Learn from my mistake: I took social media off my plate really early in my business, but I had no idea how to measure that data on my own, so it took me four months to realize my VA wasn't as great as she claimed herself to be. Yikes. Money down the drain.
So before I outsourced my YouTube channel management? You better believe I figured out how to do it myself.
Before I handed off podcast uploading to my amazing business manager, I did the first ten episodes myself.
This is a powerful exercise because it allows you to see:
- How annoying these tasks are or how poor a use of your time they are
- How long it might take the average person to get this task done
- How to check in and ensure that the VA is actually doing the work after the fact
My challenge to you this week is to find one thing that's currently on your plate that you can pull out. One less thing for you to do that you can successfully put together instructions and training materials for.
Outsourcing one small thing first can have major benefits for your business. It can help you understand the power of outsourcing and stop making you feel like you have to do every single thing.
Even though there's a lot of messaging these days that women in particular can "do it all", if you're like me, just thinking about trying to do it all makes me want to take a nap.
I'd really prefer not to do it all and to instead outsource things to someone else whenever I have the chance.
So what's coming off your plate this week?