“Outsource” might have been one of the biggest buzz words of last year. All the successful business gals about town bandied the word around like a gold trophy of success.
I get the appeal, I really do. I outsource stuff in my business and my life, not nearly as much as people assume, though. I have help with admin tasks and I don’t cook at all. A lovely delivery man brings me a cooler full of freshly made meals each week. I accidentally said “I love you” to him a few weeks ago.
I will have what she is having…
I thought I was lagging behind with my online business. I would see all the successful online peeps singing the praises of outsourcing just about everything in their business. While they were sipping cocktails and having Mani/Pedi’s I was cyber watching with envy. Website maintenance, community management, social media scheduling, sales page building, facebook advertising…. the list went on…
Slap me sideways and call me Steve
I had no clue that many of those successful people didn’t actually make a profit. When I found out I was shocked! Seriously shocked! It made no sense at all. What was going on? Why didn’t they just do some of the stuff themselves and make some money? Who was dishing out this “outsource everything to be successful” advice? Who was keeping a roof over their heads and snacks in their fridge? Who was paying for their wine gosh dang it!!
So you shouldn’t outsource anything right? Wrong!
You absolutely should outsource the stuff you’re not great at doing or the stuff that costs you less per hour than you could be making doing other things. If you’re already making some extra coins then buy yourself time and freedom. There is zero point in me trying to shop, cook and clean for one person. I throw out a lot of food (cooking does NOT come easily to me) and eating the same meal four nights in a row isn’t my idea of a good time. If I am prepping a client’s cash flow transferring data from a Profit and Loss to a spreadsheet is not a great use of my time.
Outsourcing to create “time”
Outsourcing to free up time is a great idea. Who doesn’t want more time in their week? Especially busy ladies with kids and growing businesses! I know a few that would do unspeakable things for just one hour of free time. Before you go paying someone to free up some time for you must know your numbers! Yep.. I said it… those dirty words again.. YOUR NUMBERS!
If you have a business that isn’t making money, and you’re outsourcing stuff to free up time there is a bigger issue in your business that you need to investigate. Here are the 6 questions I would ask (just for starters):
1) Is your pricing strategy profitable (can you actually make money or not)?
2) Are you overservicing?
3) How is your productivity?
4) Can you automate instead of paying someone?
5) Are you spending too much time communicating with potential and current customers?
6) Do you have systems and processes in place?
Outsourcing stuff so you can focus on making money
Finding someone to take over the tasks in your business so you can focus on making money is a stellar idea. Spending two hours a week scheduling social media posts when you could be working with clients who pay you $150 per hour is simple maths. Pay a virtual assistant and go make your $300! This only works IF you don’t sit on your hiney staring at the ceiling, or worse, at social media. You may as well schedule the posts yourself and save some bucks if you’re not going to be focused with your time.
You will see if your outsourcing approach works when you check your profit and loss each month (yes, EVERYONE with a business should be doing that). You will see a slight increase in expenses to cover the outsourcing but alongside you will see (hopefully) a bigger increase in sales leaving you with more profit. #awesome!
Outsourcing the stuff you don’t know how to do
I am stubborn. I am also a control freak. I probably should not be offering up advice on outsourcing stuff you don’t know how to do because I will sweat and swear and cry until I figure things out. This is not something I am proud of. I could be a lot further ahead if I wasn’t so insistent on being so self-sufficient.
The upside is I know how to do literally everything in my business. I am not reliant on anyone and can make super quick decisions without having to wait for some else’s availability or needing the cash flow to cover the cost.
Don’t give in too fast
If there is something in your business you know will cost a lot to outsource give it a go first. Be persistent. Take the time to watch YouTube tutorials and to have a go. I get frustrated with how quickly I see people give in. The one thing I hate hearing the most is “I can’t be bothered” Be bothered! Your future could completely change by being bothered. Mine certainly did! My online course income would be a big fat ZERO if I gave in every time something challenged me. Now it makes up 90% of my revenue, and I work from home (usually pant-less).