Deciding how to outsource tasks is a challenge many business owners face. It can be a great opportunity to save you precious time and money – and what business owner doesn’t want more time and/or money?
But outsourcing can also be complex – where do you start? How do you know what to outsource?
First Step in Outsourcing
The best place to start when determining what and how to outsource is your master task list:
- What are all the tasks that need to get done in your business?
- Which of these can only be done by you?
Then the tasks that are left are potential candidates for outsourcing. Pick a few tasks for soft outsourcing first, then increase as you see the benefit.
Tasks that are often outsourced include social media updates, telephone services, shipping and fulfillment, and bookkeeping tasks. Running a business involves a lot of administration, and if you have good processes in place you can probably automate or outsource many parts of it.
Outsourcing is perfect for when your business is growing rapidly, but you don’t want to grow your team by taking on employees. Depending on the type of outsourcing, it can work out considerably cheaper than hiring someone.
One example is when you need professional help from an internet lawyer or accountant – it makes sense to outsource these tasks as needed.
Great tasks to outsource are the ones that take up a lot of your energy, yet don’t directly grow your bottom line. For example, answering phone calls can be a huge distraction for many people. Providers such as Receivr telephone answering service can be a great way to manage the customer service side of your business. An outsourced receptionist answers your phone on your behalf, taking messages or forwarding calls as you prefer.
How to Outsource
Once you have decided which tasks you want to outsource, it’s time to research who can fulfill them for you. As well as companies and individuals, you can also look into software and tools that you can leverage.
For example, a cost-effective way to do your digital marketing is to use online marketing tools and apps. With a little time invested upfront, these can save you a lot of time in the long run.
Similarly, you could use AI Chatbots to help you with online customer service. Technology has a lot to offer in terms of time leverage.
You can find skilled freelancers for design, web development, and more via outsourcing websites such as Elance, Fiverr, and Upwork. Terms will vary, but often the freelancers charge by project rather than by time. This gives you a definite cost for budgeting purposes – but ensure you are clear on your quality and time requirements in your description.
Or perhaps you want some ongoing support for admin and social media? In that case, a Virtual Assistant can be a great support.
Outsourcing tasks is a great way to help your business grow. Removing work from your to-do list gives you more time to focus on your own strengths, frees you to serve your clients better, and also adds greater value to the business. Learning how to outsource effectively can also help you enjoy a better work-life balance – something that is all too elusive for most entrepreneurs!
If you’re growing an online business, you might also be interested in our popular Website Tips and Tricks resources – check them out.