Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff — Outsource it!
Do you have someone to help you “carry the load” so you’re not overextending yourself? So you’re not pushed past the point of mental collapse and physical breakdown?
It’s not only delusional, but very unwise to think you can do everything by yourself, while building a business. Sure, there will be times when you probably could do many things by yourself, rather than explain to someone else how to do it. But in the end, you’ll lose. You’ll never take your business as far as it could go, let alone launch it, without asking for and receiving some help. You’ll need to rely on people to help you grow.
As a business owner, one of your biggest keys to success will be making sure you are doing the things that you are best at (and that make you the most money) and letting others do the rest.
What exactly does that mean?
For me, it’s simple…
If it’s not a profit-generating activity, I rarely do it.
If it’s not something I can complete within 30 minutes — easily and with no instruction necessary — I rarely do it.
If it’s not within my niche of expertise, I rarely do it.
Don’t be afraid to admit you can’t do something. There’s no shame in outsourcing the small stuff, so you can focus on delivering your high impact gifts to the world.
You cannot and should not do everything in your business or life. Housework, lawn care, pet care, home improvement, accounting — if it’s not your area of expertise and it’s taking you away from your highest priorities, don’t be afraid to hand it off to someone who can get it done quicker, better and cheaper than you can.
I know what you’re thinking: Sure, easy for you to say! But, what if I don’t have the cash to offload household chores, errands, yard work, etc.
Believe me, when I was starting out, I did not have extra money in my budget to pay a bunch of people to do my ‘dirty work.’ That was a luxury for me. But, I had an even bigger problem. I realized my real problem was that I spent nearly two hours a week cleaning my home from top to bottom. That was precious time that I could have been devoting to higher priority work, like building my business.
So I looked at what I could do, given what I could afford. I set a budget of $55 and started looking at Groupon offers that were consistent with it. It was hard to find a housekeeper for as low as $55 for two hours, but I found one and started scheduling a bi-weekly service.
Here’s what happened next. The two hours of my time that I got back, I applied to my business: looking for clients, applying for jobs and planning my website launch. Having a cleaner come to my house regularly put some “self-imposed pressure” on me to use that time wisely and really do the work of building my business. It help me establish a steady rhythm of productivity and everything else just seemed to fall into place. My business kept growing as I offloaded more nonsense work to other people and suddenly life just got easier.
To grow your business, you are going to need some help. But where do you start and how do you find the best help possible? Here are a few tips for outsourcing the small stuff:
1. Get specific about what you need help with.
Brainstorm all the tasks you do that prevent you from working on or in your business. I’m sure you could write down at least 10 to 15 things right now. Is it grocery shopping, walking the dog, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, returning books to the library or yard work? And of these things, which can you realistically hand off to someone else?
In my example, I needed a housekeeper to clean my home so I could reclaim those two lost hours every week and apply them to my business. If you’ve already got all of the “nitty gritty” outsourced and off your plate, good for you. Only hire people if there is a real need.
2. Be prepared now.
Now is the time to network and build relationships with vendors, so you always have several go-to resources you can count on. To find A-list resources you need, join Facebook groups and Meet-ups for freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business owners and ask members who they use for x, y and z.
Also, look at your current circle of friends and business peers. The best people to work with are often those who are already close to you. A lot of them may even have a “side hustle,” like photography, home organization and dog walking, and may be willing to help out with the needs you identified in step one. You need not look far when it comes to finding an incredible resource.
For your business, I recommend at least having one copywriter you can depend on for your web copy, bio and ads; one graphic designer; and one website developer.
For my business, I have a photographer I can rely on, which makes things so easy on me when I need a quick website changeup or new professional headshots; a lawyer for business contracts; and an accountant, which is a no-brainer — every business needs one. Since I work from home, I also require a housekeeper to keep my space tidy.
And don’t forget online subscriptions and auto-ship services. These modern day conveniences deliver necessities to your home on a regular basis, so you don’t have to stop what you’re doing and go to the store. For example, I rely on Chewy.com for pet food and supplies. Never again will I have to stop what I’m doing to run out and buy litter, treats, pet wipes or kibble!
Build that trusting relationship with a few people early and it will make it easier on you when you need urgent or routine work done.
3. Stop kidding yourself.
The bigger your business gets, the more you’ll need to rely on other people. Eventually, you may want to hire a virtual assistant, outsource your social media posts or work with a videographer. Start small, but don’t be afraid to grow your “team” as your business expands and evolves.
Do YOUR Best and Outsource the Rest
It’s amazing to me the things small business owners can get done if they just apply one simple principle: do the highest money-making tasks pertaining to your business and save the rest for someone else.
Find people who will help you go the extra mile in your business. Then, thank them and repay their awesomeness with a testimonial or referral!
Simply hiring someone is not going to make you more successful overnight. But it WILL give you back life’s most valuable and finite asset — time — which you can leverage to work on your business. In that powerful space, progress and success is cultivated, one step at a time.