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If you’ve been thinking about outsourcing, but are feeling a little overwhelmed by the process, this post is for you. Outsourcing can be a great way to save time and money while increasing your productivity, and ultimately your profits. In this blog post, we’ll cover how to begin the process of finding and onboarding the right freelancer or contractor to work with so that you can focus on growing your business without having to do everything yourself!
The first step of outsourcing is knowing when it’s time for a change. If your business has grown, then that may be a sign – or if there are tasks that take up so much of your time that they cost more money than they are worth.
Here are a few signs that it’s time to outsource:
What are the key activities that contribute to your company’s success? What tasks absolutely need to be done by you, and which ones could someone else do better or faster than you? This is where it gets tough. It may mean delegating some more mundane tasks like responding to customer support emails, checking your social media accounts, or doing data entry.
We all have tasks that we’re not good at and don’t like doing but need to get done regardless! You have more important things that only you can do – so outsource those others and get back on track with what really matters for your company’s continued success and scalability.
The purpose of outsourcing is to give you back the time you need to focus on your most important tasks like strategic planning, developing new offers, and meeting with potential clients or customers. So, we need to take inventory of what activities truly move the needle in your business. If you’re spinning a million plates at once, it can sometimes be hard to see where your time is really going. Take a step back, get your processes on paper, and see which activities can only be done by you.
An eye-opening exercise to uncover the truth here would be to track your time every time you sit down to work. Here’s a great free program to help you with this.
When looking to outsource, you have a few considerations. Independent contractors are also business owners and can set their rates at their own discretion. Taking the time to do your research and perhaps investing in resources like this one will lead you in the right direction when deciding what rate is worth your investment!
My best advice is to develop a long-term strategy for hiring staff and managing delegation. If the budget is tight now, but you expect to hand off much more in the future, it may be worthwhile to hire someone who is more expensive but has lots more experience. If the tasks you plan to outsource are very cut-and-dry, and you see this person having a pretty set routine that you only have to train on once, you may be able to get away with someone with a lower rate and invest your time into training them well right off the bat.
The next step in outsourcing is finding the right person or team to delegate tasks to.
There are many options when it comes to outsourcing, and you want someone who can do the tasks well but also has a personality that meshes with your own and who understands the vibe of your business. This will be much easier if you have written out what you want in advance, so you won’t waste time interviewing people who don’t meet your needs.
A good place to start when outsourcing is asking your friends or network for recommendations – they may know the perfect person for the job!
It’s important not to rush through this process. You may be tempted to take a chance on someone just because you enjoy them as a person or you may be pressed for time, but it will save you loads of time if you invest in some research and planning beforehand so that you can find the perfect fit. There are many great companies that match business owners with VAs and OBMs that fit their needs – but my #1 go-to is always my former coach – Sara Wiles! She has a fantastic free matchmaking service with providers she has personally taught or coached.
It may take some time to find someone you’re 100% satisfied with – but don’t rush! This is the person that will be managing parts of your business, helping you to grow, and will have a hand in developing the perception of your ideal clients, so you need them to be great at what they do and make sure they genuinely care about your business as well.
If you’re nervous about bringing someone in for the first time, it’s very common for Virtual Assistants, Online Business Managers, and Social Media Managers to have it written into their contract that the beginning your partnership is a sort of ‘trial’ and that the termination notice clause doesn’t kick in until 30 days later. If you don’t see this ‘trial’ clause in there, just ask! VA’s and OBM’s know that sometimes what they think is a great fit might not turn out to be all they expected, so giving it a go without strings attached is beneficial for them as well.
Once you’ve found someone that suits your needs, it’s time to get them on board.
Making sure you have a good understanding of the tasks they will be doing and how long those tasks should take before handing things off is going to benefit everyone. This is why I believe it to be so important to either get these processes out in black and white ahead of time. I recommend starting them out with a task that is as cut-and-dry as it gets and recording your screen while talking them through what you are doing is super helpful. You have to do it anyway, so you might as well take the opportunity to show them exactly what you expect.
It is also important that they know what kind of information needs to be shared back with you in order to make your job easier and help you grow. A project management system like Asana or Clickup is a fantastic way to keep each task’s status up-to-date, avoid hours of back-and-forth emails, and unfocused meetings. I do, however, encourage a weekly or bi-weekly alignment meeting to review everything together, open the floor for questions and ideas, and chat about what’s coming up so there are no surprises in workload and you both can plan your lives accordingly.
Delegating will make it easier for you to focus on what is most important – running and growing your company! Outsource to save time, energy, money, and sanity – it’s time, and you deserve it.
The keys above are a great starting point, but if you prefer to avoid Google rabbit holes, nightmare hires, and half-baked strategies for outsourcing efficiently – you’re in luck! I’ve put together a fully editable workbook that’ll guide you from exactly where you are right now, to having a full understanding and PLAN for hiring your first or next team member.
Or, if you are in the beginning stages of reorganizing your business to see if it’s really the right time to bring in extra hands, here’s a free section of the resource above that will help you automate and streamline as much as possible.
Reminder: Don’t forget about yourself! It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you are a solo entrepreneur with everything on your plate, but make sure that you delegate some time for self-care now that you have extra hands!
I'm an online business strategist and digital marketing expert who is passionate about helping entrepreneurs streamline their operational practices, gain visibility, and make their biggest impact in the online space.
After spending years running the back-end of 15+ businesses, both online and in-person, and in tons of different industries, I have really seen it all and now provide tailored solutions and resources for entrepreneurs who are ready to level-up their business and implement systems, strategies, and content that save time, energy, and money all while seriously impressing their ideal clients.
Kick creative constipation to the curb with this bank of ideas I've been racking up for years! These will give your audience exactly what they want - a bit of you, your business, your offers, and your tribe!
Alina Scarcella is a multi-passionate service provider who focuses on making life easier for female entrepreneurs through implementing systems and processes that deliver luxury client experiences, creating and managing high-converting marketing content, and designing bespoke websites.