When to outsource as a solo entrepreneur

As a small business owner, you wear all the hats. I mean, all the hats. We’re talking about an accountant, social media manager, content creator, designer director, CEO, administrative assistant, and that’s just scratching at the surface. It’s pretty easy to acknowledge that when you’re first starting your business you’re going to have to hustle and DIY everything yourself, but what about when you’re a year in, exhausted, and at a plateau?


There comes a moment in your business when you need to realize: you can do anything, but you can’t do everything.


When your to-do list starts to become overloaded, you feel mentally overwhelmed, and under-resourced, then it’s time to outsource.


Outsourcing is when you hire someone (either as a contractor or an employee) from outside your business to provide services for you. Every biz owner reaches a point where in order to scale, they need to invest. Outsourcing is a great tool to accomplish this goal. You could also think of it like this: by outsourcing certain tasks to specialists you’ll be able to spend more time on your biz vs. just focusing on client work.


When it’s time to outsource.


The number 1 signal that tells you it’s time to outsource is when you are left with little to no time to work on business development.


The next signal is when you realize your to-do list is filled with tasks that you shouldn’t be doing and there’s someone better who can take the wheel. The next section will help you figure out the areas in your biz that you can outsource.


What tasks to outsource.


Unfortunately as humans we weren’t born to be experts at everything. As they say: Jane of all trades, master of none! But it can be difficult to figure out what to remove from your plate.


The first strategy we’re going to share involves mapping out where your time is spent. Create a Google Sheet and brain dump every task that’s required to run your biz. Create a separate tab for daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks. Once you have everything typed out, go through and note the number of hours those tasks require each week to complete. (If you’ve never recorded how long it takes you to complete certain tasks, I highly recommend you start the habit!)


Next, you’re going to determine where your time is best spent. Highlight all the tasks you enjoy doing in green. If there are any tasks that you enjoy doing, but you rarely complete it in a timely manner, change it from green to yellow.


Once you’ve done that, go through the highlighted green tasks and make note of which items only you can do. Finally, evaluate which tasks you can complete in a 35 hour work week. We’ve set the maximum time to 35 hours as there’ll always be something that comes up that demands more of your time.


This strategy allows you to have a bird’s eye view of everything you do in your business and specifically which areas in yellow you can start to outsource.


The second strategy involves an assessment. Answer these following questions:


  • Am I missing out on time spent developing my business?

  • If I got the time back that I was spending on a specific task, how much money could I make working on something else?

  • Can I do this task? Does it have to be done by me?

  • Do I enjoy or have a desire to do this task? Am I good at it?

  • What negative side effects will this have on my biz if I can’t complete this task to its highest potential?

  • How much stress is this task adding to my day-to-day life?


After you’ve written out answers to these questions, assess which tasks you love to do and are good at. Write out the tasks that you hate to do and are bad at. Last, write out the tasks that you may be good at, but don’t enjoy doing.


This assessment strategy allows you to see which tasks you’re passionate about, which ones bring in money, and which ones you dislike doing. Hot tip: the ones you dislike will make it easier for you to outsource.


If you’re still unsure which tasks you should outsource, here’s a list of the most common roles to hire out:


  • Photographer

  • Brand and web designer

  • Copywriter

  • Accountant/Bookkeeper

  • Social media marketer

  • Content creator

  • Administrative assistant


How to hire a team member.


This is important, before you can find someone to bring on to your team, you need to get your business processes in place! Once you’ve decided which role you’re going to outsource, use Loom to record yourself doing that task. This recording will work as a guide for the new hire. Trust me, it makes the training process go much more smoothly!


When you’re ready to find someone, note the hours your biz needs each week, budget their payroll, and identify the skills, personality, and communication style that would best fit the role.


There are many places you can post your job opening: Facebook groups and social media platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn are all great resources. You can also ask your network for referrals. You never know who many know someone who’d be the perfect fit!


Once you’ve collected a number of potential candidates, conduct the interview process by asking them questions that revolve around their expertise and what they can bring to your biz,


Outro.


It’s funny but true: you have to scale back in order to grow. There’s a misconception that you lose money while outsourcing. That’s so not the case! By outsourcing, you are actually getting all those tasks off your plate in order for you to have a more productive workday and focus on the things that move the needle for your biz. Now doesn’t that sound like a win-win?



hey, I'm meredith

I'm here to give you my best tips to help you build a successful biz. Welcome to our blog: the spot for growth hacks, DIY design tips, and advice from real business owners. Grab your latte and let's get creative!

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