There are not enough hours in the day for a business owner to get all the things done on their “To Do List” when operating within a company. Add in having a family, friends, social life, community responsibilities and you’re basically running off fumes at the end of each week questioning is what you’re doing worth it. Luckily, today we are in a time where you can leverage “Outsourcing” in pretty much anything you do. Outsourcing not only applies in business it applies to everyday life tasks.
Don’t want to clean the house? Hire a house cleaner or cleaning service.
Hate cutting the lawn and doing yard work? Hire a landscaping company.
No time to walk the dog? Hire a dog walker.
Women, don’t want to carry a baby and go through the body expansion of childbirth? Hire a surrogate.
Kidding on the last one, since that is a major life decision, but you get the point!
Same rules apply in business!
How do you know when you’re ready to outsource jobs for your business?
First step to knowing is by taking an inventory of all the things you do day to day, input vs. output, for 1 week. Listing them out on a sheet of paper or e-note. Bonus points if you also write down how those jobs made you feel ex: proud, excited, happy, drained, stressed, anxious etc. After the week is up and you have that list, take 15 minutes to rate the task on a 1-4 scale:
1- You LOVE the task, it comes easy, fun, and you feel energized when doing it
2- You ENJOY the task, it’s easy for you to knock out quickly since it’s in your wheelhouse of expertise
3- You are NEUTRAL to the task, you don’t love it and you don’t hate doing it since you know it gets done and moves the business forward
4- You HATE this task, dread it every time you see it on your calendar, procrastinate, head for that extra snack you don’t need, and get on social media, when you think about having to do it.
After you’ve rated your tasks you can immediately see what you want to outsource first… All the 4’s! It’s a no brainer to stop doing anything that is not in your zone of genius and you’re forcing yourself to do. It’s an energy time suck to keep these tasks on your calendar and “To Do List”. By making the list you’ve started the job descriptions and can identify the role(s) you need to outsource.
Now, take a look at the 3s you’ve listed and add these duties to the outsource list and job description. The more time you spend on your 1 and 2 tasks the better off you and your business will be. The output will match the input and you’ll receive a greater return on energy.
You can take the rating a step further and put a dollar amount to the duties being performed.
Is it a $10hr, $20hr, $50, $150, $300hr plus job?
$10 being market research, data entry, customer service, email and file organization
$20hr being graphic design, social media content curation, virtual assistant
$50-$150hr being bookkeeping, accounting, tech implementation, IT work
$300hr plus- being coaching staff, sales, copywriter fractional director level position CMO, CTO, CFO
*Hourly rates vary based on level of experience and where you’re outsourcing from.
When you put a dollar amount to the jobs you’re doing, that will really put it in perspective in how you’re spending your time and the return you are getting on your efforts. Now if any of the tasks you rated as a 1 or 2 and is only a $10hr job, you add that to the outsource list.
What’s the trade off when outsourcing?
There are always trade offs when it comes to Outsourcing. Biggest one is you are paying someone else for these tasks to get done when you know you can do it. As a business owner this is usually the biggest hurdle to get over. We’ve heard time and time again… “I’ve grown to like Canva and can get all of my social media posts done for the month in a weekend” or “I like designing my course handouts now” after spending countless hours on it. When you look at the opportunity cost of what you could have been doing with your weekend spending time with your loved ones or the 20hrs it took you to design and format the handouts… Was it the best use of your time? The answer is NO.
No matter how you try to spin it. You can outsource a design job to someone on Fiverr, UpWork or Design Pickle for around $500 a month and get the 20hrs or weekend back. UpWork and Fiverr alone have a global network of contractors ready to help you in just about any type of business related job.
As great as outsourcing is, there’s negative trade offs when working with outsourced workers from all over the world.
Here are a few of the challenges you can encounter:
- Language and cultural differences can cost you in additional hours being worked for corrections.
- Time zone logistics. Working with someone overseas will have you working early in the morning or late in the evening to get real time communication. The window of communication is shortened.
- Security. Questionable with anyone you bring into your organization. There are background checks that can help filter out anyone who wouldn’t be a fit within the US but hiring overseas can be an issue. Using a third party service where you can see past jobs and reviews of previous work is your best bet to find someone reliable and trustworthy.
- Training and onboarding. There’s no getting around this no matter how experienced the outsourced worker is. You will need to send them clear directions and instructions on what and how you’d like the job to be done.
- Disappearing. It can happen and an outsourced worker will ghost you. Give it at least a week before you write them off. If they’ve been responsive up until a certain point, their internet may be down and there’s a local disaster they are navigating.
- Duties and Expectations. Fair warning to give your outsourced worker some time to acclimate to the job and duties before adding more to their plate. Due to cultural differences they may not know how to say “No” and not know how to actually get the job done. They are just happy to have a job and income coming in so they will say “Yes” to everything.
The way through 99% of these challenges is through communication. Give your outsourced worker ALL of the details, record videos explaining the task, send them examples of what you need. The more direction you give them the better they will be to get the job done right the first time. This may seem like additional work in the beginning but when you task someone to create a landing page at the end of your day and they have the design assets, copy, example to work from, it’s a great feeling to wake up in the morning to have that job done.
Now that you know the trade offs…. What would be the impact on your business and life if you FOCUSED 100% on your strengths within your organization and outsourced the rest?
Valerie Viramontes is a purpose-driven entrepreneur, women’s and girls empowerment leader, conscious marketing expert, media strategist, and founder of V2 Solutions & Girl Hacks.
Valerie created her boutique agency specializing in product launches and sponsorships for health conscious podcasters, influencers, and wellness companies. She uses her experience to create win-win-win deals for her clients, brands, and audiences. This has put her behind launches of companies and products with sales into the millions working with brands like Spartan Races, Barbell Shurgged, The Strong Coach, Complete Human and so many more!
In Valerie’s free time she is a catalyst to remind young women of their inherent wisdom, intuition and power, and guide them to access the confidence within to make healthy choices in their lives. Add in hiking, dancing, reading, exploring new places to eat and she’s in her happy place!