When you first started out, did you ever think you’d be fully booked? A full calendar means having a full slate of clients, and it’s a testament to your abilities to land your ideal client and provide outstanding service.
At the same time, a booked-out business owner can be a stressed-out business owner. If you find yourself spending time on tasks you don’t care for, or if your work/life balance isn’t so balanced after all, it’s time to outsource.
Outsourcing makes sense; you can delegate the tasks you either don’t have time for or would rather not do, and you can expand your client base beyond your current capacity. Here are a few steps to get your business ready to outsource.
Think about what you’d like to outsource: Think of the tasks that either take up too much of your time or tasks you’d rather not do. If your weak area is graphic design, for example, outsource it.
While it’s a good idea to develop our weak areas, spending too much time developing them detracts from growing your business and concentrating on your zone of genius.
Be ready and willing to outsource: Outsourcing means relinquishing a degree of control over the task or project. Turning over a project to a subcontractor can be scary, but constantly micromanaging the project can undermine and even derail your outsourcing. You will need to let go at some point.
Sure, some bumps and miscommunications pop up, but working through them is key to successful outsourcing.
Breathe. You’ve got this!
Establish a project management system and document sharing/collaboration system.
Project management apps such as Asana or Trello can help you and your team stay on top of deadlines; you will be able to accomplish everything–from task assignment to communications–with these apps.
Please don’t make the mistake of using one product for communications and another for project management; keep it simple with an all-in-one app, so your team isn’t needlessly toggling back and forth between apps.
Document sharing and collaboration apps such as Google Drive give you and your team the capacity to create, share, and edit documents and presentations in real-time. As your team expands, you can share files with team members.
Set up an accounting system: You may already have an accounting system in place to track your income and expenses, but you will also need to track payments to sub-contractors and freelancers as well as generate 1099-MISC forms at the end of the year.
Systems such as Quickbooks Online and Xero are easy to learn and are expandable as your team grows.
Identify needs and locate talent: Once you’re clear on which tasks you’d like to delegate, now is the time to find the right talent. Facebook groups, recommendations from colleagues, Instagram, and other social channels are excellent ways to locate subcontractors for tasks and projects.
Be clear on your needs, state your budget, scope of services, and any location/time zone preferences, and you’ll quickly find the right person or team. There is a subcontractor for nearly everything, from video editing to web design and points in between.
By preparing for outsourcing in advance, you’ll be able to take your growing business to the next level with the right tools and talent. You’ll have more time to do what you love while your team takes care of the rest.