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Entrepreneurs by necessity need to be masters, or at least capable, of juggling different tasks and prioritizing goals. In general, we can be among the best people when it comes to putting in the time and effort needed in order to see a business succeed. But even the most passionate and dedicated business owners will hit a stage where they realize that they need some help.
Today I will share with you my best tips for outsourcing – when to do it and how to choose the tasks to delegate. As with most areas, specific circumstances will need specific advice, but I believe that this article will apply to most people and get you started in nearly any situation.
The pain point
As mentioned before, as an entrepreneur you will likely reach a pain point. You will know it when you will experience it – things are not getting done, you don’t have enough time and you need to work with your schedule, you feel overwhelmed. Over time you’ll be able to recognize when you’re reaching this point and make moves to bring in help before reaching it, but for now, you actually want reach the pain point so that you will have a definite set of tasks for anyone you bring into your business.
Once you have recognized your pain point, it is easier to find out exactly what caused it and how to move forward. It is usually a good idea to start hiring at that point.
Outsource the right tasks
How to figure out the most outsourceable tasks? Some general rules apply to all businesses.
If an activity is not a unique skill that you possess (be honest with yourself!) but takes up more than fifteen minutes or half an hour, then it is likely to be outsourceable. Of course, what tasks are part of the business growth process or are too unique and sensitive to be outsourced will have to be decided on a case-by-case basis. But just to make a few examples, organizing a team and making sales calls are likely to be universally non-outsourceable, at least in the beginning.
If identifying the non-essential tasks that take up too much of your time is a bit negative for you, there is also a positive way of looking at this that will help you make the best outsourcing choices.
You know that there are things you can do or create like no one else, and chances are that you also have fun with those. They energize your day, you add special value to them, and you can see no reason why you should take this away from your routine, even if they could be outsourced
Therefore, time management is not only a way of freeing up time, but also a strategy that allows you to find out what you really want to invest that extra time in.
Can I really trust someone else with this?
Usually, the answer is yes. There are some parts of your work that are unique, and possibly difficult to complete. It took you time to master them and achieve results effectively day in and day out.
This is where the process comes in. If you are doing something regularly, it is also very likely that you can create a process around it. Think about it and try to break it down into smaller – but more importantly, highly understandable – sections. Process really helps because it naturally encourages a gradual approach to outsourcing – before trusting someone else with a whole division or section of your business, you can see how they perform with smaller responsibilities.
There are things that are harder to structure, and tasks that need to be carried out physically in a specific way, such as putting a binder together. You can get creative there and take a screen capture or record yourself on camera as you perform what you need exactly the way you need it.
As you try to create processes for your employees, VA’s, and other team members, remember that this is in itself a process that will change and grow. The important part is to get started and to alter the process as needed to fit you, your team, and your business.
Remember that, outside of tasks that are unique to you or that are fundamental to running or growing the business, nearly every task or process can be handed off at some point.
Secondly, in handing tasks off, remember that clear communication is key. This should come through in your processes and hiring. Explain in detail what is needed, what the result should be, and give supplementary information where possible. For help with creating processes that really work, check out this article: [COMING SOON]
I hope this article sets you down the right path on how to get help for your growing business. This process will help you go from a single person operation to 1, 3, 5, 25+ employees, and help you learn the skills needed to build effective teams. If you never had a virtual assistant nor hired anyone before, it is important to start small, proceed gradually, and always keep your communication, expectations, and processes simple and clear.