As an entrepreneur, freelancer or founder, you wear many hats and are responsible for everything, from the executive decisions, to the most menial tasks. Ranging from topics that you know inside out, to things you’re desperately Googling for more information (taxes anyone?). After all, there’s no one else to do it. Your budget is tight, so any external help is assessed at least ten times before it’s even considered an option. This is normal when you’re in the first stages of your small business. However, as your business grows, it’s important to analyze your workload and recognize where delegation is needed.
How do you figure out what you should outsource?
Here are some suggestions:
Learn to prioritize
Does the motto, “if you want something done right, do it yourself,” sound familiar? Many entrepreneurs are used to doing everything themselves and find it difficult to give up tasks. However, for customers to experience the full benefit of your expertise and energy, it pays to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Not so simple as a freelancer.
In this post we’ll go through tips to help you prioritize, delegate tasks and automate what you can.
Learn when to reassess your tasks
As an entrepreneur or freelancer, it’s good to get in the habit of checking through your list of tasks regularly to see what you can delegate or outsource.
In the meantime, there are some red flags that signal you’re overdoing it. If your work starts to interfere with relationships and you feel you no longer have time for yourself, that’s a clear sign you should rethink your workflows and priorities. If your health is affected and you feel drained, it’s time to set your own limits and use time-management tricks to stick to them. It’s also a good idea to give yourself a set finish time for the end of your work day, like 10pm, and make this a rule for yourself.
If you don’t have enough time to work on your “main job” because you’re too busy with the details, you should reconsider your priorities.
The next step is asking yourself, Can others do these extra tasks better than me? And, would the costs be lower if I calculated the time and manpower to get this done in-house?
Learn how to organize tasks
Make a list of all your tasks, then asses the importance of each for your business. Next, make a note of what work processes can be optimized, tasks you should handle directly, what can be outsourced, and what should be automated.
There may be elements of your business, like your website, you want full control of but lack time to manage effectively. Website builders, like Jimdo Dolphin, that pull content from your Facebook and/or Google business pages are ideal in these cases as they can save you both time and money.
Learn what to outsource
There are many affordable options online for outsourcing that are just a click away. As a small business owner, this enables you to hire-out tasks while staying within your budget. Think about tasks that can be easily outsourced like: taxes, accounting, travel planning, and social media or blog management (if you don’t have time to post regularly).
Here are some things to consider before outsourcing:
- Is it an important task for your business?
- Can it be done, faster or more efficiently by someone else? For instance, accounting is a great task to outsource.
- Is there an advantage to taking care of this inhouse?
- Are the costs of the service lower than what it would be to take care of it in-house?
The trend in outsourcing or working with independent contractors doesn't look like it will slow down anytime soon given the stalled pace of hiring. It's something that can definitely be used the right way to small businesses’ advantage.
What about automation?
Time and resources are often limited as an entrepreneur. Automation acts as a multiplier to perform those mundane but necessary tasks to free up your time. So you can concentrate on what really needs your attention.
Here are some small tasks you can automate and will make a big difference in the long run:
- Prepare updated email templates. These are especially useful for pricing lists, so you don’t have to write out individual offers every time. A cancellation email template is also good to have.
- Prepare an FAQ. Add this to your website to address commonly asked questions or prepare automated responses you can send off with the click of a mouse.
- Prepare questionnaires and questions for customers. This facilitates the day-to-day running and planning. Usually there’s some basic information you need from every client regardless of the industry you’re in. By preparing these questions in advance, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort by just tweaking these for the client.
- Know your tools. Familiarize yourself with the tools at your disposal that enable you to automate processes. For instance, the POWr Form Builder and Zapier integration allows you to automatically add contacts to your CRM rather than spending valuable time entering new contacts.
The most important thing is to keep the fun in what you do! If you lose it, think about how you can re-shape your workflow so it’s fun again!
Take a look at the FAQ from Jimdo site, Bobsmade. Their answers are clear and straightforward. This makes it much more likely that customers will feel confident pressing the “Buy” button without any follow up questions.