So many entrepreneurs consider outsourcing to be a luxury; something they’ll pursue when time and money and resources all align perfectly.
But here’s the hard truth: That alignment may never happen! And waiting for multiple components of your business to click into perfect harmony is a massive waste of your precious time.
Many of us fear handing off tasks to total strangers, or feel that we don’t deserve to work with hired help.
So we trot out excuses like “I can’t justify the expense,” or “I’ll hire out once I start making $X per year,” and stifle growth with fear. We decide it’s cheaper and easier to do everything ourselves, even when we’re scrambling to keep up with our workloads. We dig in our heels and tell ourselves that outsourcing will just have to wait.
But in many cases, it cannot wait. In many cases, delegating work and hiring skilled help is the most important step we can take toward enriching and expanding our businesses! Wondering if this might be the case for you?
Here are some ways to tell for sure if you need to start outsourcing.
Outsource to Avoid Productivity Sabotage
Yes, you will have to pour some time into finding and training the folks who will support your business. But if your productivity is dwindling, that investment will pay off almost immediately.
You need to delegate this instant if:
– You’re always behind, and feel like you constantly have more work than time in which to tackle it.
– Your revenue isn’t growing. You don’t know why, and don’t have the energy to address this alarming issue.
– Your creativity is drying up fast. You’re far too busy dealing with everyday tasks to come up with fresh ideas ideas for products, content, marketing, or new initiatives.
– You lug your electronic devices everywhere, including to all your kids’ sports events and activities so you can work overtime for your clients.
– The day-to-day maintenance of your business dominates your schedule, leaving little time for deep client work or long-term planning.
Outsource to Get Tasks You Hate Off Your Plate
Make no mistake, this is a 100% legit reason to outsource! You didn’t strike out on your own so you could continue slogging through work you loathe, did you? Of course not.
Delegate draining tasks if you:
– Just can’t handle certain business functions, and attempting to manage them is slowing you down.
– Spend more than 15% of each work day doing things you dread, and frequently procrastinate doing.
– Force yourself to handle aspects of your business that you KNOW aren’t your strong suit, and you always end up clocking way more hours working on them than you planned, which cuts into your creative work time (aka. things that make you money).
Outsource to Prioritize Self-Care
Gorgeous, this one is a biggie. Being your own boss is the best…except when it’s the worst, am I right?
We drive ourselves so hard, and when we’re consumed with worry over our success, self-care goes out the window.
You NEED to get support in your business if:
– There’s not enough of you to go around; family, friends, and clients are all getting a watered-down version of the real you.
– You start skipping showers because you’re too busy working.
– You order take-out or hit the fast food drive-thru a few times a week because you’ve worked straight through all day and didn’t have time to make dinner.
– You’ve started to work in your dirty, sweaty pajamas all day, every day instead of just occasionally. You only get dressed if you absolutely have to.
– You crack open a soda and a bag of chips at your desk and call it “lunch” because your clients all need stuff done urgently.
Outsource to Bring in Expert Help
You created and launched your business because you’re passionate and gifted and utterly amazing at what you do. But that doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to become a branding expert and a skilled accountant and a social media whiz all rolled into one. Some things should be handed off to true masters.
It’s time to delegate to experts if:
– You’ve handled or created something for your business – like an ad campaign or website – but are deeply unhappy with the results (like you had a 5-year old design your website? eek! Been there, done that).
– You do your best to handle a set of tasks, but live in fear you’re going to botch them up irreparably (like crashing your website or messing up your shopping cart).
– You have someone in your network who is a total genius at a specific aspect of business-building…but you’re stubbornly trying to puzzle through it yourself (you know…because you’ll eventually figure out how to edit the stylesheet code on your blog to do what you want).
Here’s your reality check:
If you’ve read through this whole post and recognize yourself
in at least five of the scenarios I’ve described above,
it is well past time you start outsourcing!
You’re getting in your own way, and building a work life that’s totally unsustainable. I hereby give you permission to outsource. Doing so will free up time and energy, help your business prosper, and change your working life for the better!