How to Overcome the Common Challenges of Outsourcing
Deciding to make a change in your business is easy. Actually putting that change into practice? SO much harder!
Once you’ve made the mental shift, you’ve still gotta leap over a giant chasm of worry, planning, and hesitation to transform that mental shift into measurable action. I totally get it; I still have to psych myself up before I jump into change, even if I know it’ll lead to success. That’s just human nature.
But there are ways to ease the transition!
Taking the leap becomes a whole lot easier when you’ve addressed some key concerns ahead of time. And since I know that you’re eager to start outsourcing but weighed down by worry, I’m giving you the knowledge, foresight, and reassurance you need to dive right in.
Let’s look at five common delegation roadblocks, and some simple ways to decimate them.
Outsourcing challenge: I don’t have time to train my contractors
Such an easy trap to fall into!
Yes, you may be fully booked handling everything in your business already, and yes, you’ll need to allot some precious time to train your new hires. (Can’t just onboard freelancers and expect them to learn your processes by osmosis.) But until you MAKE time to train, you will be stuck doing everything yourself!
The only path to growth is to get past this hangup, hire fantastic team members, and give them the training they need.
Put training on your calendar; schedule it and treat it like any unbreakable, non-negotiable appointment. Doing this may force you to push out other work temporarily, but once you’ve got a killer team supporting you it’ll be a cinch to make up that lost time!
Outsourcing challenge: I can’t afford to hire help
This is a biggie for many of us, especially solopreneurs who are used to total self-reliance. But outsourcing is an investment in freedom, growth, and ongoing success and there are ways to do it on a budget.
I am 100% not kidding when I say that you can’t afford NOT to hire great contractors. Juggling all of the work on your own means putting a cap on your ability to expand your business. You’re just one person, and you’ve only got 24 hours in a day. With a skilled team supporting you, your capacity instantly expands!
Figure out what your time is worth by performing a simple ROI and you’ll see exactly how affordable outsourcing really is. Consider your actual earnings first, but also weigh the stuff you can’t put a price tag on like free time, extra energy, increased creativity, and family time.
Outsourcing challenge: I hired a VA, but it turned out badly
If you’ve experimented with outsourcing before and ended up hiring someone who was a bad fit for your needs, it can be hard to convince yourself to try again. But, my dear, very few endeavors unfold flawlessly on the first try!
Giving up after one negative experience is no way to run a business. Not only that, but it’s possible that YOU contributed to the bad fit. I know, tough love, but it’s an important message. Here are some tips for ensuring your team members are up to snuff:
- Have an interviewing plan: Create a screener, research contractors’ experience and portfolio online, be aware of your needs and pet peeves
- Set expectations: Be extremely clear about what you want and expect from day one!
- Be willing to pay more: If you look for cheap support, you’ll get what you pay for.
- Know exactly what you need done: Don’t just “wing it” with a new team member, have a plan going in and be able to articulate which workloads you’ll need covered.
Outsourcing challenge: I can’t find good contractors
Know who can help with this one? Everyone in your network! Ask for referrals from other business owners, request help from any entrepreneurial Facebook groups you frequent, or see if your current team members have any colleagues to recommend.
Going it alone is just plain risky. No matter how many great reviews someone gets on Fiverr or how slick her website may look, you’re still guessing at her skills and experience. If you want to ensure you hire great people, ask for help!
Outsourcing challenge: I paid in advance, then didn’t have enough work for my contractor
This one’s on you.
It can be difficult to predict how much work truly needs doing, and almost impossible to know how quickly a new hire can tackle it all. BUT! As the business owner, it’s your responsibility to plan ahead and be as prepared as possible.
Make a list of tasks and projects, and prioritize the list. Update it regularly, and always make sure there are some low-level, maintenance tasks toward the bottom in case the higher priorities take less time than anticipated. Request weekly time-tracking updates from your team, both so you can get a sense of which tasks take the longest and so you know when they’re running low on work.
Finally, ask your team members about work that you haven’t asked them to do, but that they CAN and would like to do! They may have talents you didn’t know about, or suggestions for making the workflow more efficient.
There may still be a few niggling outsourcing concerns holding you back, but hopefully I’ve addressed most of the big ones. So take a deep breath, take the leap, and find out how successful your business can be when it’s supported by smart, capable team members!