Wanna know one of the top excuses entrepreneurs use to avoid outsourcing tasks?
“I just don’t have the time!”
So many talented women business owners are drowning in overwhelm, yet they refuse to outsource work simply because they don’t want to train and manage contractors.
And I get it: Even a genius-level virtual assistant will have a learning curve, and all employees need occasional guidance from the boss. But in the vast majority of cases the return on investment makes it worth your while!
And today I’m going to share a super simple trick that will help you minimize the time you spend managing your team members. Are you ready?
Assign tasks that repeat indefinitely. It’s that simple!
If you hire support for non-recurring projects – like designing an opt-in for your email list or updating images in your blog archive – that’s out-tasking, not true outsourcing.
Out-tasking meets a one-time need, and encompasses work that will eventually be completed. When you’re onboarding a semi-permanent contractor, your best bet is to hand off work that needs to be done on an ongoing basis. Think tasks that need to be done every day, week, or month, but that don’t necessarily need to be handled by you personally.
Let’s dig into 3 categories of work that can easily be handed off to contractors, and require minimum supervision and follow-up.
Outsource Repetitive Administrative Tasks
The vast majority of my clients absolutely loathe handling their own essential-but-mind-numbing administrative work. (And, frankly, so do I!) Luckily, these are among the easiest tasks to hand off to team members.
Here are a few types of administrative work that can downshift to autopilot once outsourced:
Train your assistant to handle your email inbox. This can mean simply sorting through your emails and prioritizing them for you, but it can also entail responding to queries that don’t need a personal touch. Why not put your VA in charge of answering your most common questions, scheduling client calls, and sending out intake paperwork? Keep in close contact with your inbox wrangler, but trust her to handle all but the most unusual of requests.
Assign oversight of your helpdesk to a qualified assistant. If your business includes an on-call question-answering service, it can definitely be overseen by a team member. Create scripts for responding to typical inquiries, flowcharts for guiding customers toward solutions, and instructions on how to handle out-of-scope questions.
Hire someone to do your monthly bookkeeping and make it an automated process. Do you love sending out invoices and chasing down client payments? I sure don’t! There may be some satisfaction in totalling up your monthly income figures, but most of us would happily outsource this task to a capable team member. Certain complex financial tasks may need to go to an actual accountant, but if your expenses and income are relatively straightforward you may be able to automate portions of your bookkeeping or assign the entire workload to a clever contractor.
Outsource facilitation of affiliate payouts. Even if you’re not comfortable outsourcing all of your bookkeeping, consider assigning affiliate payments to a team member. Have them run the reports and pay affiliates on a set day each week or month.
Outsource Recurring Content-Related Tasks
Regardless of what type of services or products you offer, you need to communicate with your customer base on a regular basis and via multiple media. It might’ve been fun to write all of your own tweets and blog posts when you were first starting out, but now you need support. And recurring content tasks fall squarely into the recurring-and-delegatable category!
Put your assistant in charge of content creation and distribution. This can encompass everything from writing blog posts and email newsletters to scheduling social media posts and refining video scripts. Make a list of all of the content you release on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Which are the most time-consuming? Do ANY of them truly need to be created by you personally? Remember that you can always review and edit content before it goes live. Prioritize, Outsource, and stand back.
Hire a graphics-savvy contractor. If you release a new report or product every month, the cover design and internal layout can be handled by a design-loving VA. This person can also be put in charge of creating blog post images, social media images, and any additional recurring visual content.
Relinquish control of your social media management: This may feel uncomfortable at first, but once you accept that every post needn’t flow directly from your own wellspring of creativity, it gets easier. And let me tell you, most of my successful entrepreneur clients have hired out their social media management! A skilled VA can handle both Facebook pages and groups, including moderating comments and posting content. Tweets and pins can be scheduled and optimized to drop at high-visibility times of day. And even if you enjoy taking your own Instagram photos, your assistant can source hashtags and sketch out stellar captions for you.
Outsource Workflow Tasks
Once you’re comfortable delegating repeating workloads, consider hiring team members who can help with workflow.
Hand off membership site maintenance. This works best if just one person puts together the materials for you, including proofing and editing, adding branding elements to documents, zipping files, uploading files, and prepping the download and sales pages. With the right help, you could also ask your contractor to edit audio or video and upload the replays.
Hire a project manager. Project management software like Asana and Basecamp is a great place to start…but someone still needs to populate your account with tasks. That same person can manage your calendar, schedule calls and meetings, and ensure that all projects get assigned and completed each month.
The best way to ease into outsourcing is to identify your most labor-intensive recurring tasks, and hire help to handle them. Doing so will immediately free you up to focus on client service, business expansion, and all of the other rewarding, creative, and invigorating aspects of running your unique business!
P.S. Still not sure where to begin? My VA Training Templates Library is filled with copy & paste project kits you can hand off to your VA today. Whether you want to dive into paid advertising on Facebook or write a book or launch a profitable new coaching program, I’ve outlined all the steps for you. Check it out right here!