Allowing yourself to become a micro-manager is one of the biggest outsourcing mistakes you can make as an entrepreneur. It sucks your time, drains your energy, eats up your outsourcing dollars – and, I bet you don’t even realize you’re doing it.
But let’s back up a sec and talk about what it means to be a micro-manager.
A micro-manager is someone who:
- Has to know what’s going on at all times
- Checks in like 30 times a day to see if their project’s done
- Constantly tells the expert they hired exactly how to do their job
- Won’t allow anyone else to make decisions for them
Hey, I get it. I think it’s completely understandable when your business is your bread and butter. You can’t afford screw-ups, so you hold it tightly and you hold it close. Not to mention that we live in such a fast-paced world that we’ve come to expect the things we want “instantly”.
So how can we not micro-manage our business when it’s so darn important to us?
It’s tough, I’ll give you that. But unless you plan to work 24 hours a day so you can wear all the hats in your business and be everything to everyone, you’d better slip out of that micro-manager role and start being the CEO.
There are only 3 simple things you need to do to create a successful and profitable outsourcing experience:
1. TRUST your experts to do their jobs.
When you go to the dentist, do you show up and start telling him how to do his job? Do you interrupt him in the middle of his work to find out if he’s done yet? No, because you trust him to know what he’s doing, to do it right, and get the work done in a timely manner.
When you make the decision to outsource, you have to be ready to let go and trust your helpers to do their job. Micro-managing the tasks you outsource can ruin a potentially good and long-term relationship with your team, and essentially burn them and yourself out in the process.
If you hire the right people, you shouldn’t have to be involved in the project past the point where you tell them what you want done. At times, there may be minimal training required, but in most cases you should be able to hand the task over and step back. Leaving them to do their job, assured that they’ll do the work you’re paying them to do and to contact you if they have questions, or when the project has been completed.
2. Don’t expect to get QUALITY work done overnight.
The people you hire are not machines. They are business owners, just like you, who have a family and obligations outside of their business. It’s not fair for you to hire them and expect them to work around the clock until they finish your work.
Of course there are exceptions, but only if your helper is willing to oblige. For instance, if you need a blog post written and completed by the next day, there’s no reason why you can’t ask if your writer can squeeze your assignment in. But don’t go asking her with the assumption that she’s going to say yes. If she says yes, that’s great. If she’s not able to do the job, take it in stride and remind yourself that she’s not a machine. You’ll just have to wait until she can do the work, or try to locate someone else who can help you out.
Trust me, there will be plenty of times where your helpers will be able to help you in a pinch, but don’t make it a habit because it just causes too much stress all around. Instead, try to plan out what tasks you’re going to need done each month, and assign the work at the beginning of the month. That way your team has plenty of time to meet your deadlines.
I always know what tasks I’m going to need done a month in advance, so as soon as a new month rolls around, there’s no delay in getting new work started. This makes my team happy, deadlines are met with ease, and that makes me happy 🙂
3. Focus on GROWING your business, instead of squeezing the life out of it.
If spend all your free time emailing your helpers with last minute instructions, or bugging them about your projects, you’re wasting time. Their time, and more importantly, YOUR time.
The whole point of outsourcing is to break free from the time sucking monster, not pile more work on your plate. But that’s what you’re doing when you micro-manage. You’re generating more work because you feel this burning need to know what your helpers are doing at all times, so you type up novel length emails, and then on top of that, you stress yourself out worrying that the job isn’t going to get done, or they’re going to screw it up.
That’s not profitable outsourcing. The only way you’re going to reap the rewards of outsourcing – working less and earning more – is when you let go and focus your newly found time on income generating tasks.
So instead of driving yourself and everyone else around you crazy with your micro-managing ways, get busy working on the things you can’t outsource:
– Create a promotional calendar outlining what products/services you’re going to promote to your lists. Write any emails, blog posts, etc. that need your personal touch.
– Work on growing your affiliate program. Recruit new affiliates, put together special promotions your affiliates can promote (like coupons), write the emails you’ll send out to your affiliates.
– Brainstorm new products and services to help meet the needs of your customers, and generate more income for your business.
– Build joint venture partnerships.
– Work on your upcoming product launch. Plan out what you’re going to do during pre-launch, the actual launch, and how you’ll keep sales coming in when the buzz dies down. Will you need to create videos, printable freebies, do article or viral marketing, etc.? Plan it all out and assign the tasks you can’t, or don’t want to, do to your helpers.
There are so many things you could be doing besides looking over the shoulders of your helpers, to build exposure and generate income for your business. So focus your attention there instead of strangling the life out of your business with your need to micro-manage everything.
The bottom line is; outsourcing should be making you money. If you find that it’s sucking money faster than you can make it, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at what you’re really doing with all that “free time”. Are you trying to manage every little thing in your business, or are you heading up the company as CEO and letting others do their jobs?