“You CAN afford to outsource” – and that’s the plain and simple truth, even if you don’t believe it yet.
When I ask for questions about outsourcing, I receive comments like:
“I can see what things might make sense to have someone do for me, however I do not yet have the cash flow sufficient to justify the expense. It seems a bit like the chicken or the egg…what do I do?”
“I am looking at outsourcing some parts of my small business, however I also have the money issue. How can you go about outsourcing when you can’t guarantee a steady income… but you need steady work?”
“Where/how does outsourcing work on a shoestring budget?”
These are totally legitimate questions….
If you don’t have the cash flow, how can you afford to hire someone?
Making it happen requires a complete mindset change…
We are all running businesses, and it really doesn’t matter how small. There are things we need to do to make that business work. There are expenses to pay and there is plenty of work to be done.
As online business owners, we often get stuck in this idea that we can do just about everything for free. I think that’s a dangerous way to think of things. Oh yes, an online business can definitely be cheaper to get started, run and grow than a traditional brick and mortar business, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make wise investments to grow our businesses. Whether it’s purchasing equipment we need, buying a course or hiring people who can make our businesses run more smoothly – investments should be seen as something that will give us greater return in the future.
Let Me Give You a Few “Outsourcing for Profit” Examples:
– Hiring an efficient customer support person: This means you have happy customers and potential customers who will want to buy more stuff from you. You have more time to focus on business building activities.
– Hiring a graphic designer to make a logo or banner from you: This portrays a professional image that attracts more potential customers and saves you from the hours of learning and months and months of perfecting the art of graphic design.
– Hiring a programmer to customize your shopping cart: You now have an easier and more streamlined shopping process that reduces cart abandonment…turning into more sales for you.
– Hiring a bookkeeper who gives you monthly reports: Now you can stay on top of your business and where it’s going, instead of stressing out about those undocumented receipts from 6 months ago.
– Hiring a writer to write several pieces of content for you each month: Now you have lead generating materials to bring in more clients and you didn’t even have to break a sweat.
…I won’t go on and on because I know that some people reading this are saying, “Yeah, I get what you mean, but I still don’t have the money.”
If you still don’t think you have the money, go through these steps:
1. Write down all your business expenses.
2. Write down all the tasks you do on a daily, monthly and weekly basis. I mean write down EVERYTHING.
Now take a look at those business expenses.
Are you paying for advertising that doesn’t seem to be producing results?
Are you buying course after course (most of which are still unread) and still aren’t sure how to turn a profit in your business?
Make some difficult decisions and reallocate some of those wasted funds to get help in your business.
When you look at the list you created with all of your tasks, imagine if you had a job outside your home and your boss expected you to do all those things. You’d quit on the spot. You would never take a job as the web designer, accountant, administrative assistant, customer support person, janitor…I think you get the point. You own this business – you should be the MANAGER (eventually, you’ll want to move from manager to CEO). The manager that oversees everything and make sure that it gets done and that the business is profitable.
Of course, it may take some time for you to get to that manager status, especially if you’re working on a budget, but start making a plan to do so. Start small, but do get started.
Here’s my “getting started with outsourcing on a budget” plan:
When you wrote that list of tasks, you probably found there are a lot of little details you tend to like answering emails, making website corrections, sending your newsletter, etc. These are the little tasks that break up our day and make it hard to focus…and focus is really what you need to break that profit barrier.
Take a serious look at what you can afford. My advice is to hire a virtual assistant who can do a variety of administrative type tasks like answering email, loading up your autoresponder and so forth. Most assistants today are proficient with a wide variety of business tasks and will be able to do website updates, work in your shopping cart, etc. Some even do some graphic design and programming. Get someone on board that can help you with the tasks you need help with.
Virtual assistants rates vary greatly. You can expect to pay from $20 per hour all the way up to $50 per hour or more. For your purposes where you need general help with various tasks, you can certainly find the help you need between $20-$30 per hour.
So the question is – Can you afford to set aside $20-40 per week to help you refocus on the things that will build your business?
Once you do that, you’ll find you have less stress, you have more time to work on the marketing of your business and you become more profitable as a result of spending that $20 or $40. And once you experience those benefits, you can afford to get more help.
All right, no more excuses! It’s time to start creating a business you love!