How do you know when it’s time to outsource? Have you been thinking about outsourcing but not sure where to start? Perhaps you’re still wondering if your business is ‘up to’ outsourcing, in the business growth cycle. I’ve compiled a list of signs to help you decide if its time to outsource, plus a worksheet to download to help you decide exactly what you can start with.
6 Signs its time to outsource
#1 When there’s not enough time to get everything done
If you constantly feel like there’s not enough time, then systemising and outsourcing are operational strategies that can really support your growth.
As an entrepreneur, it’s not possible to get it all done. Yes, you can achieve a lot, but if you’re in this for the long run, don’t want to burn out, and actually want time for self care, family and fun too, then getting organised and outsourcing is the way to go!
#2 When you try to be the superhero but end up being a martyr
If you’re trying to get it all done because you’re saving money, you are also making a rod for your own back. I can say this, because I’ve done it myself, and I’ve seen others do it!
I didn’t want to give up control, I wanted things to be done my way, I thought it would take longer to train someone else, I didn’t have the budget, no one can do it quite like me…I’ve had all the excuses, and I really think I waited a year too long to start outsourcing (and now I have a team!)
I could get everything done, but it all took so much longer. That meant I was making less money, less list growth, and it had a huge cost on my health and happiness.
Trying to do it all yourself is great in theory, but it can backfire, and end up stunting your business.
There are no awards for doing it all – just a lot of time sitting in front of a screen! Take stock and get clear on the tasks you love, and let go of the things you don’t want to do anymore – then you know it’s time to outsource.
You can use the downloadable worksheet to help you get clear on what your outsourced tasks could be.
#3 There are lots of tasks you hate doing
As entrepreneurs, we have to wear many hats, and they aren’t always things that we like, or things that we are good at.
If you’re spending a lot of your day doing, or avoiding, tasks that suck your energy, or you’re spending too much time on admin and not enough time on the big picture, then its time to outsource.
#4 You’re a perfectionist
Perfectionism and being an entrepreneur will only get you so far!
Wanting everything to be perfect can actually hold your business back.
You’ve heard that saying ‘done is better than perfect’, and outsourcing is where done meets perfect.
#5 You’re frustrated because there’s not enough time to do the work that lights you up
I’ll take a guess and say that you started your business because you love doing ‘the work’, the service or product that you offer. It energises you, and you feel buzzed after spending time on it. That’s your zone of genius – and it feels awesome!
There are tasks that are in your zone of excellence – you’re competent in them, and could train other people to do them, but it just doesn’t light light you up.
There are tasks that are in your zone of competence – you can blog, you can post on your FB page, but they don’t give you the buzz, and they are huge time suck – plus it’s not actually a task that needs your attention all of the time – some of it is process driven.
There are tasks that you hate doing because you don’t quite understand them too. They’re in your zone of incompetence. Tech tools that frustrate you, for example.
Is it time to let go of making everything perfect, and putting your work out to the world. Remember, you can launch it, and it will never be perfect. There will always be improvements you can make, so let go of the perfectionism, and start spreading the load!
#6 You’re making mistakes
If you are trying to do it all, then you might be feeling like you’re rushing a lot, getting disorganised, forgetting to follow things up, or having to write loads of sticky notes to run your business.
You can’t run your business with sticky notes
Get started with Outsourcing
So hopefully, you’re feeling more confident about your business and the signs its time to outsource. Let me reassure you that it is possible to outsource, even if you’re on a small budget, even if you’re a control freak, and even if you’re worried how long it would take. Here’s the thing: Until you start, nothing will change, and you will be in the same place as you are now. You can do this. You just need to
- start small
get clear about what you want
get organised and set up for your first VA
Consider Scenario 1 and Scenario 2 below, and how this simple outsourcing strategy could shift and transform your business, and set you up for growth.
Think of a regular task you do in your business – like writing a blog and publishing it.
Scenario 1 (This was me 2 years ago)
I blog every week, and it would take me 2-3 hours each week to write, set up, format, create images and publish the blog, and then schedule on social media.
That’s 10-12 hours a month – or in my world, 2 whole DAYS a month.
Scenario 2 (Outsourced)
Now I draft my blogs in batches – usually voice to text, or on video. I try and do 3-4 at a time (and that takes me 30-60 mins)
I send the draft to my VA, with a template of heading, image (or she can create it).
She already knows my process for publishing, my standards for publishing, and my posting schedule, so she can do that – quicker than I can.
So now I only spend 1-2 hours a month on blog content creation and publishing. There is a cost of around $100-150/month, depending on the cost of your VA, but it also allows me to prioritise revenue generating activities, and be more strategic with my marketing, because I have more space to connect and create without the pressure of getting everything done.
The cumulative effect of this over time is like the MasterCard ad #priceless!
Is it your time to start outsourcing? Start here
Ready to tackle this? Don’t worry – I have a Checklist inside this ebook that will help you identify some tasks you can start to scale your business and step away from doing #allthethings. Once you have that decided, it will make it much simpler to decide where to find your VA, the skills you’re looking for, and what your process is.
Download the Ready to Scale Ebook & checklist, & start your outsourcing journey
If you want some support to help fast track this process, or help you transition to a new system that you actually use, then can book a free systems audit with me so we can determine where to start, and what you need to get up and running with systems.
Aerlie Wildy is a business designer. business coach and mother based in the Adelaide Hills. I specialise in designing and systemising business for growth. You can connect with me on Facebook, join my Chief Executive Entrepreneurs Facebook Group, check out my Youtube Channel or Pin with me on Pinterest.