If you think there are not enough hours in the day, not enough days in the week, not enough weeks to achieve your dreams - then maybe all you need is a little help…
As they say: you can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Not at the same time, anyway.
What is outsourcing?
According to Cambridge dictionary, outsourcing is “the process of paying to have part of a company's work done by another company”.
In this case, we’re talking about outsourcing virtual services in particular. There are plenty of online entrepreneurs out there who wouldn’t mind giving you a bit of extra support.
There are several types of tasks you can outsource (we’ll go into that in a bit); the first activities entrepreneurs outsource are usually bookkeeping or other admin duties, marketing and advertising, or sales.
In this article, we will discuss
- Outsourcing vs subcontracting
- The types of tasks you can outsource
- How outsourcing can MAKE you money
Outsourcing vs Subcontracting
Outsourcing is a general term, with which we indicate hiring someone to do something for you… in this case, hiring a virtual service provider.
Subcontracting is a form of outsourcing where you hire someone to do work for one of your clients. You’d still be the primary contact for your client, but you’d get someone else to do part of the job… or the whole thing, in some cases.
Subcontracting is great if you have more client than you could take on if it were just you. For instance, if you’re a social media manager (which means you manage your clients’ social media accounts), you could handle the client onboarding, contact and create strategies for your clients - while someone else finds content to post, and schedules it to the clients’ account.
Tasks you can outsource
You can find a virtual service provider to support you for a longer period of time, or for a specific task.
Examples of longer assignments are
- a virtual assistant to help you out with general admin, schedule appointments and book travel, help with customer care or answer emails
- someone to maintain and update your website or social media accounts,
- or a copywriter for your email marketing
If we’re talking specific tasks, that could be
- a web designer to set up your website,
- a virtual assistant to help you organise your admin or set up an event
- A copywriter to write the sales copy for a launch
Are you ready to start outsourcing?
There are three situations for which outsourcing can be a sound solution…
1. You don’t have the time to do it yourself
This one’s clear and simple; when you just don’t have enough hours in the day, you need to get help and get things done.
Overwhelm often leads to lesser work - juggling several chores and just not getting to do all of it, has a negative impact on all of the other aspects of your business.
It’s probably best to outsource before you reach that point!
2. Someone else is better at this than you are
Most business tasks can theoretically be done by anyone… but get a better return on investment if they’re done by an expert.
For instance, you can spend hours every day working on your social media marketing; however, an expert might be able to get the same amount of work done in much less time… and use a strategy that will get you higher conversion rates.
As an added bonus, you’d free up quite a bit of time to work on what *you* are good at!
3. You resent that specific task
Most of us don’t enjoy every single chore in our business. Some don’t like doing our bookkeeping, while others resent doing the client calls, and many don’t enjoy spending time on social media.
Instead of dreading that particular aspect of your business and doing it because you have to, why not hire someone who’s good at it and enjoys doing it - so you can free up your time to do the parts of your business that make you happy?
In some cases though, you might not be ready to outsource at all.
1. You don’t want to free up time to hire someone
Of course you’re busy - and the fact that you don’t have enough time is the #1 reason you need to start outsourcing.
However, when you just hired someone, you need to be available for them: spend time familiarising them with your business, and be there to answer their questions.
Yes, this will take a bit of time at first - but in the long run, it will save you so much time, it’s really worth it.
Often, “not having the time” to get a new team member up and running, actually means…
2. You’re just not ready to let go
Many people think they are the only ones who can do what they do.
If that’s you, then you might want to find a coach and get some 1:1 support, instead of hiring somebody to do the work?
How can outsourcing make money?
If you’re like me, you might think you don’t have the budget to outsource right now - it’s going to cost you money. Am I correct?
In many cases though, outsourcing will enable you to make more money.
Maybe you just can’t take on more clients or create more products (although you’d like to) because you spend too much time on general admin, customer care, or other tasks you don’t particularly enjoy. If you’d hire someone to do those tasks for you though, you’d be able to take on more clients or get more products into your shop, which could largely compensate for the costs of outsourcing.
In that case, it all comes down to this: how much money would it cost you to outsource a specific task? And if you could free up the time to do something different (like client work, or client onboarding), how much extra money would you be able to make?
Same thing (but different) with marketing: if you’re spending hours or days every week on trying to put yourself out there without much result… maybe hiring someone who really knows what they’re doing would enable you to book clients, sell products, and spend your time on what you’re good at - instead of fiddling around with Facebook ads and spending your money without knowing what you’re doing.
As we started out… you can do anything, but you can’t do everything. And you shouldn’t be doing things you’re not good at, you resent doing, or you don’t have the time to do.
Tell us in the comments - are you outsourcing some of your business tasks? If so, which one(s)? Or are you a virtual service provider, and do you help your clients make more time to do what they’re really good at?
Sandrine is a Facebook & Online Strategist. Born in Belgium with a passion for travel, she spends the majority of her time on her off-grid olive & almond farm in Spain. Her mission: helping others make their dreams reality - with an online business to support them.