Starting an independent location business and being an entrepreneur is thrilling, but it’s also time-consuming. Instead of living the dream of lying around on the beach or having more freedom to take a three-hour lunch, new business owners are left figuring out how to manage their time. The time crunch is real and can cause anxiety and worry about how you’ll get it all done and still make time for your business — keep reading to find out how to outsource.
The good news is there are dozens of things you can do to make your life easier, calmer, and more peaceful to stay sane while growing a profitable business. And it’s absolutely worth outsourcing when you can. Chances are your hourly rate is going to be higher than what you’d pay to outsource areas of your life, from groceries to cleaning. If you can leverage the time saved to accomplish more for your business, you’ll end up growing your bottom line.
Ready to Reclaim Your Time? Here’s How to Outsource More in Your Life
Order Your Groceries Online and Get Delivery
Research shows people spend upwards of 53-hours of a year on grocery shopping. It makes sense that groceries are one of the most commonly outsourced services. Instead of spending your time scouring the shelves, you could be using those hours for client meetings or finding new freelance work.
Outsource grocery shopping to Instacart and have it delivered straight to your door. Depending on your area and how much you want to tip, you will likely spend $10 to $15 on the service. Once you’re up and running with Instacart, you can also review past purchases and quickly add your weekly staples to your cart. After you get the hang of it, you’ll spend less time filling up your online cart each week.
Hire a Virtual Assistant or Personal Assistant
Many entrepreneurs outsource tasks like email management and project management to Virtual Assistants. But you can also hire a Personal Assistant to help manage your personal life.
You can hire a Personal Assistant for a few hours each week or use a site like Upwork to start with task-based things. Or look for hourly help on TaskRabbit or a trustworthy teenage neighbor to help run errands. Ask for help finding everything from wedding gifts to tracking down curtains sold out online but are still in the stores. Whether you want someone to book your hair and doctor’s appointments or chauffeur the kids to soccer, there’s someone out there who can help schedule and manage your personal affairs.
Read more about what to outsource and what to DIY when you’re just starting out in your business.
Prep Your Meals In Advance
Need more outsourcing examples? I personally love to cook and rarely do any work on weekends, so my husband and I handle our own meal prep for the week. But you can hire someone from your community to help you meal prep and get everything ready to go for the week. If you want meals delivered or a personal chef and can justify that expense — go for it.
But a low-cost idea is to pay a friend or relative to help. Send over your recipes and that person will do the cooking and bring over the food in air-tight containers for your fridge or freezer. You end up paying a lot less than a personal chef but still get the service you want.
Meal kit services are also an option with options from vegan to gluten-free and kid-friendly. The meal prep and planning are done for you and come straight to your doorstep.
Get Your House Cleaned
Paying to get your house cleaned for you is a no-brainer and also one of the most commonly outsourced services. Hiring a cleaning person to come monthly or weekly to keep your home clean can help free up your time so you can grow your bottom line.
We have a wonderful woman (a friend of a friend) who comes to clean our house weekly – and, let me tell you, it’s one of my favorite days of the week! If you’re really fancy, you could even ask someone to come over daily and clean up after dinner, put away the laundry, and tidy if you can afford the expense.
Send Out Your Laundry & Dry Cleaning
If you live in a big city (can you tell I’m a former New Yorker?), there’s no reason to spend hours in the laundromat or in your own laundry room. Start your personal outsourcing journey and have your laundry picked up, washed, folded, and delivered back to you. The same goes for dry cleaning, although you’ll have a lot less dry cleaning if you work from home. Team #stretchypants all day!
If you live in a smaller town where this isn’t as common, hire someone local to come and get your laundry once a week and deliver it ready to put into your drawers.
My solution? I throw the laundry in the wash each morning while listening to an audio book or podcast. Then, after my lunch break, I hang it on the line (or throw it in the dryer if it’s raining)… and on the weekends my in-laws help with ironing and folding (it takes a village, y’all), and I put the laundry away on Monday mornings as I get organized for the week.
Find a Green Thumb
Hire someone to take care of your yard, even if it’s a responsible kid from your neighborhood to mow your lawn. Add-on services like sweeping off your drive, snow removal service, and cleaning your gutters as needed. You can also ask a gardener to come by as necessary to trim your bushes and check on your plants.
We have gardeners who come weekly and, when my mom comes to stay with us in Spain (usually about 3-6 months out of the year), she runs the show (my husband calls her the ‘Gardenator’ because she’s always out there, even in the heat of an Andalusian summer!).
Hire a Driver
I realize this may sound like a ridiculous suggestion if you live in a suburban area or are just starting out, but if you’re really pressed for time, instead of driving yourself (and if it’s affordable in your area and you have local clients), grabbing an Uber or Lyft to be able to work on your way to client meetings is a way to maximize your time (I did this a lot when I first started out, because taking calls in the back of a cab made a lot more sense to me than spending all day on the subway). And, of course, hiring someone to shuttle kids to activities and pets to the vet will also save you tons of time over a year. Granted, you have to do the math based on your personal situation to see if it makes sense, but if your accountant gives you the green light like mine did back in the day, go for it.
Figuring out how to outsource more in your life is an investment in yourself and your business. Step away and look at the big picture. You can’t do it all. But you can get the help you need to create the life and business you want. Start with your most time-consuming tasks, or the ones you can’t stand doing yourself, and watch it evolve. Before long, you’ll be a pro at delegating your way through your day.