Starting an independent location business that offers freedom, flexibility, and potential for a lucrative cost of living is the dream. However, when launching a business, many of us are often afraid of spending money and re-investing in our goals. One place to start is by exploring reasons to outsource in your business. Yet when fear gets in the way, solopreneurs often limit their growth potential (and overburden themselves) by trying to do everything themselves.
Yes, you will wear a lot of hats as a new business owner and have a hand in many tasks. But you have to start thinking of yourself as an entrepreneur as soon as possible. Staying stuck in the “doer” role as the technician or employee won’t get you very far. Instead, you’re the grandmaster of your business executing on goals and need to outsource to bring them to fruition.
Many bloggers, influencers, and podcasters offer inspiration and outsourcing examples. However, they often lack context on how to do it and maximize the impact on your business. I recommend the first hire for many entrepreneurs will be a Virtual Assistant on an hourly or project basis. Avoid hiring an employee in the early days of business building. You need as much flexibility as possible.
Get clear about your reasons to outsource, not just because the biggest players in your industry all do it. The primary goal for outsourcing is to free up your time from the tasks that aren’t in your zone of genius. Focus on the work you’re best at that has the most potential to increase your revenue. For instance, if you’re a consultant or strategist, you should focus on the strategy work (since this pays a lot more) and let your VA handle research administration and lower-level tasks to free up your time to sign more, higher-paying work.
Here are some other ideas on what you should outsource in your business and why
1) Outsource your financial and legal work
Consider outsourcing the legal and financial matters in your business. Unless you’re offering bookkeeping services, you’ll likely need a pro to step in and handle it all for you, especially as you grow. If you’re not sure where to start and need outsourcing examples, see my go-to resources for a small business attorney, bookkeeper, and accountant.
2) Pass off most of your design and related tasks
Unless you’re a designer, creative assets should be created by an experienced professional who is accustomed to working with solopreneurs. It could mean the difference between standing out as a legit business owner instead of an amateur struggling with their branding.
Some examples of outsourcing design work include logos, photography, videography, and video editing. A freelance graphic designer can work in Canva to create templates and digital assets. However, a Virtual Assistant with some design chops can probably make necessary changes to titles and images within the templates the designer creates.
Website development and maintenance is usually not a good use of a solopreneurs’ time. Hire someone via Upwork who specializes in the platform you choose, like ShowIt or Squarespace.
Things you MIGHT want to outsource, depending on your zone of genius
3) Hire someone to handle client and customer communication
This is crucial to get right from the start. You should probably keep the task on your list until you’re very comfortable outsourcing it and have a solid relationship with your freelance team. However, you can outsource tasks like inbox maintenance, calendar scheduling, and client to-do lists. These will help you stay organized and offer a seamless customer experience.
There is a caveat: if you work in a product-based business, you absolutely need hands-on help with customer support and service. And if you are entering your business with a full roster of clients, you probably need help from the start.
If for some reason, you’re not awesome at customer service, of course, go ahead and outsource to a Virtual Assistant. The most important thing is to operate within your zone of genius so you can get more done and make more money while keeping your clients happy.
4) Recruit project management help
During the early days of your business, you should be the one steering the ship on all projects, unless that’s beyond your comfort zone and ability to stay organized. Reasons to outsource project management involve providing strong narrative frameworks and documentation for your team. Your support assistants should know exactly how to run your projects to keep them running smoothly. We’ll talk more about that in another post!
5) Get help with sales and marketing
Sales and marketing also fall into an area of tasks you’ll handle yourself at the start. Even if you want to outsource to a Virtual Assistant, you should be hands-on early on to figure out what works and what doesn’t. That way, you can outsource with confidence as your business continues to grow.
6) Outsource your content creation
Another typical outsourcing example is content creation. Just because you can write doesn’t mean you should do it yourself. If you love doing it and can do it efficiently, go for it. Otherwise, free up valuable time and outsource it. It’s also possible to do it without losing your own personality and voice in the process. For instance, if you know you want a blog post per week on a certain topic, you can draft a brief for a freelance writer, have them draft the post, and then you’ll edit it and polish it up to make sure it’s in your own voice.
The content brief method especially helps perfectionists get more done. Left to your own devices, you might spend DAYS writing a blog post that would take a professional writer just a few hours.
What you shouldn’t outsource (yet)
There are also plenty of outsourcing examples you should keep as your own in your business. This is especially true when you’re still small and lean. Your zone of genius is usually a comfortable place to be where you’re producing great results. Stay in your lane until your business gets so big you need to hire another “you” to help your business grow.
It’s also valuable to think about what the “entrepreneur” hat is in your business. If you have a personal brand, you might also want to keep tasks close to you and avoid outsourcing the secret sauce that makes your brand all your own. However, even a solopreneur with a fierce personal brand can outsource. Start developing a brand book and refine your brand identity, so you have a step-by-step process and examples of how you work. Eventually, you can confidently outsource more of these things as you grow.
Once you’ve figured out what to outsource, it’s time to find those key players or Virtual Assistants to execute your projects. Read more about how to hire your first Virtual Assistant to outsource work.