Small business tips: the power of outsourcing

The blog post you are reading was written by me, but uploaded to my website by someone else. That’s because I have finally learned the power of outsourcing some of my work.

I crossed the Rubicon on this when one of my clients asked me to give her more hours of my time. At first, I quailed – I wasn’t sure where those hours might come from. But I thought about it and had a good look at how I was actually spending my time.

My time tracker and my diary told me that I was spending a fair amount of time on marketing activities for my business (which is a good thing). But making a list of all the tasks and taking a long hard look at them told me that there were some activities that someone else could do.

Read: The power of making a list

In the case of my blog posts for instance, I divided its production into two things: the part only I can do (which is to write it) and the parts, like the WordPress upload, that could be handed over to another person.

The blog post, the uploading of my email newsletter and the creation and uploading of my social media posts are now done by Anya Cloete, who always meets the deadline, asks intelligent questions, notices when I’ve missed something and says “Yay work!” when I send her the material for the week.

I’ve also asked my son Jack and his friend Lance Telford to work on the innards of my website – there were a whole host of SEO-related tasks that I just wasn’t going to get to.

What to know if you are thinking of outsourcing some of your work

It takes time – you might not be there yet. I’ve been running my own business since early in 2017 – and only seven years down the line do I feel financially stable enough to know that I can regularly pay other people to do things for me. I’m now also able to do the calculation that tells me this is money well spent because it frees me up to do the really lucrative work.

You need to get organised. The work that I send to Anya is done in a template, so that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every week.

You’ll learn some unexpected things. I’ve learned that farming out some of my tasks hasn’t necessarily saved me hours of time. What it has done has been to free up time in bigger chunks, which means that I can do more effective work. Where I used to block off time through the week for the various phases of doing my blog post, I now have two concentrated time blocks where I do the writing, and then the populating of the template. I then forget about it and get on with work for clients.

Read more small business tips

Five tips for starting your own freelancing business

Small business lessons learned: ask for help, collaborate

My calm 2023 business strategy planning

Main picture: John Schnobrich, Unsplash

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