There are few things you have to come to grips with as a small business owner:
- You can’t physically do everything yourself
- You’re not an expert in every area
- You have to ask for help eventually
At some point you’re going to have to give up a little bit of your
overbearing control and outsource work to team members that are more efficient than you.
This lesson has been a long time coming for me, since I’m a control freak by nature and don’t think that anyone can do the work like I can (omg I sound like my mother).
As I try to make my freelance business successful, I can’t allow myself to get tied down or overwhelmed by the daily tasks. I need to be out strategizing, networking and bringing in revenue to help my business grow.
Don’t Be Afraid to Outsource
In January at New Media Expo I got my first real exposure to how beneficial outsourcing can be, when I listened in on Chris Ducker’s session about using virtual assistants to save time, money and energy.
When the numbers are staring at you in black and white, you can’t help but start thinking of ways to utilize outsourcing to make your business better.
The next little push came while I was working with my business coach. She’s been helping me streamline my business, become more efficient with my time, and hone in on the areas of work that I excel best at — all in an effort to quit my full-time accounting job and create a lifestyle business.
Yep, I’m coming out in this post and sharing my dream with the world: this year I want to quit my job and work on my virtual freelance business full-time!
And wouldn’t you know it, one of the best ways to achieve freedom in your career is to let go of the reigns and ask for help.
Choose the Right Team Member
Now before you freak out (like I did initially), hiring someone to help you isn’t as expensive or time consuming as you might think.
In fact, you might actually be stumping your company’s growth by not outsourcing certain business tasks. So if you want to avoid creating more work for yourself, don’t hire someone that isn’t the right fit for your or your business.
The most important thing to worry about is hiring the right kind of outsourcing help — whether that’s a individual, a company, or a combination of both.
Skills can be taught, but character can not!
You need to surround yourself and your business with the right kind of people, so you don’t have to micromanage them or redo their work. If they are motivated, hard-working and don’t wait to be told what to do, they will actually become a much-needed asset to your team.
You can worry about teaching them certain skills later on, because the important thing is to make sure they can jive with you as a person — and that they’re just as emotionally invested in your cause as you are.
Start Creating Systems Now
One thing to keep in mind, is that if you start off everything on your own, letting go of the control becomes harder the longer you’re in business. You’ll create systems and routines that will become difficult to change the longer you keep doing them.
Similarly, realizing that it “takes money to make money” becomes harder to put into play, because you’ve relied on this same level of cash flow coming from tasks you shouldn’t be doing in the first place.
So the sooner you accept you need help the better, and the sooner you can start working to build a team that can create the right kind of processes for your business to run smoothly.
Just Go For It
Of course I don’t want to give you advice without first taking it to heart myself, so last week I put out a call on Twitter (which is why you should follow me on Twitter!) that Careful Cents is looking to hire a research/writing assistant.
I spend a lot of time researching articles for this blog as well as other sites I write for, and — besides not being very good at researching facts — it takes a lot of time away from some other things I should be doing.
So I finally made the leap and hired my first Careful Cents team member! You’ll hear more about her and her skills over the next few months. So far it’s been smooth sailing and she’s a genius at what she does (plus she’s a PF nerd and tax accountant like I am so we mesh really well).
Do you utilize outsourcing for some of your daily tasks? If not, what’s holding you back from taking that leap?