Outsourcing. It’s a funny word. The literal definition is “the process of paying to have part of a company’s work done by another company.” That all seems very fancy and grand, but it’s the reality of growing your business. Since setting up your business, I bet there are jobs that you didn’t realise you’d need to master. Or tasks that crop up every month that you moan about doing. Outsourcing is a way to get jobs done quickly and to a high standard. But understanding what you can outsource can be difficult. Here are 10 tasks that you can easily outsource. Freeing up your time as a result!
1. Social Media Marketing
Clients expect a social media presence. If you don’t have one, or your profiles have been inactive for a month or two then some clients will assume you’ve ceased trading. For many business owners, this is the first thing to go when they get busy. Outsourcing your social media management takes a huge item off your to-do list and ensures a consistent level of posting and responding to comments and messages. You will still get oversight of what is being posted and can offer suggestions or revisions, without having to spend time coming up with each post.
2. Website Management
When was the last time you refreshed your website copy? Are all of your details still up-to-date? Keeping on top of updates, posting company news and blogs and just reviewing this crucial platform takes time. It’s an easy self-contained project that you can outsource. An up-to-date website is crucial for giving your clients the correct information and will help you in Google rankings.
3. Email Management
Be honest, how many emails are in your inbox right now?
Setting up and maintaining a filing system in your inbox will help save you time looking for that one email you need. Outsourcing your email management can also be a way to make sure clients get a response quickly, even if it’s not from you. It might only be 15 minutes a day you spend on this but that’s over an hour a week which I’m sure you could spend more wisely.
4. Online Research
One client I work with outsources her research to me. I spend time trawling the web looking for new speaking opportunities for her client so she doesn’t have to. Research can be a rabbit’s warren and lead to endless hours of searching. Your time is the most precious resource you have and needs to be used wisely. If you don’t need to do the research then let someone else do the initial search and flag up any questions, concerns or points of interest for you.
5. Data Entry
You don’t need to be doing this! Maintaining records and data can be soul-destroying when you know that you have better things to do with your time. Outsource this to someone who has the time and expertise to enter everything correctly and who isn’t rushing to get it done. You’ll be amazed at how much time this frees up for you, and possibly at the quality of the end product.
6. Content Writing
Some people love words, some love numbers. If words aren’t your thing then that’s fine. Find someone who loves them and get them to do your writing for you. Whether that’s web copy, blogs, reports, brochures – anything. The beauty of outsourcing is you get rid of the tasks you don’t like and get to keep the bits you do. If there’s someone out there who can write better content then you, why aren’t you using them?
7. Graphic Design
This is one of the more easily accepted tasks to outsource. Good-quality graphic design is a skill honed over time. You might have that flair but on the other hand, Paint might be your limit of artistic creativity! Your branding and the images that your business puts out to your clients reflects you. Shoddy, basic design work is noticed and damages the first impression you make.
As above if numbers aren’t your bag then outsource to someone else who dreams in numbers. Your bookkeeping is too important to make a mistake, and you could end up spending hours trying to get it right. Don’t try to be an expert at everything. Accept that you’re too busy to spend time trying to learn another skill and pass it over to an expert.
Everyone has heard of SEO but understanding the nuances and how to capitalise on it is a hard-earned craft. It’s great to understand the basics but ensuring that your website is ranking as highly as possible, and making tweaks to keep it that way is something to outsource.
10. Travel Planning
If you travel a lot for business then you know how much time goes into making plans for travel, connections, hotels, restaurants etc. There are Virtual Assistants out there who specialise in this. You can turn around and say I need to go to Paris for 4 days leaving at this time and returning around then. Can you find 3 restaurants to go to and I’ll need an extra luggage allowance. Then you can focus on something else and presented with an itinerary that has all the details sorted for you. Surely you’d be crazy not to outsource that?
Once you start analysing your to-do list for tasks to outsource I’m sure that you’ll find more. Outsourcing frees up your time to concentrate on what you’re best at while ensuring the right person completes the other roles. That’s not to say that you have to outsource everything to the same person. If you approached me to do your bookkeeping I’d refer you straight on to some amazing VAs that I know but I am not the gal for that job!
If you want to start a conversation about what tasks I can take on for you then drop me a message and we can work out how I can make your life easier.