Last updated on September 14th, 2017 at 10:36 pm
For many, entrepreneurship is the constant struggle between bootstrapping and having enough time in the day. For many, it’s having to wear all our hats at once to keep costs low so we can keep our heads above water (and our hats dry) long enough to break even. We do the content creation, the marketing, vendor research, the networking, the sales, keeping up with social media, sending out emails—even going as far as doing specialized services that we would’ve had no choice but to outsource if Google didn’t exist. We’ve begun allocating our precious time to researching how to do something, spending twice or triple the amount of time it would take a professional to do, and putting out a passable DIY product.
The irony of it is that the internet has made it so cost efficient, sometimes even free, to start your own business, yet we are still trying to bootstrap as much as we can. It wasn’t too long ago that you couldn’t sell your stuff online. If you wanted to open up a small shop, you had to find a physical location, buy some furniture and fixtures, stock it with inventory, pay for rent and electricity—you would have put down thousands of dollars in advance before your first customer walked through the door. Today, there are those that balk at having to pay to build a multi-functional e-commerce site when YouTube is filled with free DIY content. I’m not knocking it. I have been there. I am sometimes still there. And it does feel good to boast about something I did all by myself. Like yea, see that landing page? I designed it. Meanwhile, I’m not a web designer but a pet groomer, or whatever it may be.
But that’s how we lose focus. If we keep partaking in DIY projects, we lose focus on the bottom line, the reason we started our business in the first place. You cannot be everywhere at once and the same is true digitally. Even more so digitally because the difference is, now, we have a billion freebies in our faces that we want to consume yet we still have the same amount of time in the day. Noticing this trend of being pulled in all directions and not making much progress, I decided to do something about it and start outsourcing. And guess what? I found a few extra hours in the day to focus on the things I needed to do to scale my business.
How do you know what to outsource?
This question is bound to come up at some point after considering the idea of outsourcing. First, outsourcing does not necessarily mean hiring someone in a faraway land to answer your customer calls. It simply means that instead of hiring an in-house employee, you hire outside help via a freelancer, independent contractor, or agency. As a business owner, you know every aspect of your business. You know which tasks you prefer to do yourself, which tasks take up too much of your time, which tasks you are good at, and so forth. So how do you know which areas to let go of and have someone else rock out? Easy. You should be in charge of or personally be doing all the activities in your business that are
- your core
- high value
- directly bringing in money
- have a high ROI
That pretty much leaves everything that
- requires daily “busy work”
- is time-consuming and repetitive
- you’re not good at
- is a secondary activity
Anything done online through technology can be outsourced which is why virtual assistants have become a thing for modern online businesses.
Outsourcing social media has become the norm. Google’s G-Suite is an amazing project management tool that connects remote teams. You can do video/voice conferencing, share your calendar, spreadsheets, presentations and so much more for an insanely low monthly fee. And if you’re looking for a sweeter deal, let us know in the comments and we’ll give you a promo code for 20% off an entire year.
Outsourcing Social Media
There’s no denying that social media has become one of the biggest consumers of our time. Outsourcing social media will almost immediately free up some hours in your day especially if your SMM is the one curating, creating, and scheduling content for your business pages. If you still insist on sticking around on social media yourself to promote your business and keep a consistent presence, here are some scheduling tools which will save you heaps of time. If you’re not using at least a scheduling tool for outsourcing social media, make sure to try one of these today.
Hootsuite – Has free or premium plans. Connects to all major platforms so you can see what’s going on all in one place: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, WordPress, and FourSquare. You can customize your streams to see different aspects of your account and it has a pretty detailed analytics feature.
Buffer – My personal favorite because it’s not as huge and clunky as Hootsuite. Simply connect your accounts, set your times for your posts to go out and schedule your posts. Buffer is free for up to 10 posts in your queue at a time. Or it’s $10 a month.
Tailwind – If you’re a Pinterest super star, you should know that it’s equally if not more important to repin other user’s content as it is to pin your own. Tailwind is every Pinterest user’s secret weapon for mass pinning in an insanely short amount of time.
But outsourcing doesn’t even have to be limited to your online business. Outsource your chores. Hire someone to come in and run your errands so you don’t feel the pressure of the real world collapsing around you while you do your online deals. It’s not called being lazy if you’re allocating your time to doing the things that are bringing you a higher ROI. And if you really want to scale your business, you’ll need to figure out what it is you’re good at and delegate the rest.