There’s a lot of talk about outsourcing these days.
Lately, I see people rushing to outsource because somebody said it was the answer to overwhelm or that it was the thing that changed the momentum and even trajectory of their business.
They’re not wrong.
Outsourcing can be HUGE for your business.
But doing it too soon or too fast can actually be extremely damaging for your business, and today, I want to help you avoid that!!
(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links.)
5 Things You Must Do Before Outsourcing
When it comes to outsourcing, I want to encourage you to be intentional about it (#slowyourroll). Don’t get ahead of yourself. Take your time. Do your due diligence for your business so that you can make the best decision (and best hire) possible for your business.
In this post, I’m walking you through the 5 things YOU MUST DO before outsourcing and the questions you should be asking yourself to make sure it’s the right time/right move for you and your business. There’s even a downloadable set of worksheets so that you can be super organized and intentional when you go about it!!
[bctt tweet=”Thinking about outsourcing? Make sure you do these 5 things first!!” username=”productivityzne”]
1 | WRITE DOWN ALL OF THE TASKS YOU DO ON A REGULAR BASIS
You’re feeling overwhelmed and overworked. You want to take your business to the next level. I get it, I really do. But do you even know what it is you want or need to outsource??
Now’s the time to sit down with a piece of paper and make a list of all the tasks you do on a regular basis (i.e. daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly). This might wind up being really long, but don’t stress!! We’re about to break it down…
Looking at that list, use different color highlighters (pens, pencils, or markers will work just as well) to highlight (circle or underline):
- which tasks only you can do,
- which tasks you love to do,
- which tasks you like to do but don’t have to do,
- which tasks you don’t know how to do,
- which tasks you don’t like to do but can do,
- and which tasks you hate to do.
On another sheet of paper, make organized lists of each of these task categories. This may seem like a tedious thing to do, but it’s actually really important as you’ll see soon.
Pro Tip: Use the Prepare to Outsource printable worksheet set I’ve created to help you with this step-by-step process. The first two worksheets have room for you to list all of the tasks you do on a regular basis and the ability to note whether they are daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly tasks by circling the corresponding letter beside each task. The following two worksheets will help you create those organized task categories that will be super important later.
Related Post: The Difference Between Tasks and Projects You Need to Know
2 | CREATE SYSTEMS, WORKFLOWS, AND PROCESSES FOR EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR BUSINESS
Now that you have organized lists of all the tasks that make up and run your business, it’s time to figure out how you could save time and stress less by creating systems, workflows, and processes for every aspect of your business. Why? Because it’s important, not only for you, but for someone you hire to do each task correctly, completely, and in a manner that does not waste resources, funds, or time.
Having systems, workflows, and processes for every aspect of your business including content creation (for your blog, vlog, podcast, or newsletter), client on-boarding, webinars, marketing, etc. will help make sure nothing falls through the cracks, is left out, or forgotten; and that it’s done in a way that is branded, consistent, and professional every time.
These systems, workflows, and processes that you spend time creating now will not only make your job easier going forward, it will help you more easily pass along business tasks to someone else, and ensure an outstanding client experience.
Pro Tip: The next three worksheets in the Prepare to Outsource printable are designed to help you list out your systems, workflows, and processes step-by-step. Start writing them out from memory, then actually go through each step of the process to ensure you’ve got everything and it all makes sense. Add, subtract, and rearrange things as you have to.
Once you’re sure your systems, workflows, and processes are complete, type them up neatly in documents and store them together in a folder labeled Operations Manual on your computer. (I also highly recommend creating an Operations Manual board that you can share with your team as you hire them!!)
Recommended Reading: How to Create a Business Operations Manual Using Trello
3 | LOOK INTO TOOLS THAT MIGHT HELP YOU AUTOMATE AND STREAMLINE
Now that you’ve got official systems for every aspect of your business, it’s time to look into apps and tools that could help you automate and streamline. Why? Because it’s vitally important to know if there’s something out there (an app or tool) that might be more cost-effective than outsourcing.
There are many excellent apps and tools out there that can help female entrepreneurs and creative small business owners automate and streamline various tasks in their business.
Some of My Favorites Include:
- (for task and project management)
- CoSchedule (for blog and social media scheduling)
- Planoly (for Instagram planning and scheduling)
- Tailwind (for Pinterest scheduling)
- (for email marketing)
Some apps and tools (like ) are free and completely amazing. Other apps and tools cost a pretty penny, but are still less expensive on an annual basis than outsourcing the work on a weekly basis.
For example, I’ve chosen to use a tool like CoSchedule instead of hiring a virtual assistant to help me with social media because CoSchedule has an amazing ReQueue feature that puts my social media posts on repeat. At this point in my business, it is more cost-effective for me to set up ReQueue once, add to it every time I launch something new or produce new content, and update the entire thing a couple times a year than it is to hire a virtual assistant to spend time each week writing, planning, and scheduling my social media posts for me.
Pro Tip: The next worksheet in the Prepare to Outsource printable has space for you to list out apps and tools and how much they cost so you can keep all your research organized in one place.
Related Post: 5 Ultimate Reasons Your Business Needs Trello + The Best Business Expenses Year After Year
4 | CONSIDER YOUR BUDGET
Which leads us into what might be THE MOST important step of this whole pre-outsourcing process: you MUST consider your budget and figure out what you can realistically afford.
Outsourcing can do amazing things for your business, but it can also be expensive. And if you are barely paying yourself along with covering your expenses and paying taxes, outsourcing may not be in the budget quite yet.
Which is why doing your due diligence and taking the time to do research on apps and tools that help you automate and streamline along with people whom you could potentially outsource tasks to is truly the best thing you can do for your business.
For example, when it came time to launch my newsletter and start growing my email list, I knew that I wanted to use . But I was intimidated by it. So I bought a course (List by Number from Start a Mom Blog) that helped me set everything up and understand the inner workings of . Buying a course was a more cost-effective decision for my business at the time than hiring someone to do the set up for me.
Only you know what is right for your business and only you know what you can realistically afford. Do your due diligence here so you don’t wind up in trouble later.
[bctt tweet=”Prepare to Outsource is a printable set of worksheets that will help you do all the things you should do before outsourcing!!” username=”productivityzne”]
5 | BE SPECIFIC WITH YOUR REQUIREMENTS FOR HIRING SOMEONE
By now, you’ve made a list of all the tasks you do on a regular basis, organized those tasks into categories, created systems, workflows, and processes for every aspect of your business, looked into tools to help you automate and streamline, and looked at your budget to see what you could realistically afford…
Now, I suggest you look back at those task categories you created during step one—specifically the tasks you don’t know how to do, the tasks you don’t like to do but can do, and the tasks you hate to do. These tasks are your OUTSOURCING GOLDMINE!!
Separate out the tasks you’re excited to start outsourcing. Are there any that you could outsource to someone once?? (Like creating a set of graphic templates for your blog, setting up your CRM, or creating the intro and outro for your YouTube videos??)
If you determine you need someone on a recurring basis, group together tasks that are similar. It’s possible you might be able to outsource several tasks to the same virtual assistant (i.e. email, client, and social media management). Other tasks might require special skills like a photo editor or someone to edit your podcasts and create show notes for you.
Pro Tip: Use the final pages of the Prepare to Outsource worksheet set to make notes of exactly what you need to outsource, what kind of person you are looking for, and your budget for this specific task or set of tasks. The worst thing you can do for your business is to hire somebody before you know exactly what you need done. Having this information in hand will help you make the best possible hire for your business in the long-run. It will also make putting out the call for someone in a Facebook group easy-peasy, done and easy!!
PREPARE TO OUTSOURCE PRINTABLE WORKSHEET SET
I’ve mentioned an awesome printable worksheet set throughout this post and you’re probably wondering where in the world you can get it!! Wonder no more, my friends!! You can get instant access to the Prepare to Outsource Worksheet Set for FREE when you sign up!!
I hope this post helps you on your journey to outsourcing in your business!! I know the process might take some time, but I promise you’ll be glad you took the time to intentionally make decisions for your business.
Don’t forget to sign up and get the Prepare to Outsource Worksheet Set!! If I do say so myself, it’s pretty fab!! (Plus, you’ll receive access to my weekly Productivity Chats, which are also pretty fab!! 😉)
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. I only share about the products and services I personally use and love most and think you will, too.