As a solopreneur or entrepreneur just starting your business, the majority of your time should be spent bringing in new business and building relationships that will help your business grow. Your focus should be on the big picture. You can’t do that if you are spending most of your time on administrative or organizational tasks. Outsourcing work is something that must occur for the growth of your business as well as your overall sanity. Bogging yourself down in the everyday nitty-gritty tasks can lead to mistakes, missed deadlines and loss of profits.
You can’t do it all yourself, but you shouldn’t start outsourcing work just for the sake of getting it off your desk either. You must first understand what the everyday tasks are for your business and then determine which tasks can be simplified, delegated, outsourced or eliminated. Many fear the thought of outsourcing work because of the costs associated with hiring contractors, freelancers, etc. But there are ways to outsource without draining your bottom-line.
Cost effective ways to outsource tasks:
Hire a virtual assistant or an intern. Before increasing your overhead by hiring a part-time employee, you should look into hiring a virtual assistant. Many virtual assistants are project based rather than long term. Let them handle small projects for you. If you feel you need long-term assistance, reach out to your local colleges to set up an internship program. It’s a win-win. The student will earn credit towards their degree and you will have someone to assist you without the overhead costs.
Trade services with other professionals. Reach out to other entrepreneurs and offer to exchange services with them. Like you, they are looking for ways to be more cost effective.
Schedule and automate your social media posts. Instead of hiring someone to do your social media, consider using a free social media scheduler, like Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows you to schedule your posts in advance. Set aside a couple of hours a week to create a week or two weeks’ worth of social media messages, determine which social media platform you want to post to and then schedule the time you want your messages to post.
Automate your office. If you don’t have the finances to hire a receptionist, then purchase a low-cost or free answering service or voicemail service to answer calls when you are not in the office or when you are too busy to answer the phone. It is also a great way to screen your calls. In addition, purchase a low cost or use a free appointment booking software. Your clients can access your company calendar, see what times you have available and then book their own appointments.
Hire a Freelancer. Look into sites like Fiverr for help with creating your website, content for your website (i.e. bloggers), graphic design, videos, business plans, bookkeeping services, etc.