Hi and welcome to episode 30 of Startup Marketing. 30 episodes feels kinda like a milestone; I mean, that’s 30 weeks of new marketing content I’ve created, which sounds crazy to me. So, imagine me tossing a little bit of confetti in the air to celebrate.
Alright, today we’re going to be talking about outsourcing tasks for your business. I’ll tie this in to marketing, but it’s also a broader topic to think about for your business.
I’m a part of a networking group called HeyMama and recently I started participating in their mentoring program, so along with a handful of other women, I’ve had the privilege to have face time with a woman named Fran Hauser. She’s formerly the President, Digital for Time Inc’s Style and Entertainment Group and today she’s a startup investor and adviser. It’s seriously been an amazing experience as I’ve gotten to meet other women like myself as well as amazing friends of Fran’s who have taken time to chat with our group.
A couple weeks ago, we talked about outsourcing parts of your business. Now, I know as a small business owner, sometimes this makes you cringe, right? Like, cash flow is an issue, your business is your baby, and it’s hard to find great people to delegate tasks to. Let me tell you, these were all things I was thinking. Actually, I mostly was focused on the cashflow part. I’ve got clients, but I’m still working my way back to replacing my old salary, so I was clinging to this idea that I really hadn’t “made it” enough to start outsourcing parts of my process.
However, I was feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It’s still 2020 and what feels like the 100th month of the year, thanks, covid. While my oldest son is back to school full time in-person, which has its own stresses, my four year old daughter is still home part time and of course, our littlest four month old is home full time. My husband is also working from home most days still and on top of having a revolving door of people constantly interrupting me, our house is literally undergoing major projects; our bathroom started leaking in to our living room, we had a tree fall onto our sunroom earlier in the summer and shatter the glass room, so we’ve got that to repair, our heater needs to get fixed, like there’s just a lot going on here. Oh, and we had head lice, twice. So, you know, life is happening all around and gives zero F’s about the fact that I’m trying to build my business and make it through covid.
I had been contemplating outsourcing some of the things I do every week to run the business side of authentic, but, like I said, I was clinging to this idea that I’m still too small to outsource. I’m not rolling in the dough and what I wanted to outsource was the scheduling of my social media every week. Which also brought on the imposter syndrome because I always talk about how easy my process is to follow and how it doesn’t take a long time and here I am thinking that I’m going to outsource it.
So I hop on this zoom call with Fran and all of the other women, who are thinking and feeling the same things that I am about outsourcing and Fran was like, “look, you’ve got to outsource parts of your business if you want to grow”. The reality is, that all that small stuff is keeping me from focusing on the tasks that are going to move the needle for me. Social media is important to help gain visibility, but when I looked at my week, it was boiling down to about 12 hours of quality work time, half of which was devoted to clients. Something had to give.
I did my research and looked into a few virtual assistant firms and was still kinda freaking out about outsourcing this stuff. It’s still a big expense and a lot of these firms require that you meet a set number of hours each month in order for them to take you on. Which, I really didn’t have 30 hours of stuff to give them. Fortunately, I have a good friend who runs her own errand business, Keep Life Simple, and while social media scheduling isn’t an errand, she was happy to be able to take on my project and it was a win for both of us. She’s building her book of business and I’m getting stuff off my plate. It’s a perfect fit because she doesn’t require me to meet a minimum amount of hours and somehow, the hour she’s taking off my plate each week is working out to give me, like, four hours back. I don’t know how that math works, but that’s what it feels like. Maybe it’s just a mental thing; I really am only getting an hour back, but not having to stress over it, is paying me back in dividends.
So here’s my point: outsourcing any part of your business that truly can be done by other people and not just you, is going to free up a ton of time for you. If you’re a solopreneur, you’ll have to look for a person you’re going to have to pay. If that’s not an option, get creative. Are there things around the house that your partner can take on that allow you a little more work time? Or, are there admin tasks that don’t require special skills you can enlist help from family or friends to get done? Another option is to create a little internship package and offer it out to local colleges.
If you’ve got employees on staff, make a list of the things you need help with and what can only be done by you. Then look for projects that would be a good fit for your team to take over. Maybe you’ve got a super savvy young cashier who would jump at the chance to manage your social media. If you’re using a scheduling tool, they can create the posts and you can approve them before they ever go out. If you’re not using a scheduling tool, put it on your list regardless of whether or not you’re going to delegate this task; it will help you be more efficient. Maybe you’ve got someone who can help with scheduling meetings or getting presentations prepped. Or someone who can help with inventory.
On the personal side of things, look for additional tasks you can delegate to people in your household. For moms, this is especially a thing we have to work to do because we tend to shoulder a majority of the household and kid duties. Can your partner oversee homework time each night? What about grocery shopping; can you order online and have them delivered instead of going to the store (if that’s even a hint you still do right now). Can pick up and drop off duties be shared or taken over by someone else? All the little things that add to your mental load can be handed off or shared more equitably which gives you time back to be more productive in your business.
The bottom line is that you need to find things you can outsource so that you can focus on the projects and tasks that are going to make you money. These are the high payoff activities that can only be done by you as the visionary or your business and will increase your visibility among your ideal customers, increase brand authority and increase your profitability. You can’t afford to not do these activities.
So, my friends, what are you going to put on your list this week to hand off? I challenge you to do it and get delegated in the next week. I promise, you’ll feel a lot better and you’ll be on your way to being more productive in no time.
If branding and marketing your business is something you want to take off your plate, let’s chat. That’s what I’m here for. You can schedule a free consultation with me by visiting my website at: getauthenticbranding.com.
Hope to chat soon. Until next time!