Are you ready to outsource or take on an employee in your business? It’s a question many entrepreneurs have but are terrified of exploring, especially when they’re ready to grow. And at first glance, it may seem that an outsourcer is your best option - but is it the right option for you and your business?
It’s a subject I’ve recently been chatting with Victoria Johnson about. Victoria runs Green Jay Group company and helps STEM startups get their people and culture how they want it to be. She also offers one-to-one leadership coaching, helping founders of businesses decide on the best ways to outsource, because it isn’t always easy deciding between hiring an employee or outsourcing to a freelancer.
Many business owners are eager to get started. They operationally need to grow and want help to clarify options. But before this point, there is a need to make those strategic decisions first. Can you afford to hire? What can...
You might need to think differently about your pricing once you start to outsource. There’s a lot to consider and several options available to you, but the route you take will depend on your needs.
When you’re looking to outsource, I recommend you start by outsourcing client work and the more junior stuff associated with it. For example, I have someone do the bookkeeping for my clients on my behalf. I charge the client and pass the work to my outsourcer. It’s a great way to get started with outsourcing, as it means if the client work stops, so does the cost of the outsourcing. You can then choose whether the client knows that you’re doing that or doesn’t.
It’s important to realise you’re still managing that relationship, particularly if the work then comes through you to be reviewed, so you need to price accordingly. Is what you’re charging enough to cover that?...
As my business turns 3 on 13th February, I've been reflecting on things I wish I'd known or done when I started out.
1) Outsource as early as you can
I waited for ages to get my amazing assistant Louise, and my web designer Lisa, but they have transformed my business. Don't wait until you are collapsing under work to outsource. Get someone to start small and grow with you as your business grows.
There is a saying that you should get someone when you can afford 50% of their fees. I think it's a good rule of thumb to get you started.
If you find it hard to delegate, just do a few hours or tasks to start with. I find I can't outsource email easily but have no problem with social media posting.
2) Don't be afraid to experiment
I've tried all sorts of things in my business. I started as a freelancer exchanging time for money (as most people do). Then I discovered online courses and email marketing, and I have experimented with various offers, some more successful than others.
We all want to improve productivity in our business but how can we do this? It's so easy to get overwhelmed in your business (it happens to me at least monthly!) but I've been putting in some things to help
Use the right tools
Outsource some of the work
Use workflows & canned emails
Tools to use
Having the right software tools in place in your business makes a huge difference. I recommend the following ones that I have used successfully in my business
Toggl for time tracking
Asana for task and project management
Kajabi for email lists, membership sites
Smarterqueue for posting to social media
Xero for your accounts
Canva for social posts
Calendly for getting people to book with you.
Zapier for linking up different apps
More on this in next week's blog post.
Outsource the work
Another thing to do is to outsource the work. The easiest way to do this is to outsource part of the client work you have. Or outsource a small...