What can I outsource?

No matter how hard we try sometimes, business owners cannot – and should not – attempt to do absolutely everything for themselves.

Let me ask you one question: How dynamic is current team right now?

A lot of companies and business owners are learning that outsourcing some business tasks and processes can be a good idea. But of course, you must first understand your company and its abilities before outsourcing a project. When looking at what to outsource, a lot of companies automatically jump to outsourcing tasks and roles where they are currently understaffed or filling in roles which have been generally hard to fill in or retain.

If you know what you’re doing and can clearly and concisely express your needs to the right people, you’ll be amazed at how many things can be outsourced. If you have difficulty hiring the right service provider to get the job done, consider checking out what you can outsource and how to manage them effectively.

But first things first…

Follow the 80% Rule!

I learned this from the book called The 4-Hour Workweek by renowned entrepreneur and author Timothy Ferriss. If you haven’t read this book yet, then you’re probably in the minority because it’s a BIG best-seller, and you’re definitely missing out on a lot of things if you haven’t read it. With that said, if you want to design your ideal lifestyle like what Tim did, then you should definitely read this book AND continue with this course. It’s what you’re here for after all, right? J

So basically, the 80% Rule is that, if someone out there in the world could possibly perform a task at least 80% as well as you’ve been doing it, then it’s probably time to outsource this task.

I myself am guilty of this, especially before 2013, when I felt that there’s some sort of finesse or art for a lot of stuff I was doing. But when I spent about 20 minutes to really think about what I was doing and tried to break down the process, I noticed that someone out there could definitely do it. As it turned out, somebody else could do it WAY better than I was doing it and with much more consistency – at a very low cost.

When used effectively, the 80% Rule can help improve efficiency, further your business and reduce stress, especially where deadlines and work are concerned.

What Tasks Can Be Outsourced?

Here’s a list of tasks that you can outsource to a service provider to grow your company or business more effectively:

  • Accounting and bookkeeping. If money matters is not your field of expertise, you need to hire someone who can handle tax reports, tax forms, payroll, and accounting for you. This could save you a lot of money and give you invaluable tax and accounting advice!
  • Content marketing. Writing takes a lot of time, and you could be spending it on activities that grow your business. Find one who can do the job for you. ProBlogger’s Job Board is the best place for you to find the right person to do this time-intensive task.
  • Scheduling. It’s a crazy-busy world and for impatient folks, an unset meeting or appointment can easily fall off the radar. Outsourcing this task can help you save time – and your sanity!
  • Travel bookings. Booking for a flight, especially when you’re always out on business trips, can be time-consuming. Look for a travel agent or virtual assistant who can help you find the cheapest flights and handle the travel booking for you.
  • Design/Creative work. Tinkering around in Photoshop is a time-waster for every business owner who doesn’t know what he/she is doing, so pay those who truly DO know what they’re doing, to do it right the first time. One of the best and cheapest places to find designers and other creative professionals is Fiverr.
  • Social media management/marketing. A lot of marketing agencies and consultants can handle developing your social media strategy for your company. If you hire the right person, give them a specific niche to focus on, and provide a strong message about your product/service, your marketing efforts will eventually flourish.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO). A solid SEO or web marketing virtual assistant allows your content to be marketed and positioned in a way that will bring in long-term, consistent traffic to your website.
  • Paid traffic campaigns. Would it be more profitable for you to spend the time creating new products, writing content, or networking than it is for you to manage your paid traffic campaigns? Look for someone who can work on the campaigns for you so you can focus on other ways to bring in more revenue.

Here are other common tasks that you can outsource and spark your imagination for ways you can delegate the daily tasks that need to be done in your company or business:

  • Creating SlideShare slides
  • Creating transcripts of YouTube videos
  • Creating blog posts from YouTube videos
  • Data entry
  • Web scraping to amass data
  • Lead outreach and appointment setting
  • Filtering your email so you can only see the important ones
  • Writing essays/reports or your best-selling book
  • Answering customer support tickets

Five Rules to Simplify Outsourcing

Outsourcing is a tricky thing. It could be an extremely risky endeavor or it could help grow your business in ways you couldn’t have imagined. Here are the five golden rules you need to abide by to make outsourcing work for you and your business:

  1. Set a clear timeline/deadline with your freelancers.
  2. Set a clear schedule for communication via Skype, email, and possibly phone.
  3. NEVER pay in full up front. Pay hourly or in milestones.
  4. Do not underestimate people. A simple virtual assistant can turn out to be a great designer or negotiator also, for example.
  5. THE HARDEST YET MOST IMPORTANT PART: Provide top-quality training and specifications regarding all tasks.

The truth is that one can outsource anything and everything. In order to effectively grow your business through outsourcing, the best approach would be to hire for the role and not the task. Look at your company or business as it is today, and more importantly, where you want it to be in the years to come.

It’s also important that you acknowledge and appreciate the fact that no one person can handle all these different roles and tasks. It’s all about using what you have at your arsenal and getting what you want out of your outsourcing. Outsourcing a good service provider is a true time-saver and therefore, as an entrepreneur, they’re you’re life-saver, too!

If you don’t have one in your team yet, now’s the time to get one!

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