Have you ever got to the end of your working week and thought "I am knackered and I still haven't got everything done!"? Then it's probably time to consider outsourcing to a freelancer...or even an employee!
I see you over there honey, working away like a little worker bee on your business, building and creating wonderful things for your clients.
You know you can't do it all yourself but making a decision to outsource is overwhelming. What should you outsource? When is the right time? How do I choose who to outsource to? Is outsourcing better than employing someone?
I'm going to be real with you. There isn't one right answer to any of those questions. But there are a few things you can think about to help you find the right answer for YOU. Because, like anything to do with people, there's no one size that fits all.
First up, let's get clear on what it is we can pass over to someone else. This is normally something that isn't your specialty. Like I'm a HR consultant so why would I do my own accounting? I'm not qualified in it, it terrifies and confuses me. So I let someone else handle it.
What are you doing in your business that you don't want to do anymore or that stresses you out? Could someone else do it for you? Most likely!
So write that down now, what are you going to get someone else to do in your business?
This is really important because it's such a personal decision. I decided to engage my VA at a time when I felt exhausted in my business. I had burnt right out and had no more energy to give to things like hashtag research. Social media is something I do but I'm not a pro, and I hate things that feel like hard work. So I outsourced the elements I hated to my lovely VA. If you feel like you "don't have time" for tasks that are not in your wheelhouse anyway, it's probably the right time to outsource.
But you do also have to think about the cost. Now, when I hired my VA I wasn't sure whether I could afford it. But when I thought about the time I spent on tasks I wanted to outsource, and how much money I could have been making if that time was spent with clients instead...it was a no brainer.
So before you say "I can't afford it", think about the time you are spending on the task you wrote down earlier and work out how much you could charge a client for that time. And then think about the value you could add to your business if you hired a pro to do that task for you?
My accountant saved me £800 in tax last year that, without him, I would have just ended up paying! So it's worth the £400 fee to pay him to do my accounts!
Now we have identified what we want to outsource and whether it's the right time for our business, we should turn out attention to who we outsource to. You have two options, you can either outsource to a freelancer or you can employ someone to do the work.
Freelancers are great because they are flexible; you can work with them as often or as little as you'd like. They are a low risk investment for your business; if you change the way you work or want to bring the task back in house, you don't have to sack anyone. You don't have to pay them for taking holiday or sickness absence.
But, there are downsides to working with freelancers. You can't control their diary, so if another one of their clients books them up before you, you have to wait for them to become available. You can't control when they work, so if you want work doing late on a Friday night, you might not get it.
Option 2 is to employ someone. Now this is often the scariest decision we make in our businesses, but it can totally revolutionise your business. Employing someone means you have complete autonomy over when they work and how they work. Sure, there is a higher risk to the investment in that you will have to pay them a salary and you will have to pay their statutory entitlements.
Whether you go for a freelancer or an employee, the key is to hire someone who is totally supportive of and in alignment with you and your business. You need someone who understands what you are trying to achieve and supports it with every essence of their being.
I have chosen to hire people based on who they are as people first, and their credentials second. Clearly, I want them to be good at their job, but I also want to connect with them on a personal level. I want my VA to know that I want to spend more time riding and less time chasing invoice payments. I want an accountant that can explain technical stuff to me in a way that I understand. And most of all, I want to work with people who I can be myself around.
So my lovely, I hope that helps you work out where to start in your journey of growing your fabulous business and transitioning from worker bee to queen bee.