As a Solopreneur, infopreneur, or small business owner, you will probably reach a point where you can’t grow your business an bigger on your own. (It is that familiar tug of war between having no time to work ON your business, because you spend all your time working IN your business.)
Luckily, there is a huge – and growing – pool of reliable virtual assistants, freelancers, vendors or even employees, to whom you can delegate some of the work. Thank you, Tim Ferris.
The idea is to free yourself up to do those higher level, strategic tasks that only you can do. You just want to hand off those other pesky tasks to someone else and not have to worry about it anymore, right?
But, if you are accustomed to being personally in control of every aspect of your business, you may find outsourcing more difficult than you think.
See if you can relate to any of these common outsourcing frustrations and challenges from real solo business owners:
- “I spend nearly as much time directing and correcting the work as I would spend just doing it myself…”
- “I was crystal clear about what I wanted, but the results I got back were still not what I wanted…”
- “Why do even the simplest of tasks have to take ‘3-5 days’ to get done? It is a 20 minute task! Can’t they just get it done?”
- “Why is my virtual assistant constantly needing my input and time to get simple tasks done? I wish they could just take the initiative and get it done.”
- “They did exactly what I asked for, but didn’t tell me there was a much better, cheaper way to do it!”
- “They are telling me all these reasons why it is complicated – I don’t know the technology. How do I know they are not ripping me off?”
- “I feel like I have a ‘black box’ in my business now because they used technology I don’t understand and can’t get into myself”
The skills required to start and run your business, as a multi-tasking jack-of-all-trades, are not necessarily the same skills required to successfully outsource and manage vendors and employees. In fact, some of the traits that have made you a super entrepreneur up until now, may actually be an obstacle when it comes to outsourcing.
There is a whole industry, with professional certifications, job titles and college curriculum, built around Project Management – not to mention ‘people’ management. Taking just a few of the core principles from these two fields, you can quickly and easily adopt the skills and mindset you need to delegate like a pro, grow your business (and reclaim your personal life).
Here are some of the topics I’ll cover in this occasional series of Outsourcing Tips, so stay tuned – subscribe to our weekly email updates in the upper right hand of this page, or the RSS feed if that’s your thing.
- Finding and Hiring a Competent Vendor or Virtual Assistant
- A very good place to start.
- Project Manager vs. Task Master
- How outsourcing can be fun and productive.
- Trust, and the Curse of Micro-Management
- Getting the most out of your Vendors.
- Keeping your ‘Eyes On’ what is now ‘Hands Off’
- Simple ways to keep track of what is going on in 20 minutes a week or less.
- How to Hire a Geek, if you are not a Geek
- How to use advanced technology, without personally having an advanced degree.
- The Outsourcing Cost/Savings Calculator
- Do you really know how much it costs you NOT to outsource? Do you know if you are saving money when you do?
- Giving up Control, without Losing Control
- You can stay in control of every outcome in your business, with out being in control of every action.
- The LEAST You Can Know About the Technology You Need
- You don’t have to be an expert to manage an expert. Don’t let your limitations limit your vendors.
- Improvisational Productivity vs. Compositional Productivity
- You know what you want, but do you know how to explain it to someone else?
Be sure to let me know if there are other topics you want to hear about or comments you have about these tips…