5 Strategies to Help You Decide What to Outsource

This week I’ll be sharing a series of posts on delegating and outsourcing for small business owners.  Here’s part 1 – how to decide what to outsource.

Deciding what to delegate can be tough when you’re used to working alone in your business and doing it all yourself. Here are five ways you can figure out what your first tasks to delegate should be:

1.  Which tasks do you not enjoy completing for your business?

One great piece of advice I’ve heard from several business coaches is to hire people who play at what you find stressful. Some of us love to install scripts, setup WordPress or design graphics. We can throw passion into it. If it’s not what you love, allow us to complete it for you and you can spend your energy on projects you do love.

Don’t spend your time and energy on projects that drain you. If you find accounting frustrating, outsource your accounting! Someone who loves to do it can complete it faster, probably better, and save you all that frustration.

2.  What’s been sitting on your “to do” list for more than two weeks and still isn’t complete?

Might be time to delegate it and get it crossed off! Consider whether it’s something that really needs done. If so, are there parts of if you’re stuck on that could be delegated to someone else like research, formatting, etc.? Delegate those parts, or the entire project, and watch it get completed.

3.  Which projects do you want to complete but haven’t been able to?

Have you been putting off a particular project because you don’t know where to begin or how to complete it? This is a great time to call in backup and allow a virtual assistant or other appropriate professional to support you in your project.

4.  Which tasks are taking away time that you could be spending more productively?

Don’t waste your time! Know which tasks are making you money and which aren’t. For example, if it takes you three hours to prepare and send out your ezine, why not delegate that to a virtual assistant and use those three hours to work with a paying client instead?

5.  Are you keeping a daily activities log?

Try this: take a piece of paper and for several days write down everything you do. Now go back over those lists and see what’s on there that someone else could handle for you. You may find unexpected ideas for outsourcing things such as hiring a grocery delivery service, yard care service, or house cleaning service. Think beyond “business” tasks and look at everything you’re doing to see where you can outsource to get back more of your own time.

Make sure you don’t miss the rest of the posts in this series!  Get free email updates at http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=MichelleShaeffer

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  1. Now, this reminds me of a talk I’ve recently heard about time management, that there is no such thing. You manage yourself, not time. I like the tips you’ve written here and I think I’ll have to keep it in sync with my top 10 time management tools: http://blog.ajeva.com/2010/06/top-10-free-time-management-tools-for-freelancers/
    Ajeva recently posted… How to Make More Money as a FreelancerMy Profile

    1. Manage yourself — that’s a great way to put it, Ajeva.

  2. Hi Michelle,
    Love this list- and so accurate. Thanks for sharing the info.

    1. You’re welcome, Sheri, and thanks for commenting.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Why It’s Important to Choose the Right Professional For Your Outsourcing ProjectMy Profile

  3. I find it hard to give up control… I’m always afraid I will have to re-do. Obviously, I need to start with the simple tasks like finishing undone projects.

    Thanks for the reminder!

    1. I struggle with that, too, Kathryn. I have a couple of VAs I work with and they can tell ya… I really have to try hard to not micromanage them. :) I’m finding that when I find out what they love, I don’t have to worry at all and they do a fab job. That makes such a difference!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Why It’s Important to Choose the Right Professional For Your Outsourcing ProjectMy Profile

  4. Really like the daily activities log!

    I do have a list of things I would love to outsource. But the idea of keeping a daily would help me clear up some of those things that need to be done on an immediate basis.

    Looking forward to your series.

    1. I got that tip from Richard Shapiro when I was in a mastermind group he led. Made a big difference in what I decided to outsource since I could really see where I was spending my time.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Why It’s Important to Choose the Right Professional For Your Outsourcing ProjectMy Profile

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