In every business owner's life, there comes a time when you have to decide what tasks to keep on your to-do list and what to hire out. Some people have this internal conversation early in their career.
Posted in Business Plan on Wednesday, July 31, 2019
In every business owner’s life, there comes a time when you have to decide what tasks to keep on your to-do list and what to hire out. Some people have this internal conversation early in their career. Others hang on to those self-assigned chores until the very end. Wouldn’t it be helpful if there were questions you could ask to help decide when and what to hand off? Turns out, there are!
If you’re short on time, or TL:DR (too long, didn’t read) as the cool kids say, here’s the big take away:
- Do you do the chore well? No? Let it go.
- Does the task make you sweat and your stomach churn? Hand it off.
- Is doing the work stealing time you could spend making money? Pay someone else to do it.
Now let’s look at three types of tasks you could potentially hand off.
One of the most obvious is bookkeeping. It may feel like something you should ‘own’ since having a solid understanding of cash-in and cash-out is key to your success. But for some of us, tracking down missing items, following up on unpaid invoices, and all the other bits that have to be done to make the books balance may feel like torture.
Handing off bookkeeping to a pro may actually save (or even make!) you money. If details are not your thing, doing your own bookkeeping could take you longer than it would a professional. If you and the bookkeeper bill at the same hourly rate, but it takes you twice as long to complete, you’re losing money. Another tick in the financial win column: a bookkeeper can easily chase after delinquent accounts, or spot duplicate invoices from vendors.
Don’t look at it as avoiding responsibility; you’ll still see the numbers every month and can tweak expenses for better outcomes if needed. You may even be more clearheaded because you didn’t spend an hour trying to hunt down a $1.24 discrepancy between QuickBooks and your checking account.
Social media & email marketing
Both social media and email can be valuable marketing efforts. But they do require time, and they do required intention and focus.
Posting on social media channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook can help grow a business when done properly, and using email as a marketing tool is also effective. But managing social media requires more focus and thought than simply sharing a photo of your amazing lunch. If you’re going to use social media to grow your business, you need to be consistent both in how often you post, and in the kinds of content you share.
Email marketing also needs to be developed within a big picture strategy. What are your goals? Who do you want to reach? Will you treat current customers and prospects the same or will you send them different types of communications? What will you talk about? How will you ensure consistency and be sure you create and follow a communication plan (rather than shooting off random emails once in a while)? There are lots of great ways to use this to build your brand – sharing tips for self-care, offering new products, or announcing special offers are all excellent strategies – but again, you have to have a plan and follow through.
Fortunately finding someone to help with your social media and/or email marketing, is easier than it might sound. No matter where you live, thanks to the internet, you can work with someone who lives a town, state, or even country, away. Hiring this work done don’t have to cost a lot, either. Websites like Fiverr and Upwork let you see portfolios and reviews before you commit to retaining a consultant.
Blogging / Vlogging
Depending on your business, you may benefit from blogging, vlogging (video blogging), or podcasting. These methods of marketing don’t make sense for everyone, but as YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine on the internet, and with the huge popularity of podcasting, it’s worth considering if it makes sense with your business goals.
If you decide sharing knowledge on a regular basis could help grow your business, or develop into a side hustle, consider outsourcing the production side.
- Perhaps you have great ideas to share, but feel your writing needs a bit of a polish before it goes public.
- Creating a website to store your blogs, or publishing to a site like Medium, or adding your podcast to Stitcher or Apple Podcast, may require more time and knowledge than you have.
- The idea of creating and editing videos into something people would watch might be overwhelming.
- Knowing how to publish to YouTube, and promote once your content is added, is a whole new challenge you might not have time or skill to tackle.
The great news is there’s lots of help available, and you don’t have to try to do it all yourself.
Of course not all outsourced tasks have to be big. If you find vacuuming and doing dishes relaxing, by all means save the cleaning service cost and do it yourself. But if doing a specific task causes stress or anxiety or makes you resentful because it takes time from making money (or family!), hire it out. Don’t feel bad, and don’t second guess yourself. Many people find that, although a bit scary at first, paying someone else to do a task reaps financial and emotional rewards in the long run.