With your proactive personality and entrepreneurial spirit, it can be difficult to relinquish control in the form of delegating. As much as we’d like to be business superheroes, we can’t do everything ourselves.
So, what happens when you excel in delegating but still find your to-do list overflowing with tasks that’ll never get done?
You know that it’s time to outsource.
Outsourcing your business involves giving parts of your business tasks and processes to an outside individual or company that specializes in that specific work. Most business owners outsource payroll administration or background and criminal checks for employment, but you can really outsource any type of business task you can’t complete by yourself.
You may be under the impression that outsourcing is only a luxury large companies can afford, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. In fact, a recent Elance survey found that 78% of small businesses say that freelancers give them the upper hand against the competition.
So, how do you get started?
Evaluate Your Business Tasks
Initially, entrepreneurs have to play the roles of CEO, bookkeeper, marketing specialist, etc., but they shouldn’t be filling these roles for too long. Surely by now, you know which types of tasks and projects you love–and which ones you hate.
List the tasks you don’t like to do, don’t have the skills to do, or don’t have the time to do. Now, it’s time for some research. Next to each business task, project, or process, list how much it would cost to have someone else do them.
What Items Do You Outsource?
Business tasks that require highly-skilled expertise or repetitive actions should be outsourced. Ask yourself, “What tasks are time-consuming, frustrating, or wasting my time and energy?” These are the tasks that you want to outsource for a reasonable price.
Outsourcing Through Software
Software is the simplest and cheapest form of outsourcing. Much of the financial and day-to-day activities can be outsourced to software.
Accounting and Invoicing: Freshbooks.
Social Media: Buffer, Hootsuite, and Edgar.
Outsourcing Through Independent Contractors
Tasks that cannot be easily addressed by software and require the expertise of a human have to be outsourced to freelancers and independent contractors. You can find and hire them through freelance websites like
So, you’ve found a contractor you like. What now?
No matter how great your potential team member looks on paper, don’t skip the interview phase. There are plenty of skilled contractors out there, but a real-time conversation will help you determine which one will work best with you. You can learn more about their communication skills, personality, and work ethic, which will all affect how you two work together.
To finalize the hiring process, some business owners opt to send a test project to each applicant, such as a sample blog post or simple cost analysis. You may have to pay a small fee (contractors don’t work for free), but this is a great way to see their quality of work.
It’s time to outsource. Think of it as a small investment towards keeping your plate cleared of unnecessary tasks.