The word “business” literally comes from the state of being busy; ‘occupy’. In the beginning, entrepreneurs are everything to all people. They may feel like they are wearing many hats, stretching slightly, and being pulled in all directions. Sales, delivery, marketing, administration, not to mention finance, HR, legal and recruitment. An entrepreneur must be a jack of all trades, know a lot about many areas and turn many dishes. Do too much, however, and the plates may start to fall over.
To feel less busy and make the most of their true talents, many entrepreneurs look to outsource tasks within their day-to-day operations. I’ve talked to business owners in all fields about the outsourcing decision that made a difference.
Administration is often not the real work, it is the foundation that enables the real work. You can’t deliver that presentation if you don’t know where it is. You can’t pay your staff if you haven’t set up your payments. Entrepreneurs who waste time doing their own administration are held back in other areas; the administrator is rarely worth his time.
Greg Simpson, founder of Press For Attention, knows his skills “lie in creating and copying.” He said he is “much more productive as an entrepreneur and much more creative as a consultant when I focus on my core competencies.” He outsources all the administrative tasks into his business and calls it a win-win.
Joanne Streames, founder of Velvet Mortgage and Insure Services, said at the outset, “outsourcing administration was imperative as I felt like a hamster in the wheel and couldn’t grow my business.” After two years, her team is now 8 people and she continues to outsource “PR, social media, branding and marketing. We also have a professional recruiter who is helping us grow the team.” Streames’ strategy is simple. “I always think; what am i good at? Where does my expertise lie? And who, not how, can get me where we need to be? She found that the more “who is she” she involved, the more successful her company was than her.
One’s hell is another’s heaven. The job you fear the most will be someone else’s jam. There is rarely a good reason for an entrepreneur to be an administrator; follow the lessons learned from Simpson and Streames and do what only you can do.
Crunching the numbers
You probably wouldn’t fix your car, plumb your bathroom, or build your house. You would find a professional who knew what they were doing. So many business owners think they can do their own accounts and miss out on the benefits that a great accountant can bring. This is common in early-stage startups and may seem like a way to keep costs down, but it’s actually false savings.
Digital consultant Marcio Delgado said “account outsourcing has made a huge difference” to his business. “No matter how much you love what you do, if you get too involved in all the paperwork of the job, there’s little time left to work on the creative side.” Not only that, but an accountant should save you more money than it costs, in structuring tax decisions and advice as well as the financial aspect of every business decision.
Digital agency founder Binny Shah-Patel “stopped worrying about my tax returns and focused my time and energy on other areas of my business” while outsourcing tax affairs. Logging into Xero and crunching numbers yourself is no way to while away the weeks. Scanning receipts and filling out spreadsheets aren’t either.
For all things numbers and money, know what’s going on but let someone else fill out the reports. Let someone else report your earnings to the government and fill in the boxes on the forms they submit. You can find much more productive and effective ways to spend your time.
A strong social media presence
A social media manager used to be one person, now they are several. There are TikTok specialists, LinkedIn lead generation experts, Twitter gurus, and Facebook ad wizards. Not to mention the content creation itself; videographers, copywriters, bloggers, photographers, animators, reel creators, producers and programmers. Finding it in a person is a huge question. Finding it in yourself is impossible.
Outsourcing social media management has made a difference for Kadian Pow, founder of Bourn Beautiful Naturals. “People underestimate the amount of time and expertise it takes to strategize, photos, videos, captions, hashtags, and navigate ever-changing algorithms. It’s a full-time job in itself.” Pow said it’s “Worth outsourcing so soon” and she wishes they had done it sooner.
Business and marketing specialist Niki Hutchison outsources not strategy, but execution. This is “so that my ideas can get out of my head and come to life.” Be the visionary entrepreneur and join partners who are focused on executing your ideas, to make sure they reach as many people as possible. Ravi Davda, CEO of Rockstar Marketing, outsources social media admin “for both my business and my mental health.”
Logging in and posting every day shortens your attention span and takes you away from the deep work that makes a real difference. Find some great freelancers with a track record and submit work their way.
A brilliant brand
In an ideal world, customers find you. They come across your website, are amazed at how well your business seems to know what you need, and then they get in touch. Your brand amazes them and they know you are their supplier. They glide through your funnels to your customer base.
While this can happen, it rarely does without a second pair of eyes. Outsourcing branding and everything in your brand, including website design, development and copywriting, is the difference between a brand that converts and a presence that confuses. Callie Pettigrew, founder of Studio Dine, understands the importance of “Investing in a really powerful brand and website design has made a huge difference to my business.” Because of this, “we now attract our dream clients and customers and have built so much trust with them as well.”
Not just the website, but the words on the page. Michelle Poulson of Print Play Learn said, “Outsourcing the copywriting on my website and blogs has given me back so much time to focus on what I’m really good at, designing. It also took the stress out of having to write. The best thing I’ve done.
Get good at your job and let others explain what you do. Focus on your craft and outsource your copy and conversion to branding professionals. Find someone who enjoys looking at data and seeing what a difference it can make.
Administration, finance, social media and every aspect of your brand. Four things entrepreneurs struggle with themselves, which could be outsourced to huge gains. Take one at a time and watch your schedule clear and your business take off.