I speak to a lot of people about how they can go about outsourcing. This is natural, because I am a source of…outsourcing. So I wanted to put together some tips for how you can help yourself and your business to be ready to scale up.
But how do you know what the tasks are, when you can get rid of them and how much it is going to cost you? It is a overwhelming problem to face.
Where do we get help?
The single most common problem for micro/small business owners is that they are single-handily doing all the work. And probably have done from the beginning, aside from a few bits and pieces along the way. So the overwhelming thought when it all gets too much and you finallllly concede that you need a helping hand is probably “where do I start?”
And this blog post will take you through that.
Step 1: Monthly mapping
Like everything that I suggest, break it down into small tasks (read my short blog here on how to make a more manageable to-do task and get. It. Done.) It is impossible to think of everything that you DO as a business owner by clearing the decks at 10pm, in front of Netflix and trying to write down all the jobs that it takes to keep you running.
So pick your favourite notepad or keep a document open on your computer and every time you do a reoccurring task, write it down. Just keep a list of all the reoccurring tasks that you do and as you repeat them throughout the month, keep a tally of how often you undertake them weekly/monthly.
Make sure you break it down so:
Expenses Content creation for Instagram Chasing invoices Quotes etc.
Step 2: Task timing
Use a free tool like Toggl (see blog post here on how to use) and start timing how long it takes you to undertake these tasks and make a note of that in your book or document. Over the course of a month or two you will have a good idea of what tasks you are actually undertaking, what tasks are taking up a lot of your time and what tasks you fundamentally are not interested in doing moving forward.
Double points if you have already read my Toggl blog post! At this point it would make sense that the ‘Projects’ that you have labelled on Toggl link up to the reoccurring tasks that you have started to write down. See how they are kind of one and the same?!
Take heed to follow my advice about labelling these tasks up appropriately. To have helpful data it needs to be useable. Be very specific in the task you are timing when labelling on Toggl and make sure to title up your headline ‘Projects’ in a sensible way that will be useful now and in the future.
Step 3: Creating process documents
If you are not ready to outsource quite yet, but are looking to upscale over the next year, consider turning these lists into process documents. Although over time this can be a time-consuming exercise, when you are happy to outsource, you can hand over the documents to the person/people that you bring on board.
And like everything I suggest, just break it down and take it slowly. You don’t need to find a whole day in your working life to process your whole business. It wouldn’t be an efficient or productive way to do it. However, doing a Loom video the next time you undertake one of these repetitive tasks and starting up a template for a process document will start to get the momentum going. More about Loom and process document templates in my next blog post! Don’t want to miss it? Sign up here.
Warning: you will need to be confident that your processes are tight to go down this route as you will be handing over a job-done manual and you could then consider bringing someone less experienced on board. If you are looking to pay for higher-level support and advice, that person could help to get your processes into shape and you can ask them to include your processes in the work they do. Creating this manual may also show where your processes aren’t working as hard for you as they could, and this may indicate that it is time to get support.
If you’re not sure that your processes are up to scratch and you could do with a hand with all of this (because you really don’t have the time!) let me know. This is my calling!
And if you are still working it all out for yourself, sign up to receive the next blog post straight into your inbox to ensure you don’t miss it.