coworkers outsourcing tasks

You’ve probably grown used to wearing multiple hats for your business, especially if you’re the founder. Many freelancers and small business operators fulfill all six of these roles:

  1. Accountant
  2. Mentor
  3. Salesperson
  4. Manager
  5. Troubleshooter
  6. Creator

Wearing so many hats keeps you busy! 

In this post, you’ll learn the following steps that you can take for your business:

  • Decide on the tasks you can outsource
  • Find reliable partners
  • Ensure quality work

It’s true most leaders have dozens of tasks just waiting to be completed. Many of these tasks are sure to pressure you because you may feel they all need your attention, they won’t get finished properly, or they will not be delivered on time. 

This simply isn’t true.

 

freelancer working with headphones

The solution? 

Delegate.

Pass jobs off to others in your business. If you are a freelancer, explore outsourcing. This can help save you both time and money. 

Ready for an example of outsourcing?

You’ve probably taken a ride using Uber or ordered food delivery through DoorDash. That’s the “gig economy” and it’s not limited to consumer convenience. Businesses are benefiting significantly too, with the emergence of freelance and remote workforces.

How should you determine which tasks to handle yourself and which of those to outsource? Well, consider asking yourself the following qualifying questions:

  • Do I have time to handle the task myself?
  • Am I able to manage someone remotely?
  • What is the quality of work being delivered?

 

These are all valid questions to ask yourself, but each is easily manageable with the proper planning and strategy.

Decide on the tasks you can outsource

The most common reason for hesitation for many businesses before outsourcing is they believe they don’t have any tasks to delegate. That’s exactly why it’s necessary to consider how outsourcing can help grow your business and make you more efficient.  

To start, just grab a pen and paper (or your favorite note taking app).

Start recording everything you’re responsible for daily, weekly, and monthly for your business. It’s helpful to think deeply about and record the tasks anyone is managing outside of their core responsibilities. For example, a virtual receptionist for a law firm could be answering the main office line, not a paralegal who could be working on active casework for your firm.    

As your task list continues to grow, log everything you:

  • Don’t enjoy doing, like graphic design work
  • Shouldn’t be doing, like answering every inbound call
  • Don’t do well, like social media advertising or search engine optimization (SEO)

Outsource-worthy tasks include:

  • Marketing: You’re managing the business and marketing brings in more of it. Outsource specific marketing tasks like social media, advertising, and content.
  • Expert help: Like marketing, there are other specializations ideal for outsourcing. A good example of this is financial and bookkeeping advice. Your business may not be ready for a chief financial officer (CFO), but there are bookkeeping services like Bench.co who’ll come in to help you better manage your cash flow and financial projections. Another example of outsourcing a task to expert freelancers is setting up zaps using Zapier to better automate your workflows by connecting your apps. 
  • “Freelancer” tasks: Adjustments to your website and graphic design work are great for outsourcing while you let your team focus more time and resources on revenue-producing work for your business.

Prioritize your list 

Outsourcing every recorded task at once is a recipe for disaster. You’ll likely spend too much time and money doing so and potentially losing track of deliverables. Worse of all, all of those tasks will end up back on your plate to complete. 

So, you should prioritize your list with tasks that require the most urgency, determine a budget, and then start outsourcing. A great tool to use to identify priority is the Eisenhower Decision Matrix to better manage your time and deliverables. You’ll likely want your list to prioritize tasks that have the biggest impact for your business, easiest to outsource first, and that are the most time-consuming. After completing this exercise, you’ll then have more time to outsource the rest of your selected tasks including those that are more complex and require more instruction to freelancers like data management.  

Find reliable partners

Once your high priority task list and outsourcing budget is set, you’ll need to research and identify reliable freelancers and partners such as agencies focused on marketing and public relations that you can outsource to. 

Choosing between an individual or agency

With outsourcing, there are individuals who thrive as freelancers in certain areas and then there are agencies that cover entire functions like marketing. For example, a freelancer may excel at creating and implementing Facebook ads, but may struggle with creating graphics for those same ads. 

In contrast, an agency may have a full team that can handle graphics, ads, landing pages, and other aspects of marketing.

One significant benefit of working with freelancers rather than agencies is cost. This is important because if you’re outsourcing tasks, you’re likely doing so because your time, staff, and budget is limited. 

Decide what they’ll do

A helpful aspect of choosing the right freelancer is deciding what they’ll be doing for you and your business.

If you’re hiring a freelancer for your web content without specific guidelines, you’re likely to end up: 

  • Researching the content you need
  • Editing what they’ve written
  • Formatting the copy and publishing it to your website 

A good freelancer will be able to handle everything you need and only leave you to review the completed work, then sit back and enjoy the benefits.

Ensure quality work

A good understanding of outsource-worthy tasks, along with finding the right partner, goes a long way toward receiving quality work. I’d recommend when you’re outsourcing to hold people accountable and to be strict with deadlines early on so you’re not constantly nagging for updates. Once this is established, the rest comes down to getting out of the way and reviewing deliverables. 

Following these three steps will help your business better understand how to outsource tasks to freelancers and how to do so successfully!