When starting an online business, I can promise you that we don't know all the different pieces it involves. I am absolutely convinced that as soon as you can, you should outsource parts of your business.
When and how do you outsource parts of your business?
Starting an online business is not just about being amazing at your craft; It also means becoming
- an entrepreneur
- a mini accountant
- a tech person
- a PR person
- a writer
- a speaker
Having an online business involves so many things that if you look at big corporations, they have a department for each of those different elements. A big corporation will have a human resources department. They will have finances. They will have an operations department. They will have client relationships. They have a whole team working on each of these different topics, whereas as a solopreneur, you have to be able to do all of it.
In the beginning, you do have to do all of it. It can get overwhelming and it’s a full-time job in the beginning. If you do it as a full-time job, obviously you will get results quicker than if you do it part-time. But again, this is not a race. Everyone does everything on their own time.
When should you outsource?
Once you have a firm grasp of what it is that you need to do, and you find yourself rolling your eyes because you're doing the same thing over and over again. That's when you have to start to do an intake. What do I mean by that? On the first of the month, I recommend starting to write down all the different tasks you're doing for your business. It could be
- checking emails
- tweaking something on your website
- posting your newsletter
- posting on social media
- cleaning up your client folders
- sending out invoices
To get the most accurate list, you need to write down what you're doing every day, and at the end of the month, you will go through that list and highlight all the things that you're doing over and over again.
The first step is to outsource it to technology. A lot of the things that belong to client management can actually be done by a CRM, customer relation management software. I use Dubsado (this is an affiliate link), and it takes care of pretty much everything. When clients schedule their calls through that, then I tag them, and they are immediately sent the contract and an invoice. They can schedule their client appointments through there as well. Everything is automated. Other platforms work just as well. Shop around and see what works best for you.
Look at what you don’t enjoy doing and what you are not very good at
If you're not great at designing graphics for your social media posts, then that is the first thing you can outsource via Upwork or Fiverr. On either platform, you can find graphic designers pretty cheaply. Some are freelancers and have a lot of experience, while others are just starting out, but that means you can get them for a pretty good price.
If you do videos, you can have somebody edit and upload them to your YouTube channel for you. These are things that drain you and that you don't have to do per se. If you can use that time and focus on writing content or getting a lot more calls with prospective clients, then it is absolutely worth it because your income will grow that way.
How do you outsource?
There are different ways of doing it. You can find freelancers on Fiverr or Upwork. You can hire a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant will be for simpler tasks, such as:
- graphic design
- maybe responding to some emails
- maybe cleaning up client dossiers or sending out client files
- ordering lab tests, etc.
When you grow bigger or if you want to go all-in, you can also look into an OBM (Online Business Manager). That is a whole different ball game. An OBM will basically do the complete structure of your business with you. It's similar to a COO (a chief operations officer). I have a COO who helps me with my structure and an overview of everything concerning the organization. I also have a project manager who communicates and liaises with all my freelancers and I just do content and clients. For me, that's the perfect way of doing it.
Don’t be afraid of firing people if they don't work out for you. Hire and fire quickly, because it's going to drain you and it's not going to be fun. When someone starts working with you, make it very clear that they have a trial period, and that makes everything easier.
So those are a couple of recommendations I hope were helpful for you. Once you’ve been in your business for four to six months, you will know when it’s time to hire someone. It usually starts with you rolling your eyes and sighing a lot more often on specific tasks. Also, when you have enough clients and when you see that there are more clients than you can deal with, because you're too busy with things that you don't have to do, like graphic creation and so on.
Let me know if you want to know more about this, and if you want to have more bespoke help, then just reach out to me via email.