In 2021 I ran a series of blog posts from guest contributors focused on maintaining our mental health. Following feedback in my Facebook group, I decided that my blog theme for this year’s guest contributors would be “taking our businesses to the next level”. This post is the seventh of this 2022 series, you can read the other posts in the series here:
We all understand the benefits of outsourcing for your business. It saves you time, it frees up your headspace, and by freeing up those two things it gives you more opportunity to grow your business and make money. Simple right?
Yet whenever I speak to business owners about potentially outsourcing parts of their business to my team of VAs, or to other professionals, the same concerns always arise. In this blog post I address these common themes so that you can feel comfortable passing over the parts of your business you no longer need or want to be doing.
Loss of control
The first concern most business owners have when they think about passing any section of their business to someone else is that they will lose control. Whether it is managing emails, diary management, social media or document creation, they are worried that they will no longer be ensuring everything is exactly as they like it to be.
This worry comes from a misunderstanding of how business support services work. A VA, a book-keeper, a social media manager or any other member of your wider team will always start off slow. If we are managing your inbox there is no way that we will go in on day one and start responding to your clients. We don’t have a relationship with them, we don’t know what you would like us to say, we don’t know their past issues – so to dive in and start chatting would be irresponsible.
So how in the hell are you going to manage my inbox then Helen?! Fair question. The answer is: bit by bit. This kind of assistance does not go from 0-60 overnight. We will work with you to learn your systems, learn about your clients, learn about your standard responses, pick up on the issues you are managing, start to see what needs to be done. We are all business owners too so we know the score and we certainly understand customer service. A good VA or book-keeper will quickly pick up on how you want things to work, but only when you are confident in handing over certain tasks will we jump in and take over.
Eventually you will be able to sit back and ignore huge swathes of your admin in the knowledge they are being dealt with the way you would want. Not from day one though. We will never take away control you don’t feel confident in giving up. Likewise with your social media. We are happy to post on your behalf, but the vast majority of our clients want to sign off on posts before they go up, and naturally we respect that!
Having to be the boss
Another common concern is that once you outsource you become somebody’s boss, and that can feel uncomfortable for some business owners and sole traders.
The reality is that if you engage the services of a freelancer you are not their boss, you are not their employer. You are their client, and it is up to them to manage that relationship to your satisfaction, not the other way around. A good freelancer will not be looking to you to sort out contracts, working patterns, expectations or anything like that – they will take charge of those elements and work with you to find solutions that work for you.
Employing staff is a whole other ball game, but if you outsource to a freelancer you can sit back in the knowledge that you are the customer – and the customer is always right.
Delegating sh*tty tasks
Which brings us to the final concern: is it okay to delegate out the crappy tasks that you hate?
The simple answer is YES! Of course it is. For a these key reasons:
- You may hate filing receipts, data entry, social media scheduling or checking documentation but your freelancer loves it – it is why they do what they do. Your crappy task is their perfect day
- Your freelancer enjoys making money just like you do. They want you to give them all the jobs that you can so that they can save up for that handbag or holiday or new computer. Donate to the cause and pass over anything you do not want to do!
- This is what you are paying them for. Outsourcing is about binning the things you don’t have the time or inclination to do. Sweep them off your desk with a sigh of relief and don’t look back
So where do you turn?
Naturally I would tell you to speak to me about what we can offer here at Clear Day, but we are pretty much full to capacity for ongoing VA and social media support. Please do check out our one and done social media offerings and admin products but for ongoing regular support we have some fantastic people in our network. Here are a handful of them:
Marketing and Social Media
Accounting & Book-keeping
To whom do you outsource, or do you offer outsourced services to business? Please let us know in the comments below.