You can only go so far in business without the help of other people. For most small business owners, there comes a time that they know they need to start getting help but don’t know how they can really afford to get help and are not clear on how to manage a worker.
Usually, getting the first person to help is the challenging decision. Fear comes to stop you and you will need to overcome that in order to grow. You might have to give a leap of faith. After the first one, this will not be an issue anymore.
Remember that you don’t have to hire an employee. You can start just outsourcing.
I for one, don’t like to micro manage or to be stuck inside an office when I don’t have to. So far, we have a great team that is outsourced.
Now, about the part where you are not clear on how to delegate tasks and how to outsource what to whom, a simple way to deal with that is to use a simple spreadsheet.
It can be really frustrating if a virtual assistant comes to work for you and you just don’t know what tasks to do.
First understand that you will have to delegate, even if you think only you can do it well. This is a trap that won’t allow your business to grow.
Now, back to the spread sheet.
Use 3 columns.
On the first column add areas that you could use advice or help like accountant, lawyers, marketing.
On the second column put all the things you could outsource or teach someone how to do it.
The third column, add things that only you could do. Remember that tasks can always be outsourced, strategies not so much, so you should focus on strategies.
For column one, you should find the expert to help you with those tasks or teach you how to do it fast. Focus on the things that you are good at and outsource the rest. For example, I am not good with numbers, so the first thing we outsourced was accounting. It also makes no sense to spend time in something that I could pay $45 an hour to someone when my time is a lot more valuable than that.
On column 1, you have all the tasks that could be easily delegated to a freelancer, a virtual assistant or a part-time employee.
The third column is for high-profit activities, where you should focus. These are tasks that you get paid a premium and that you enjoy doing. If you free time with the other 2 columns you will be able to increase profits, grow your business and do things you love.
Now, here at BuzzBooster Marketing we use an open source software to manage our products and the people we outsource to. Since we have more than one business and people are not inside our office, the software helps keep things a lot more organized and we can access anytime, anywhere, even from our phones. There are many project management softwares out there, from free to very expensive for you to use.
In order to find people to outsource to, there are also many options. Guru.com and Elance.com are two of them.
Prices in these places tend to be very interesting but don’t forget to check the person’s portfolio and past projects.
Mechanical Turk.com is a new option that seems to work really well. Check that one too.
You can pay people per project or by the hour.
Again, don’t waste time with tasks that are not worth your time or that you are not good at. Focus on becoming even better on the things that you already excel. Outsource all the rest.