The First 3 Things You Should Outsource

An image of a call center

Let’s face it, if you’re running a business, you’re busy. And if it’s a small business, you’re probably really busy. The best advice for any business, anywhere, anytime, of any size, is to focus on your core competencies. What this really means is stop spending time on things that aren’t directly key to your business. Some of those things you should probably just stop entirely. But some of them must be done. That doesn’t mean they must be done by you. Here are my top 3 recommendations for things you should outsource immediately.

Marketing

It’s hard to admit, but it’s true — you’re probably terrible at marketing. Most entrepreneurs think they understand marketing, but really, from a professional marketers perspective, most small business owners don’t even know what the word means. Getting your head around

just to start things off, is a lot of work. And unless you were a professional marketer in a previous life, it’s probably not in your core skill set. Given its importance to your business, this is a candidate for immediate outsourcing.

Personal Assistance

Have you ever had a PA? Most people haven’t. But once you hire one, you’ll wonder how you ever did without. Time is your most precious commodity. Don’t waste it on mundane tasks — that’s what your PA should be doing. Now, it’s equally true that you’re probably not so busy with tasks that can be delegated to a very junior person that you should hire a full-time PA. Problem, meet solution: the virtual assistant. There are literally hundreds of companies around the world providing these services at very reasonable prices. Still not sure it’s worth it, or what you would have your assistant do? The International Virtual Assistants Association lists 101 ways to use a virtual assistant. Take a look at the list, and imagine if you only could take 10 of those items off your plate. You should hire a virtual PA immediately.

Writing

For over a century, newspapers and large corporations have relied on freelance writers. Why shouldn’t you, too? Press releases, web site content, even your social media posts can be outsourced. You could hire your next-door neighbour’s kid to manage your social media presence, but that is a serious mistake. You need quality writing, or your business image may suffer. If you have a lot of writing to do, then it’s probably worth the investment of time to find someone with whom you can work easily. There are many ways to do that, but I personally like this approach of hosting a contest on Craig’s List. If your writing needs are less frequent, then just like there are virtual PA companies, there are virtual writing companies, like Scripted.

Outsourcing Everything

Ultimately, you can (and probably should) outsource everything that isn’t core to your business. But get started with these three things, and see what your results are. I suspect just a few months from now you’ll be aggressively looking to outsource all aspects of your business that aren’t core to its success — and you’ll be reaping the rewards of more free time, lower costs, more focus, and a generally more successful and rewarding business and life.

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Chris Richardson has strong opinions on just about everything. Just ask.