Solopreneurs and small business owners are often crunched for time. Like it or not, you can’t (and probably shouldn’t) try to do everything yourself. From the mundane tasks that turn your brain to mush to the stuff that you’re simply not good at, there’s a lot that you can outsource.
Unfortunately, many solopreneurs don’t fully grasp what outsourcing means, or how it has changed over the last few years. The digital age has made it easier than ever to outsource a variety of tasks so you can save time and money.
Getting onboard with these outsourcing hacks will make life much more manageable, even as you make your business more successful.
1. Let A Virtual Assistant Take Over Non-Revenue Tasks
The days when you’d have a secretary taking your phone calls and greeting visitors to the office may be a thing of the past. But there are probably a lot of entrepreneurs who wished they still had someone to help keep them organized this way.
The good news is that many solopreneurs are now able to turn important non-revenue tasks over to a virtual assistant. These are independent contractors who can handle a wide variety of administrative tasks for your business, such as scheduling meetings, managing your emails or even making travel arrangements.
Essentially, you get many of the same benefits an old-school secretary used to offer, but without the overhead.
2. Give It The Old College Try
If you’re strapped for cash, you can’t go wrong with reaching out to local college students. Sure, a college student can often do a good job as a part-time administrative assistant, but many are looking for internships that give them real-world work experience in their area of study.
Offering a (paid) internship program can give you access to enthusiastic students with new and innovative ideas. Since they don’t have as much experience, they also tend to be easier on your budget. While you shouldn’t necessarily expect agency-level work, giving students a chance to test and develop their skills could ultimately turn into a win-win for your business.
Remember, internship programs typically have specific requirements for their students to earn course credit. You’ll be far more attractive to college students if you can provide an experience that also helps them on the path to graduation.
3. Use Digital Platforms To Connect To Human Talent
Of course, a lot of the time you need to outsource tasks that require a bit more know-how than the average college student or administrative assistant could provide. Tasks like graphic design or content writing (stuff that’s going to be a bit more customer-facing) frequently requires a professional touch.
The good news is that there are countless digital platforms to help you connect to skilled talent in these and other niches. As Sathish Shanmugam, founder of Graphically explained to me in a recent email conversation, “Many of these digital platforms have already done the work of vetting industry professionals. This way, you can have confidence that you’ll get quality results for your project. Make sure you have the ability to review and approve work so that you’ll get the results you want. This allows you to gain access to top talent across the country — you don’t have to just be limited to your local talent pool.”
These platforms essentially work similar to automation tools, but for higher-level tasks that require human input. While you still need to provide some guidance, you can rest easy knowing the nitty gritty of these tasks are being taken care of.
4. Outsource Your Home Chores, Too
Let’s be real: a good number of solopreneurs work out of a home office. If you let your space turn into a pigsty, it’s going to have a negative effect on your work. In fact, clutter has been found to increase stress and anxiety.
If you don’t feel like you have enough time to get around to housecleaning, groceries or other similar errands, this is something else you should definitely outsource. Using a grocery delivery service or hiring someone to clean your house once a week will have a bigger impact on your work quality than you’d think.
Having a place that lets you stay healthy enough to work should be a priority for any solopreneur. But by outsourcing these essential tasks, you can kick back and relax at the end of a long day.
5. Do Your Due Diligence
As exciting as the aforementioned hacks can be, they don’t excuse you from doing your due diligence. You wouldn’t hire a full-time employee without doing interviews, background checks and checking with previous employers.
The same should be true of these hacks.
Interested in an automation tool or digital talent platform? Read the reviews. Hiring a freelancer? Get real-life work samples and request colleague referrals. Putting in a little extra work upfront will ensure that you make a worthwhile outsourcing investment.
Outsource Your Way To Success
Every business owner has different needs. Fortunately, there’s a way to make outsourcing work no matter what those needs look like. Whether you need help scheduling meetings or managing bookkeeping, there’s an easier way to get it done — by not doing it yourself.
As you use these outsourcing hacks to streamline your business processes, you’ll find you have more time for the things you do best — or even actually taking a break for once!