When you’re self-employed in any capacity, it can be hard to know how to outsource. It is hard to let go. Having your own business is a lot like parenting, regardless of whether you’ve ever been a parent. As a mom of three, I can tell you that this is true. A micro-business, a small business, a franchise, a throw-all-of-your-life-savings-in-the-ring-and-hope-for-the-best business, and any other kind of business in between all take a lot of time and attention. Even side hustles take work if you expect to make any kind of money. For the first two years, you can pretty much expect to eat, sleep, and breath business if you expect it to grow…just like if you have a newborn. So, when it gets to the point that you have to let go of something in order to grow, it can be hard because the business is your baby.
Letting Go Can Be Hard to Do
Even if you run a lean business and plan to continue to do so (I do), letting go can be hard to do. You are used to wearing all the hats and doing all of the things. Maybe you work in an industry where there are certain regulations that require you to either do certain things or provide oversight to employees or independent contractors…and so you believe it is much easier for you to just continue to do all of the things.
If you’re busy handling the billing, collecting, marketing, and other administrative tasks, you have less valuable time that can be spent doing what it is only you can do. While this can be applied across the board, I’m especially talking to professionals in industries who must be licensed to perform certain tasks for the public (ahem, lawyers).
But…letting go can be hard! It can be…emotional.
That’s why I specifically advocate delegating or outsourcing based on needs versus emotions.
Emotions Can Lie to You…and They Can Be Tricky Little Beasts
Oh, and gender doesn’t matter when it comes to emotions, either. It can be just as difficult for men to let go as it can for women. Men are often raised to stuff down their emotions. Regardless of gender, as business owners, be aware of any ethical considerations in your industry related to your work while also being open to new methodologies that could bring about better results as well as be more efficient.
We all experience emotions on a daily basis…and it can and does impact how we feel. It can impact our work as well. We invest a lot of who we are into our businesses. That makes it hard to let go, but it’s important to recognize that by outsourcing to another person, we aren’t just putting trust into that professional, we are putting trust in ourselves to do our research and choose a trusted provider.
Consider Your Needs, Not Your Emotions
I’ve made the mistake (several times) of contracting people because I wanted to help them. I’m a nurturer. Generally, they were given menial tasks: update the jobs list, do some basic research, write some basic drafts for blog posts…little things. And it’s a good thing they were given menial tasks because they flaked out pretty fast. I have no one to blame there but myself. I didn’t really need help…I wanted to help. I made decisions based on my emotions.
When it comes to the actual well-being of Black Moth Media or its overarching parent LLC, I make decisions based on needs and not emotions. I have one main Virtual Assistant. You can read about her on the About page of my blog. I have a contract graphic artist available (who hasn’t submitted her blurb to me just yet). I have a biz dev expert. You can read about him on the About page of my blog. I have two contract web devs available as well. You can read about them on the About page on my blog. There will be more information about each on this site in the near future.
The easiest place to start with needs based planning for your business is to first consider the amount of time you spend daily or even weekly on your administrative activities. Examples include creating and sending invoices, reconciling invoices, recording expenses, creating proposals, CRM management, finding leads, etc. Virtual assistants are a great start. You don’t have to start full time, either.
If you already have a virtual assistant, another option is to consider preparing to grow your business. Contracting with someone to take some of the lower-level activities so that you can focus on bringing in new business is another needs-based option for your business. On the flip side, you could also find someone who could bring in new business so that you can focus specifically on providing service to your clients.
Social media is another needs-based option. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to involve PPC, full time hours, or anything fancy, either. A basic social media presence using the platforms where your target audience can be found and beginning to build your presence is just one more way outsource while you focus on serving the needs of your clients.
Need Help Choosing a Provider?
Even if you’re not looking for help with your online presence, I’m happy to talk with you (for free) about what to look for when choosing a provider. Head on over to the agency’s Facebook page and schedule your free virtual appointment!