Outsourcing for Creative Business - Where to Start
I’m a huge advocate of working to your strengths and outsourcing the bits that don’t come as easily to you - because your strengths are where you bring the magic to your business and make it unique to you. There will be someone out there who excels at the stuff you hate doing, so outsource those tasks so that you can focus on the stuff you're great at.
If you feel you’re not in a position yet where you can outsource, that’s fine. It’s good to start getting an idea of those areas where you might want to do some outsourcing later on. Or, you might just want to dip your toe in the outsourcing pool for now.
It can feel scary to outsource at times because it feels like handing a piece of your business over to someone else, but once you’ve found the right supplier and you start to get that time back, you’ll be so glad you did it. First you need to figure out what you're going to outsource.
How to figure out what tasks to outsource in your creative business
1) Work out which areas of your business need a little more love
We all have areas of our business that we prefer to work on and often this leaves unloved areas that need some attention. If you know your marketing or finances need some more attention and they're feeling unloved because you're not confident or really dislike working on these tings, that could be a clear indicator that these areas should be on your outsource list.
2) Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses
If you're aware of what your strengths and weaknesses are you can figure out what tasks are draining your energy and need to be outsourced. Write out a list of your strengths and weaknesses (make sure there are at least as many strengths as weaknesses - don't be hard on yourself). Then work out which tasks line up with your weaknesses and get these tasks on your outsourcing list.
3) which tasks aren’t mentally taxing but sap your time?
This might be writing content for your website, figuring out your finances or packaging and sending out orders. Sometimes it's nice to have tasks that require little brain power, that you can do with a podcast on in the background. If there are tasks in this category that you enjoy, by all means keep them for your less productive hours. If there are tasks in this category that are taking up too much of your time and you don't enjoy, add them to your outsourcing list.
4) What springs to mind?
Usually there’s something you instinctively know you’re doing that isn’t the best use of your time. For me that was designing my 1:1 mentoring worksheets. I knew exactly what I wanted them to say but outsourced the ‘prettying it up’ to a designer who would be able to do it a fraction of the time it would take me.
5) Think about the rest of your life, what’s using up time there?
Getting a cleaner in is one of the most popular ways of outsourcing, having a tidy home often makes people feel more focused on their work and less likely to procrastinate by 'giving the bathroom a quick clean’. Having a cleaner in once a week is a luxury but if it’s one of those things that’s taking up a lot of your time it’s definitely worth considering.
Other things you could outsource around the home is doing laundry or perhaps if you’ve got a really busy week ahead of you you could get someone to walk your dog in the morning so that you only need to do the evening walk. There are loads of outsourcing options when you start to think creatively.
The whole idea of outsourcing is to save your energy and time for doing the work you really love, doesn’t that sound good? Make a list of the areas you’d like to consider outsourcing and just experiment with one thing at a time. When you’re ready your next step is finding a supplier for your outsourcing.