How to Find a Supplier for Your Outsourcing
If you started your creative business so that you could do what you love and live the lifestyle you dream of, then outsourcing is for you! I'm a huge advocate of focusing on where your strengths lie, where you bring your magic and how you make your business unique. The bits you struggle with or hate doing? Outsource those nightmare tasks.
Once you've got a list of tasks you might want to outsource, you’ll need to find a supplier. Some tasks are easier to outsource than others but if you look hard enough there’s usually someone who can help, especially if you think outside of the obvious go-to places.
Here are some ideas on how to find a supplier for those pesky tasks you want to outsource
Friends and family
This can be a great place to start if you’re dipping a toe in the outsourcing pond. You might have a family member who’s great with a camera who you could help with your product photography or a friend who works in marketing who can spend a couple of hours a month planning and scheduling your social media posts.
Working with friends and family can be tricky so just make sure you’re really clear on what you need how you'll give feedback and work out a fair price to pay them from the start.
People you’ve worked with in a previous job
You might have worked with a really talented writer or someone who knows SEO who could spend an afternoon writing your product descriptions or doing some SEO work on your website. Have a think and reach out to those people via LinkedIn or facebook.
If you need someone to come in for a morning 3 days a week and package up orders for you, you might be able to find someone by advertising in your local village shop, pub or village hall. Set a price you’re willing to pay and make up an advert - you can always start off with a trial period.
Skill Sharing with your business buds
If you’ve got some business buddies who are really talented in an area you’d love learn more about, think about what skills you’ve got that you can teach them, in return.
Perhaps your friend does screen printing and you want to see if it would work on one of your bags, could you swap an hour in her studio learning how to screen print onto your bags in return for an hour where you teach her how to take better product photos.
If you and another business owner can do a skill swap all you’re spending is your time, rather than money - a great option when you’re starting out.
In the past I’ve found Etsy really useful for getting personalised graphics made up. There are also lots of services on there from people who can help with SEO etc. Have a search and check them out on Instagram, read their reviews and drop them a message outlining what you’re looking for and see if the response you get it helpful and knowledgeable. The great thing about Etsy is that it’s super easy to use and you get to support other creative business owners.
5iver or People per hour
I’ve never had much luck with these services but I’ve heard that if you’re willing to try a few suppliers out and take the time to brief them thoroughly you will find someone you like working with. Kiss a few frogs before you find your prince, if you will.
Non-business outsourcing - Don’t just outsource your business, outsource your life
Get a cleaner
The things you outsource might not just be business related. It might be those boring but essential tasks that take up time you could be using to better ends in your business, such as cleaning the house. This is a classic outsourcing job.
I hate working when I know the house is looking like a complete tip so having a cleaner to keep things ship shape makes me feel clearer and also pretty happy that I don’t have to finish work and immediately hoover the house.
Cooking and food shopping is another thing that seems to take up a lot of time, if you enjoy those things or find cooking a good way of winding down that's great, stick with it. I personally don't enjoy cooking or shopping for anything. By using a service like hello fresh you can get your food delivered and know exactly what you need to make with it and how, cutting those decisions out of your day that drain your brain power.
Get a dog walker
Now, first up, I think getting out of the house for a walk at least once a day is good for you, it’s an essential bit of self-care that I make a priority in my day. However, when you’re working to a tight deadline or if you really want to go to a conference, getting a dog walker in at those times can take a load off your mind.
[OVER TO YOU]
- Make a short list of what you want to outsource and pick your first outsourcing task
- Find a supplier and contact them with details of what you need help with
- Make sure you brief your supplier thoroughly. It might take a bit of time to find the right person and train them on how you like things to be done, but in the long run it should start to free up your time!