Are you doing everything yourself? [Don’t read this if it’s yes]

Stop! You’re under attack!

Outsourcing and delegation to solve productivity with Jane FranklandToday’s post is all about outsourcing and developing systems and processes for your business. But, before I get into that I HAVE to ask you this. Who’s the biggest threat to your business? Who’s going to steal it all away from you? Well chances are it’s no online hacker, that’s for sure. I hope you’re ready for the answer…

It’s actually you!

I know this may be resonating with you. You’re very busy, right?

So was I when I first started my business. You see when you start a business it’s usually when you’ve just left a job. You’re on your own and having to do everything yourself.  Or, at least that’s what you think you should be doing – even things that you probably know you stink at!

Yes the truth hurts sometimes but you know where I’m coming from.

Let’s get specific here. I’m going to bring up one of my pet favourites. And yes, it’s websites. This is the one thing I see entrepreneurs (new and old) do all the blinking time – they design and build their own websites. Now, I’m absolutely fine with this if money is genuinely an issue but for most of you it’s not! The last one I worked with actually had a $5m business and it was pants (their website attempt that is)!

So things like building your own website, compiling your brochures, doing your accounting, processing your orders, personally responding to your prospects and clients emails and social media messages, organising the deliveries,  writing blogs and copy, and may be even the sales are things you CAN and SHOULD outsource!

I’m being serious.

I can see you now – running around like the proverbial headless chicken! I did this too. And I can tell you what will happen if you continue with this.

The reason you started your business – for the love of your work – will slowly disappear . You’ll get drowned in a flood of administrative trivia and one morning you’ll wake up and you’ll feel burnt out. You’ll want to hide away from the world, under the douvet – all day. And, you’ll have lost all the creative energy you had when you first started your business.

And, then it will hit you. You’ll realise that you’ll never be able to make the kind of money that you wanted to by doing these types of tasks and working in this way.

How do I know? Because I’ve been there too. I’ve done it and got the T-Shirt sistaaaa!!!

Now, even if you like doing some of these tasks you’ll never make it.

Picture this. When I started my first 7-figure business there were two of us. It was easy. We were extremely focused and held each other accountable. We got an office as soon as we could. Now, this actually was a very smart thing to do as it made us get super disciplined right from the very start. I even remember turning up to work dressed in a suit just so I could get in the mood for being a professional and working as one. Nowadays it makes no difference to me. I can work as a professional even dressed in my PJs! Yes, I do that regularly! 😉

So my advice to you is this: decide what to outsource as soon as you can.

How to know what to outsource

Get a piece of paper or do it online and write 3 columns.

  • Make a list of things you don’t like doing. Chris Ducker calls these tasks the “vomit in your mouth rather than do tasks.”  Amusing! I know where he’s coming from! Anyway, these typically are the things you procrastinate over.
  • Make a list of things you like doing but are not good at.
  • Make a list of things you can’t do yourself. Yes you really can’t do everything yourself!  I hate to break it to you but many people out there are just far more talented than you.

[box]”Great leaders recognise their strengths and weaknesses early on and delegate them to others who are far more capable” – Jane Frankland TWEET THIS[/box]

As soon as you have this you should now be clear on what you can outsource. Make a list and if you’re still not sure of the things you feel you shouldn’t be doing just ask yourself this question: how can you be spending your time better? What one thing would make a big difference to your working day?

Once you’ve done this you can post a job description for help. This usually manifests itself as a VA.

Virtual Assistants (VAs)

VAs are a life saver. No joke!

They are freelancers – usually women. They’re independent and usually work on an “as needed” basis from their own homes or offices. This is brilliant as it saves you the costs and headache of hiring a regular full-time or even part-time assistant. This is how I got started and how I coach my students to take their businesses to the next level.

One of the first things I say to someone I’m coaching is what have your outsourced? The response I get back is usually I’ll do it when I get some money in.

STOP!

You have to sort this out now! The advice I’m about to give you is so powerful. You don’t need to break the bank but you need to get started. You can grow your business to 6 or even 7-figures without employees, but only if you use VAs and outsource. You have to learn to love delegating and become good at it. Otherwise you’ll hold yourself back (biggest threat remember)! This is the time to move out of your own way; to feel the fear and to do it anyway. Start small but build big. The key is to get into the habit of this – even if it’s only 5 hours a month. Get support or coaching with this if you need to BUT do it!

Hire a VA and do it per task or role. Set out the expectations and outline in detail what the job involves. There are lots of different VAs to chose from, so be specific – mobile app developers, SEO, marketing etc. As a minimum get a General VA (GVA) so someone who can deal wit your emails and booking meetings/appointments.

What could you delegate to a VA?

If you’re not sure what to delegate to a VA, just keep a log of what you do on a daily and weekly basis. I recommend doing this for at least 7-days. I blogged about it last week – outsourcing: increase productivity vs. life gets in the way and other excuses. Once you’ve done this sit down and review it. Decide which activities are ones only you have to do and which ones you can delegate. For example, many of my clients use a VA as they find that they’re spending a lot of time scheduling appointments. Obviously this is something that can be done by a VA. Consulting and coaching with the client is something completely different and something that only they can do.

Here are some of the first tasks that I first delegated to a VA:

  • Website/membership site
  • Sales Pages
  • Transcriptions for videos
  • Writing comments on blogs
  • SEO
  • Filtering my emails and responding to customer emails
  • Scheduling business interviews and meetings
  • PR

Now I want to hear from you…

Tell me how you’ve got on outsourcing – all the good and bad stories. I also want to know what activities you’re not delegating and what it is that holds you back from doing so.

Thanks for participating!

With love and gratitude – as always,

 

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JaneFrankland

Jane Frankland is a successful cyber security entrepreneur, consultant and speaker who has had a diverse career encompassing art and design; business development; and operations. Having held directorships and senior executive positions within her own companies and at several large PLCs, she now provides agile, forward thinking organisations with strategic business development solutions. Right now she is writing a book on gender diversity in cyber security and is focused on increasing the numbers of women in the profession.
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