When to give up on 16-Hour days and start outsourcing your business tasks.
As an entrepreneur, it can be tempting to try and be a jack-of-all-trades to keep your business alive. When you’re first getting started, spending money on outside help can feel like you are throwing cash in the toilet. But doing so can actually hinder your momentum and stunt your growth.
In this post, we’ll show you exactly the right time to start outsourcing your business tasks, and how nailing the transition can multiply your sales and profits faster than you ever could on your own.
Busting an Entrepreneurial Myth
If you looked up entrepreneur in the dictionary, what picture would expect to see next to the definition? In my mind, I see someone with a pen in their mouth, a phone tucked next to their ear, one hand on the keyboard, the other closing a deal, and both feet on the move, perhaps even on a treadmill desk. I also imagine something similar located next to multitasker and jack-of-all-trades, which are often thought of as synonyms for entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs are known for doing it all. Most operate with the attitude of, “If I can do it myself, I should do it myself.” This attitude is good; it’s that spirit of independence that propels entrepreneurs forward and helps them succeed.
This mindset of self-empowerment and resilience is what sets apart a successful entrepreneur from a typical employee. But carry that mindset too far, and it can be crippling, and just plain counterproductive.
Read or listen to any entrepreneurial magazine or podcast, and you’ll hear it said that running your own business is hard, demanding, tiring, and time-consuming. This is true, and recognizing this is one thing, but operating with the notion that this must be the status quo is another. Here’s the difference:
Myth: If being an entrepreneur isn’t always hard, you’re not doing it right.
Truth: Running your own business can be easier, if you choose to help yourself out.
How do you help yourself out? Well, one way is to quit multitasking, as it’s been proven that doing so can inhibit your productivity and damage your brain. It also makes you into a bottleneck for any number of processes. Especially when you’re running an ecommerce business, there are tons of skillsets required that you are probably not that great at by yourself—shipping logistics, customer service, coding, to name a few. Oh and did I mention it’s easier??
To bust out of this “I can do it all” myth, you’re going to need to outsource tasks and processes of your business. Do it right, and this will free up your time and energy, while helping you grow your sales and profits.
When It’s Time to Bring in Help
Outsourcing your business involves giving projects or parts of your business to an outside individual or company that specializes in that specific work. Historically, the term outsource has been used in the context of logistics and fulfillment, but today, businesses outsource anything from accounting to content marketing.
Entrepreneurs—especially scrappy solopreneurs and bootstrappers—too often view outsourcing as a luxury only afforded to big businesses and corporations. As technology and today’s gig economy continue to grow, that’s no longer true. In fact, a recent Elance survey (now Upwork) found that 78% of small businesses say that freelancers give them the upper hand against the competition.
Wondering when you should outsource? Here are some signs it may be time for you to look into external help:
- You’re stressed by all the different tasks required by your business
- You feel like the days are getting shorter and shorter
- You feel like you’re always working but barely moving forward
- You want more time and energy
- You know there are things you want for your business, but you’re not sure how to do them
If you’re struggling to successfully manage your business, and rarely find time to spend on growth efforts, you may want to consider outsourcing a few projects or tasks.