Solo entrepreneurs wear a lot of hats for their business. In the early years of my business, I was content creator, graphic designer, tech support, marketer, accountant, lawyer, and everything in between. Of course, doing so much meant that I was not giving everything the time or effort warranted. If I’m going to be the best at everything, I need to learn how solopreneurs can safely outsource.
While this works to some extent while starting out, successful entrepreneurs eventually reach a point where their Superman tendencies to do everything start to harm business growth and income. If you do absolutely everything for your business, even as a solo freelancer, it may be time to think about outsourcing to improve efficiency and income. Here are some easy tasks to outsource to get started.
If your business has a graphic design component or a website, which virtually every business has today, you can try to do it all yourself using free tools like Canva and PicMonkey. However, eventually you may reach a point where it makes a lot more sense to bring on an outside graphics professional who is trained in and understands graphic design.
The free online options help you create semi-professional looking images relatively quickly, but the feature sets are far behind what the pros use. I don’t own Photoshop and have only ever tried it out a few times, but those times were complete and utter failures.
Comparing the quality of working with a professional versus doing it myself, I quickly learned the value in hiring someone else to do my graphic work. It saves me time and leads to a better result. That’s a win-win if I’ve ever heard one.
As someone who takes on outsourced writing projects (that is how I ended up writing for Due, after all), I would be remiss if I didn’t include writing on this list. Some people have a natural gift for writing, and others have spent hours and hours honing their skills on the keyboard. While I like to think I have a combination of the two, for many people, writing just doesn’t come naturally. If you force it, the quality isn’t great. That’s okay. Just like I outsource graphic design, others need to outsource writing.
As a freelance writer, I work with an array of clients in the finance, technology, and travel industries. There are writers who specialize in just about everything. I have a cousin who writes for a bowling league. If there is someone available to write about bowling, there’s someone for your needs as well.
3. App and website development
Thanks to WordPress, launching a website is easier than ever. However, going beyond the basics does require some skills and technical knowledge. Don’t waste hours and hours and hours making simple website tweaks. Hire someone who can do it in a few minutes and move on with your life.
4. Email management
Not everyone has as much fun as Strongbad when checking email…
Email takes a log of time for business owners But it doesn’t have to be handled by you personally. Instead, an assistant can handle the majority of inbound messages while you only have to worry about the most sensitive or financial related emails.
While it can be scary to hand over the keys to your email, for business, it can make a lot of sense.
5. Social media
I am so busy writing that I hardly have time to write for social media, even though I know it is a great source of traffic and growth for my online business. I actually hired a virtual assistant about two months ago with a primary focus on helping with social media.
So far, she has been making images for Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter and working to increase my following and traffic from Pinterest, as it is apparently an untapped goldmine for many. I still run my own Facebook, personal Twitter account, and Instagram, but the VA has taken over the business accounts. So far, so good!
6. Outreach and marketing
Outreach is a secret part of SEO that many business owners ignore. However, Brian Dean from Backlinko and his legion of followers have proven the importance of outreach. It is key for marketing and link building, which will help drive traffic to your site.
Outreach is a perfect task for VAs. You can create templates for different scenarios, and the assistant just has to go find the places to contact and plug and play. To get even more bang for your buck, load that into a mail merge to send a ton of emails with one click.
7. Bookkeeping and taxes
I have the benefit of two finance degrees and enough accounting classes to practically call it a double major. Even worked as a Senior General Accountant (I was hired as a financial analyst) and got some great on the job training for accounting. I handle my books myself, but most people do not have a background in accounting and would benefit by hiring a trained bookkeeper or CPA to handle the financials.
Taxes are another place where it is easy to make mistakes, so getting someone that can handle taxes is another perfect place to outsource. While the preparation fees might be high, it will save you time and money in the long-run in most cases.
Stop trying to be Superman
It’s time to put an end to your entrepreneurial Superman Syndrome and hire out where you can improve your business through outsourcing. Of course, if your business is losing money you should wait until you are turning a profit before spending more. But if you are making money and want to grow, an assistant might be just what you need.
With all this talk about 10x in our business, it can be easy to forget the 2x and 3x opportunities. Getting more efficient with a VA is a step in the right direction.