Lee Matthew Jackson
Discovering the benefits of outsourcing
We often believe doing things ourselves is the most cost-effective way. This may have been true in the early days of setting up our agency, but as our businesses grow, the demand for our time increases.
Are we becoming bottlenecks by hanging onto menial tasks that could be outsourced? By insisting on doing things ourselves, are we costing the business money as we are unable to do more valuable tasks?
As the leaders of our businesses, our time is extremely valuable. Getting an expert to do a task they excel at frees you up to work on things that will bring more value into the business. You could “Save $30” an hour doing something yourself, but if that hour could have been spent winning a new contract… well you can do the math!
It’s worth testing if you can free up some of your time by outsourcing some of those tasks that distract you, or that others are reliant on being done ASAP. Here’s how we do it:
- List out all the regular tasks you perform
- Highlight those tasks that you find difficult or rob you of joy
- Select one or two of the easiest to explain tasks
- Record a video of what needs doing for that task or how
- Provide that to a contractor/freelancer to carry it out
- Rinse and repeat and develop a relationship
As the business owner I am no longer a bottleneck as items that would get stuck with me are now worked on externally. We’ve developed fantastic relationships and seeing the complexity of projects our contractors work on now-a-days is astounding. We’ve gone from basic administration duties to full content creation and editing.
Our output as an agency has massively increased and we’ve been able to develop time for marketing.
Welcome to episode five of season 43. My name is Lee and you are listening to Trailblazer FM. This season is focused on slight changes you make in your business for spectacular results. And the action of this episode is to select a small task and outsource it. So without further ado, let’s jump into the why. You see, we often believe doing things ourselves is the most cost effective way, and this have been true in the early days of setting up our agencies. But as our businesses grow the demand on our time increases. Are we becoming the bottlenecks by hanging onto those menial tasks that could be outsourced? It’s a great question. Let us know in the comments, what are your thoughts on that? By insisting on doing things sales are we costing the business money as we are unable to focus on those more valuable tasks. You are the leader of your business, the person who knows it inside and out, and you could be more effective speaking with potential clients than you could be doing the invoicing in Xero when frankly, somebody else could do that.
One thing that takes to all of my time has been looking through all of the outstanding queries that our financial director of centres and going through all of the receipts and emails. It takes me ages, I utterly hate doing it. And as a really poor use of my time, when I could simply outsource that administration. I must admit it felt jarring at first outsourcing these tasks, especially when sometimes someone might cost $30 an hour. I’m thinking I can do it for free. However, if I work out the cost of me not developing our pipeline as a business, well, we’re talking potentially thousands of pounds that we could be leaving on the table. It’s far better for me to focus on that pipeline and to pay $30 to somebody to do those things that distract me. All right, let’s jump into the how.
Now it’s worth testing if you can free up some of your time by outsourcing some of those tasks that do distract you, but are ridiculously simple to hand over. One of the biggest mistakes I made when I first started outsourcing was throwing some really complex projects at people because I was up against the wall, I had all of these deadlines and I needed somebody to save me. And unfortunately, that’s the worst way I could have done things. So here’s how we started outsourcing. Step one, list out all of the regular tasks that you perform. So start with you as the business owner. And this is something that can obviously filter down as well throughout the entire team. Next, highlight those tasks that you find difficult, or that just simply rob you of your joy. For me, it’s the receipts. Now select one or two of those tasks that you feel are the easiest to explain. Then record a video of what needs doing for that task.
And you can look at our other episode in this series that talks about documenting processes, simply by recording your screen. Next, provide a contractor or freelancer that video with any other instructions for them to carry out that task. Then of course you can rinse and repeat that process, adding more and more tasks and developing that relationship. The reason we are saying pick one task, i.e just that one slight change now is you’ll get a taste for outsourcing. You’ll see its benefits. You’ll do something simple. You’ll find a good contractor. You’ll be able to develop a relationship and eventually, they’ll be working on far more than just a few simple tasks. I believe the number one rule for any venture into outsourcing is to start simple then you can build that working relationship over time with those key contractors and freelancers. Let’s look at the results in our business.
As the business owner, I’m no longer the bottleneck as items that would normally get stuck with me are now worked on externally, which is freaking awesome. And we’ve developed some fantastic real relationships. And if I look now at the complexity of the projects that our contractors work on now, versus what they used to work on, it absolutely blows my mind. We’ve gone from real basic administration duties to full content creation processes and editing. All of these things we used to do in house, much of it I used to do and it would take us ages. The cool thing is our output has massively increased and we’ve been able to focus more on our marketing. In the show notes there are some resources for you to check out, including a couple of websites that you can find potential freelancers from. Whilst you are on the show notes on Trailblazer FM, be sure two letters, knowing the comments where you find your freelancers or contractors or your own experiences of outsourcing.
We also have a Facebook group, you can check that out on trailblazer.fm/group. And in November on the 10th, we’re meeting physically together here in the UK. You can find out more information on that on agencytransformation.live. Folks, if we don’t see you in the comments, if we don’t see you in the Facebook group, if we don’t see you at Agency Transformation Live, how about we see you in the next episode?