When it comes to outsourcing in your business one thing’s for sure, every expert and online course agrees that outsourcing is one of the keys to business success. What is often missing is information on how to actually undertake this process of outsourcing, in a way that works for you and your business.
Outsourcing was key for growing my first small business. I was a busy mum, still working full time, and growing my side hustle. I simply didn’t have the time or energy to be doing everything. I also knew that there were aspects of my business that I was just not that great at.
But working out how to outsource successfully was really a process of trial and error. It doesn’t have to be difficult, but you do have to have a plan for how you go about it.
So let’s look at the 10 steps for successfully outsourcing in your business.
Step 1- Nail Your Brand
Before you can even think about outsourcing, you really need to nail your brand. When it comes to branding most people think about images, logos, colours and formats, but there is so much more to a successful brand that needs to be provided to someone who is going to do work for you. An often missed piece of the brand puzzle is copy. You need to be thinking about the style of language that resonates with your audience. Is it OK for someone to swear? Or is it more appropriate to use professional language? You can’t expect someone to be able to undertake social media posts for your business, for example, if they don’t have a clear idea of the way that you talk to you audience. Making sure that your brief includes information about not just the imagery of your brand but also the way that your brand voice speaks to your audience is so important in making sure that the work that is delivered by somebody else still fits within your brand.
Any uncertainty that you have about your brand, will only be amplified by someone else trying to recreate it.
Step 2- Identify Your Needs
Get specific about particular tasks that you wish someone to undertake for you. Think about the tasks in your business that are outside of your zone of genius, the things that take you time, the things that aren’t in the realms of profit production, the things that cost you time.
Start with a specific task to focus on outsourcing. Take some time to step out how you undertake the task, or what aspects there are that make up the task. Think about everything that the Freelancer is going to need in order to be able to undertake that task. This might include password access, access to a particular online program, access to your Facebook business manager, and so on.
Step 3- Create the Brief
Using the information gathered above you can then move forward with creating a brief. A brief is a document that clearly outlines exactly what it is that you wish the Freelancer to do for you. It includes
- how the task is done
- the timeframes
- ways of communication
- any other specific requirements of this particular task
Step 4- Find the Talent
There are lots of great places to find freelancers. I have personally used Upwork very successfully, as well as found talent in local business Facebook groups. There are a few key tips to finding the right person for your business.
- Be clear on the skills they need
- Try to find someone with those skills already or who shows promise in the particular area that you’re looking for help
- Don’t be afraid to ask for examples of their previous work
- Always try to interview face-to-face or by video (it is harder to hide)
A quick example of using the ad to filter talent is simply asking them to email you a resume with a specific subject line. It’s not difficult, it doesn’t take any extra time for
Step 5- Go For Feel
I cannot stress how important it is to get a feel for the Freelancer that you are thinking of hiring. Use your gut instinct, just as much as their skills, to make a decision as to who is right for your business. Don’t be afraid to have a multi-faceted selection process and don’t rush the process.
Step 6- Plan For Moving Forward
Once you have selected your Freelancer, meet with them to discuss the brief, and ensure that you are on the same page with areas such as payment, deadlines, communication etc. Be open to answering any and all of their questions, and be prepared, there will probably be many! Clarity at this point will really save time later.
Step 7- Schedule Time to Train
Even if your Freelancer seems extremely experienced, your task will have slight differences to what they have worked on before. In order for the relationship to be successful, and the work to be delivered the way you want it, you need to schedule time to be available to the Freelancer, to train them and to work with them on the task.
Special note: if this is a task that will be recurring, that you are expecting them to do on an ongoing basis, the minutes and hours that you put in at the beginning making sure that things are being done the way that you would like them to be done, will save you hours and weeks of time in the long run. So don’t rush it. Prioritise the time now!
Step 8- Monitor Work and Give Feedback
Often we associate the word feedback with negativity, but in the case of working with a Freelancer, it is absolutely your responsibility to monitor the work that’s being done. Give honest and constructive feedback. Make sure that you give positive feedback, as well as negative feedback. Be appreciative of the hard work that they have put into the task.
Step 9- Pay Well and On Time
It is often said that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. I am not always sure this is the case with freelancers. Some of the best work that I have had done has not necessarily cost me the most. My advice with payment is to be generous, and to pay on time, every time.
Step 10- Have a Responsibility Mindset
When it comes to your business you are 100% responsible for everything that happens. When it comes to managing freelancers, and ensuring that you get the work that you need, you are also 100% responsible.
Now you might be thinking: what is she talking about? How can I be responsible for what a Freelancer delivers?
Well let me tell you how.
You are responsible for the brief, the hiring, the training, the monitoring, the feedback. In fact, you are responsible for every part of this journey. Getting what you need comes down to how well you choose, prepare, train, monitor, and give feedback to the Freelancer.
And once you have this mindset, you will Outsource for Success, every time. And not because everything will always be perfect, but because you will always be learning, perfecting, and working through the process to make it better.
Working with an amazing team that helps you build your business is a key to growth, income and most importantly impact. So start growing yours today, one person and task at a time. And reap the benefits of being able to outsource for success.
About the Author – Caroline is a small business owner, and mum to 2 gorgeous little ladies. For quite a while, she went it alone, doing all the things, and feeling that she was trading all her time for zilch. After hearing so many people talk about outsourcing, but not being sure where to start, she finally took the leap, and never looked back. Her step-by-step approach to successful outsourcing was the key to her success, and she is convinced it will be the key to yours too. Caroline now spends her time helping other mums with small businesses achieve their wildest dreams, by creating teams that are high-performing and results-driven, that serve their mission, and free their time so they can soar. Learn more at her website, Outsource For S
To connect with business owners, freelancers, and more, check out my Facebook group Australian Business Collaborative and start your outsourcing journey.
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