What jobs do you do in your business that you could give to somebody else? You’re either reading this and reeling off a long list of tasks, or thinking ‘there’s no-one else who can do my work’. If the second response is going through your mind, you are wrong my friend. I’ll give you an easy one to start with: your accounts. You don’t need or want to be doing those, unless you are an accountant.
Do you want to work fewer hours? Are there areas of your business you have no idea how to run or you wish you didn’t have to do? Do you want more freedom? I’m going to show you how to get it by identifying what to outsource to grow your business and reduce your workload.
What activities are essential to run and grow your business?
If you’re going to outsource, you need to know which tasks need doing. Have you ever stopped to think about all the things you do to run and grow your business? You’re going to do that now.
Grab a piece of paper or open a document on whatever device you use to take notes and start writing down a list of everything you do in your business. And I mean everything, from customer service activities to keeping your website up to date. If you’re not sure where to start, write down all the tasks you did last week. Don’t forget things you do once a month or once a quarter, as well as day to day, like reports.
When you’ve finished, go through the list and highlight all the ones you enjoy doing.
3 Lists to Freedom
Now you’re going to take that long list and use it to make three more lists. This is an exercise I call 3 Lists to Freedom. I’ve done this with coaching clients, and on stage, and it will help you identify the tasks you need to outsource.
Get another piece of paper and draw two lines down it to make three columns. Give them these headings:
- Tasks you don’t like doing
- Tasks you can’t do
- Tasks you shouldn’t do
I’m going to go through these, one by one and tell you what you need to write in each column.
List 1: tasks you don’t like doing
You’re going to start by writing a list of things you don’t like doing day to day, in column one. Look through all the activities you didn’t highlight on your long list of business activities and every time you come across one you can do but really don’t like, put it on this list.
It doesn’t matter if they take you 10 minutes or an hour. All of these jobs add up. For instance, you might not like scheduling social media posts but it only takes you 15 minutes a day, so you think it doesn’t make much difference. But multiply that by 5, and 15 minutes a day becomes an hour and 15 minutes a week. How often are you wishing for more hours in the day? You’ve just found one.
List 2: tasks you can’t do
Next up, you’re going to write down all the activities you struggle with. What do you have to figure out how to do? What are you currently searching the internet about?
I’m not saying you could never learn how to do these things but is doing that a good use of your time? No. Someone else who does this day in, day out, can do it better and faster than you. It’s a prime candidate for outsourcing. If you currently feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall with something, put it on this list.
List 3: tasks you shouldn’t do
This is for all the things you feel as a business owner you shouldn’t be doing. Which tasks should you simply never touch? Low-level tasks like uploading blog posts, captioning videos, or researching suppliers, take up valuable time you could be using elsewhere. There is no need for you, personally, to be doing them. You simply have to make sure they get done.
Here’s a generic example of what your lists might look like, taken from my book Virtual Freedom.
This is the blueprint you need to start working with virtual staff. Start by choosing one item from each of your lists that you need to delegate to someone else. Do what you do best and delegate the rest. Stop trying to do everything yourself. If you want to make a jump start on outsourcing check out our sister company, Virtual Staff Finder, who can do the searching, screening, testing and interviewing (for the most part) for you.
In my next article, I’m going to introduce you to the types of people who can help you with all the activities you have just listed as things you shouldn’t be doing.Do what you do best and delegate the rest. Stop trying to do everything yourself. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
Chris founded Youpreneur® in 2015. He is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author of the bestselling books “Virtual Freedom” and “Rise of the Youpreneur”. He hosts our weekly podcast, Youpreneur.FM, as well as our annual conference, the Youpreneur Summit. Chris is based in Cambridge, UK.