I wondered, what keeps us from getting things done?
So I asked my Facebook group:
I would love to know what is YOUR biggest challenge to GETTING IT ALL DONE?
“Determining what and how to outsource, streamlining email process (where I am getting buried and losing things that need my attention because I get focused on things that really don't).“
No matter if you own a business with 1000s of employees or are a solo-entrepreneur trying to figure out how to work with their first support person, delegation can be tough.
Today, I'll share some thoughts on outsourcing/delegation and an example of how I saved 2.5 hours a week with one simple change.
Delegation — “But it takes longer to explain it than to do it myself!”
That is one myth that plagues many business owners. Start by taking it one step at a time. Often we get overwhelmed because we think we have to do it all at once! That is just not so.
Schedule 20 minutes this morning and
1) identify 5 things that you know you need not be doing yourself that others could be doing.
2) Identify who could be doing them.
Work to get processes documented and things outsourced for those 5 things. Then, when that is complete, do it again. Baby steps will actually get you there faster than if you try to do it all at once. You do so many amazing things! The more you can let others help you, the stronger and farther your message can go!!
Answer to – “I Don't Have Enough Work to Hire an Employee”
If you look at step 1 above and know that there are things that you could do, but you don't believe you have enough work to justify a full-time or even part-time employee, there are alternatives! Here is a really quick list:
- Find someone in your local community that is looking for a few hours a week and hire them. This option will require that you pay employment taxes etc.
- Go to a local college and hire an intern. This option works great if you are patient and like working with people that are in a learning mode.
- Go to a local college and partner with one of their departments on a class project. Let's say you have some market research that you want done. You could partner with a marketing class to have them work on the project over the course of the semester.
- Hire a Virtual Assistant (VA). A VA is a business owner that specializes in providing administrative services. I have been working with VAs for years and find it to be an excellent experience. Normally, when you work with a VA, you work with an individual that is the same on every project; however, you are sharing their time across their other clients.
- Contract with a VA service. A VA service is a company that has a number of employees that work on tasks for you. You submit your requests to the company and they assign the work.
Example of How I Saved 2.5 Hours A Week With ONE Task Delegated
I've been using VAs for years, but mostly for big projects, not for task related work.
I have recently begun using TimeSvr. They found me on Twitter and responded to a few of my tweets. Over time I got curious about their services and started asking them questions. (More on that in a minute.)
I originally started using their services as research for a blog post just to see how they work. I had signed up for their f~ree trial and did not expect to go much further after the post was done. I have been so happy with results that I've continued working with them.
Their service is based on Task delegation. Anything that can be completed in 15-20 minutes is considered a task. You can have unlimited tasks a day at a subscription of $69 per month.
Here is an example of how I saved 2.5 hours a week using them:
I record a podcast every business morning. I used to download that mp3 from cinch and then upload it to my audio acrobat account to get it on my podcast and itunes with keywords description etc as well as publish to facebook, etc.
That process took 20-30 minutes a day. It was not difficult work. I did other things in-between the download and upload times, etc. But that time added up!
About 2 months ago I handed this to TimeSvr. I wrote out the steps for them to do all the downloading and uploading, etc. Now they do all of that stuff and I spend 5-10 minutes a day recording my tip and I'm done. YIPPEE!
I also have them doing things like a monthly backup of my blog, managing following and un-following on twitter, internet research, keyword research, etc. They have figured out my travel options too.
I took 1 hour and sat down and defined all of the task type stuff that I was doing — that small stuff that I don't think about but should not do — and created steps and scheduled it out for them.
Resources to Get You Going
- TimeSvr – http://www.timesvr.com/?src=2002 if you want to check them out.
- VAs on Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/StephCalahan/virtual-assistants – As I run into a virtual assistant on twitter, I add them to this list.
- Learn how to hire with confidence – http://steph.bz/HowVA If you are considering hiring a Virtual Assistant but you are not sure where to start then this is the resource for you. My friend and colleague Marcia Hoeck created an awesome program to help you learn how to hire the RIGHT VA for you.
So, what do you delegate or outsource? I know your thoughts will help others that are reading this post, so share without restriction ok? If you are a VA, please share your thoughts on activities that are great for delegation.
Live Fully -- Love Openly -- Laugh Often -- Leverage Your Brilliance -- Connect Authentically -- Get Your Message Out -- Serve with Impact -- Prosper Everyday
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. That means that I may get a small thank you commission (at no additional cost to you) if you choose to purchase a product from the company mentioned. I only refer you to programs that are ran by people I personally know or I have participated in, but please use your judgement to decide if this is right for you. If you would prefer that I not get that, feel free to Google the company and purchase directly.