There’s a drive to conquer huge to-do lists and work the moment you’re away until passing out at the desk. But, there’s a finite time for daily business activities and stretching yourself too thin is doing more damage than good.
I like to think of this as the “busy work trap”.
It’s the thrill of business and wanting to do everything because you never had the chance. It’s new and exciting. You want to have the final say since you’re now the boss. Plus, you want to keep costs low.
Let’s get real: Most extra activities you take on will come out lackluster at best.
A Very Real Example of Stretching Oneself Too Thin
My schedule looked like this:
- Up at 10 am, down a pot of coffee, plan my day.
- Start first “block” of work from 11 am – 5 pm.
- Short break to have food around 5 pm.
- Back at it with the second “block’ from 6 pm – 4 am.
The severe lack of downtime was starting to weigh heavily on my physical and mental health. Relationships began to strain, and I felt like a prisoner of my own work.
I have a feeling there’s a couple of you out there also in this busy work trap.
I changed a few things to free time (and mental energy) – which were:
Outsource These 5 Things to Make Your Work and Life (Much) Easier
You must realize your skills are limited – you’re appealing to your ego when you’re trying to conquer everything when you’d get more value from outsourcing than keeping it in-house.
What are these things to outsource?
There are several reasons to use CPA services:
- Expert navigation of the tax system to get the highest returns.
- Lowering costs by paying per service vs. by hour with an employee.
- Improving accuracy by having extra verification points.
- Freeing yourself from tedious bookkeeping and payroll.
Professional bookkeeping has an average cost of $30-$40 an hour. An hour or two a week keeps it under $200 a month. This is far lower than keeping an employee on the payroll.
Consistency is important with marketing efforts. Bootstrapping your digital marketing works fine when starting out but becomes a pain when you find yourself engrossed in the daily operations.
- Create an outline/standard for your brand voice.
- Develop a content and social marketing calendar.
- Use social media tools to define and schedule the efforts.
- Hand the blueprint to a third-party.
The blueprint will help those taking over align with your principles and goals. A small budget of $200-$500/monthly is enough to maintain social media efforts.
You could consider hiring new personnel for the warehouse but that means paying a salary and a host of other expenses. Or, you could outsource the work through fulfillment centers.
There are several fulfillment services:
- Fulfilment by Amazon
- FedEx Fulfillment
You send products to these locations and they’ll handle their picking, packing, and shipping for a flat-rate fee or per item cost.
Hand-craft the personal posts you’d like to share but stay open to outsourcing:
- Video creation
- Infographic design
- Long-form content
- Guest blogging articles
- Social media updates
Create a content calendar and guidelines (like before). Use freelancers or content creation services to create content related to your industry (think: $20-$50 for a post on average). Publish the work and reap the organic search benefits. This will save you dozens of hours if you published each week.
Keep a few salespeople in-house to handle close, business relationships.
- Create and use an affiliate program to convert customers into sales reps.
- Work with companies to do targeted print or online campaigns.
- Bring on brand ambassadors to sell at conferences and local events.
Create strong sales funnel through optimization. Then, provide the tools and resources. Offer a base commission for each sale and they’ll scale their effort appropriately.
Your turn: What business activities are you willing to outsource to save time and money?
The article was written by Jane Brown, content contributor to Founder’s Guide.