What should you outsource?

As you think about how and when to grow your business, you come to the decision point that inevitably hits any growing business - HOW do I grow to support the influx of business? Do I outsource? Hire employees? Employ a team of freelancers? Or do I consciously choose not to grow?

 Photo by  Tim Gouw  on  Unsplash

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Let’s assume that you are both ready to grow and choose to grow. Then you need to decide what you give up. As a founder of a growing company, there comes a point when you are no longer able to do all the things - something has to give.

That’s a difficult time for any founder - it means you have to trust someone else with your company, your baby. Someone who isn’t as invested in it as you are, and who might not do things exactly the same way you would.

And, for some of us, giving up control can feel a little bit like... 

But...if you outsource the right things to the right people it can be kind of magical. 

What do you outsource?

For the purpose of our discussion, outsourcing means tasks and responsibilities that you’re taking off your plate and putting them on someone else’s - whether that’s an employee, outsourcing to another business, or hiring contractors.

If you ask people on the street what you should outsource, you’re liable to get a bunch of different answers, but what to outsource (or outsource first) is different for every business owner.

Everyone has a unique zone of genius - where you thrive, you’re “in the flow” and no one can do what you’re doing better than you can. But that zone of genius is different for everyone. So, what you outsource, and in what order, should be different for every business owner or founder.

Outsource low value, repetitive tasks to machines

This is an easy win - low hanging fruit here. If you’re doing things that a machine can do, faster and better, let the machine do it.

If you’re spending time setting up folders on Google Drive when you bring on a new client or manually typing out the same email over and over, don’t bring on a VA to do these things for you, let a machine do it (yes, a machine can do these things).

Don’t hire an assistant to book meetings for you - use Calendly or Acuity to make it happen for you. You’d be amazed how much time you can save just automating the simple tasks - often enough to save a whole employee a whole year of work.

Feel free to hire employees (jobs are good for everyone), but hire them to do real, high-value work, not just menial tasks. 

Don’t outsource things in your zone of genius

Things that you are amazing at - that’s where you should focus your time. Protect time that you spend in your zone of genius, doing what you do in your unique and fabulous way. Don’t outsource this stuff.

You’ll be happier doing things you love and that you’re good at. Your company will do better because you’re happy and doing things you love and you’re good at.

@@You do you - don’t outsource you.@@

Outsource high-value things you’re not good at to a consultant or employee

This is where the real value in outsourcing is to be had. Not the things that you don’t want to do (or are afraid to do), but working with experts, operating in their OWN zone of genius and harnessing that to move your own business forward.

@@If you can find the right person, with the right expertise and use that to both build value in your company and move the needle forward, THOSE are the things you should outsource.@@

What does this look like?

We work with a lot of creative agencies at ScaleSpark. People who do amazing things in marketing, who create awesome designs or social media campaigns and drive sales. I know you’ll be shocked to hear that many of these folks aren’t that interested in spending the time to research and design their operational systems.

Creative people are in their zone of genius when they are being creative, not when they’re managing the tasks associated with that creation.

But… having good systems in place, that help manage that creation, that enables them to run more profitable agencies is both high value and creates growth for their business because they save so much time that they can bring on more clients.

Setting up your systems to automate and support growth is a perfect example of something to outsource.

Alternatively, my zone of genius lies is selecting and setting up systems. I love it, have a weird encyclopedia of SaaS tools in my brain and am just lazy enough to not want to spend my time doing low-value tasks, which means I’m constantly looking for ways to make managing businesses easier.

But… I’m still a baby when it comes to copywriting. I love writing, but it’s not my zone of genius (yet). When it comes to conversion copywriting, I’m still pretty hopeless. This is something that’s high value and will create growth for ScaleSpark (only if it’s done well) and is something that I should either hire a copywriter or bring in a consultant - one who specializes in writing conversion copy.

What you outsource is largely dependent on you and your business. The choices of what to outsource won’t be (and shouldn’t be) the same for everyone.