How to Outsource Work to Get it All Done
With the digital age, business models are changing and you no longer have to have a series of cubicles in a large office in order for your business to be productive and profitable. Your team can be anywhere in the world and you aren’t constrained to the talent in your local area for your hiring needs (two of the people on my team who I communicate most with during the day are in Colorado while I’m over in Kansas City).
What does that mean for you as a consultant? You are able to deliver results for your clients by orchestrating many moving parts, services, and team members without the need to add overhead. You have the ability to run an extremely profitable business as a solo practitioner. Your endless to-do list can finally get taken care of because you can outsource the help you need.
Exciting times! Let me show you how.
The Producer Model
With the Producer Model, you are able to be profitable without building a traditional infrastructure or business (although this model will work with traditional organizations). What this means for marketing consultants is that you are able to build and own the plan, you can delegate the tactics and implementation, meaning you don’t have to do what isn’t absolutely essential for you to delegate time to, which will free up time to strategize around scaling your business.
The importance of delegation
What many people don’t realize is that there is an art to delegating. It doesn’t always come naturally or easily to people. To effectively delegate, you must:
- Be able to let go – Trust is key to outsourcing and learning to let go of control is a must. For all Type A people reading this, I know this can be difficult, but it’s a must if you want your business to grow.
- Have a vision and be able to articulate it – Not only is it important to know where you want your business to go, you must be able to succinctly describe it to others as well so that there isn’t any ambiguity when it comes to delegating. Your outsourced team must have a clear image in mind of what you see for the future of the company so that they can help you get there. The more thorough you are, the smoother the delegation process will go, which will allow you to scale faster.
- Develop a process and routine for delegation – What’s a post from me without mentioning systems or processes? Using a project management tool, such as Asana, is a great way to manage your outsourced tasks. In addition to documenting your process in a place that is easy to reference, consider establishing a routine for your outsourced team as well. This will make your outsourced team more likely to hit the deadlines and provide what you’re looking for, without you having to dedicate a ton of time to checking in and follow-ups.
Prioritizing which tasks to outsource
While outsourcing is key to scaling your business, there are some things you should delegate and other things you should not, but deciding which bucket to put these tasks in is hard. To get started:
- Take an inventory of everything you do today and everything there is to do in your business.
- Categorize – For each of the tasks, decide:
- What it is that you don’t want to do, can’t do, shouldn’t do, and must do
- For each task, ask yourself if you could get somebody else to do it less expensively or with greater output than if you just did it on your own.
- Prioritize – Figure out what you can quickly and easily delegate and then move forward from there. Outsourcing won’t be perfect at first so it’s important to just dive in, test your process, and learn as you go.
What you shouldn’t delegate
Now, don’t get too excited, you shouldn’t delegate all of your tasks. There are a few things consultants should hold on to, including:
- Processes and company vision
- Strategy for both your consultancy and clients
- Closing deals (especially if you’re a small business)
- Client relationships – They hired you. Let them interact with you. While you can add people to your team to help with this client, be sure to be present and don’t just abandon them once the deal is closed.
- Hiring – At the end of the day, it’s you and your business’s reputation on the line. Outsourcing really only works if you have a team you can trust, so be thorough in your search.
- Finances – You at least need to track financially and make the ultimate decisions on large expenses or investments.
Virtual roles to consider for your business
The positions you need to fill will depend on the focus of your consulting business, but in general, the following roles are often needed to get the work done for your clients (I’ve also included a few resources to look into for a few of the categories):
- Project manager
- Personal assistant – Virtual assistants are a great way to go!
- Content writer
- SEO/Digital marketer
- Graphic/Web designer/Web developer
- Audio/video editor
- PPC management
When it comes to outsourcing, often times the biggest hurdle is just getting out of your own way. As mentioned, trust is essential and the faster you can let go of the tasks that you genuinely don’t have to do, the faster you can focus on scaling.
What benefits have you experienced with outsourcing? Any issues you’ve run into thus far?
If you liked this post, check out our Guide to Building a Small Business Marketing Consulting Practice.