I’m always banging on about the benefits of outsourcing but how could I really know what it was like to outsource until I’d done it myself?
I was in a position where I was struggling to switch off, I had tasks that needed doing every day and my working hours were full but I’d not factored in additional time for my own planning, social media and down time, I was even missing lunch breaks… After 2 holidays where I worked even though I was meant to be on a break I knew something needed to change. My business was doing well I was growing, I was earning but I hadn’t realised my WHY…. which was work life balance, flexibility and being present with my young family.
After working with many clients, in all different industries, of varying personality types with differing levels of communication I had a good idea on what a VA would need from me and what I would need from them in order to get the best possible results for us both.
Here are my top 5 tips to outsourcing for the first time.
Figure out what you want!
Write down the things you enjoy doing and those you earn from! These are the areas you want to spend most of your time. How much is an hour of your time worth? If you could run a coaching session for £100 or sign up a new client for your course at £500 in 60 minutes, should you really be spending an hour scheduling social media, inputting data, making bookings or proof reading when you can pay someone else £30 an hour to take care of it for you while you spend your time more wisely? No!
I swear by Loom videos, Trello and regular catch ups. Be clear on what you want from your VA, take out the guess work. If you have a process you like done in a certain way or you have a system your VA hasn’t used before share your knowledge. It saves time and creates a strong relationship quickly. If you were to employ someone there would be a training and induction period – share as much information about yourself, your goals and what you expect from your freelancer.
Work with someone who compliments your skills.
Both my associates Janette and Lauren are marketing trained and very detailed. This gives my business an extra level of skill and they challenge me to think about tasks in a different way which I love. They are also better than me at very detailed and design tasks which works well alongside the fast pace and varied tasks where I thrive. They are the introvert to my extrovert which means together we work well with all types of clients.
Work with someone you like and feel a connection with. It’s so important to enjoy the process and the working relationship. I look forward to speaking with both my associates in the same way I look forward to speaking with my clients. The feeling should be mutual and with a 2 way respect.
Give it time.
I’d say it takes a minimum of 3 months to grow the relationship and trust. Start with simple and straight forward tasks to really get a feel for how things will work. Honesty is so important here too.
Ultimately a freelancer wants to see your business thrive and you gain a sense of work life balance. You have a common goal and that’s a great thing! If you have been considering hiring a freelancer for a while I would say go for it! Do your research and speak to a few different people to see who you feel most comfortable with.
Outsourcing some of my work has given me a sense of work life balance and confidence that I didn’t have before. It means that my business can continue to grow whilst my stress levels don’t! its great to know I have a little team around me that always has my back!
If you are feeling overwhelmed and would like to hand over some of your admin tasks then please contact me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a virtual coffee and let’s see if we are a good fit.