5 tips to help your business systemise and outsource
So you’ve decided it’s time to outsource your time-consuming business tasks and those projects as Marie Condo would say, that don’t ‘spark joy’.
You’re not alone, in Australia, numerous businesses are seeing the value in outsourcing significant parts of their work to online business services/outsourcing partners, as it brings in expertise from outside the business to assist with a specific project or manage a specific function, when required.
Outsourcing is an effective business strategy used by companies in all industries to run a cost effective and efficient business and is instrumental in business growth. However, for it to be effective, it’s important to do the groundwork first.
Here are 5 tips to help your business systemise and outsource like a pro.
1. Determine the tasks that you want to outsource
As a small business owner, you’re likely to be wearing many hats, to drive growth in your business, its vital you assess which tasks are not core to your business function, and systemise where possible and outsource the remainder. The first step is to record all the tasks which are NOT core to your business function.
You then need to assess which of these tasks take the most time to complete? Remember your time is money. The person you are hiring will, in most cases cost less per hour than you charge. By delegating the time-consuming tasks, you have allowed yourself the room to focus on your big picture business growth.
Next, write down at any tasks you don’t enjoy doing. If any tasks give you a sense of overwhelm or frustration, they should be outsourced, leaving you space to be a happier, healthier and more focused CEO.
Lastly, maybe there are tasks, which you actually enjoy doing and its not overly time-consuming, it may even be central to your business function, but you are now getting so busy you need an extra pair of hands now and then to help you out. Maybe you’re going away on holidays and need someone to hold down the fort? Sign up for our free template to help document your tasks.
2. Systemise your tasks
Before you outsource, assess if any tasks can be systemised. For example, if you are taking all the phone calls from prospect clients, diarising initial meetings and sending meeting invitations, consider using a booking system instead, e.g Calendly or Acuity. This allows your customers to book a meeting time which works best for them, (you’ve already set your available time), it will automatically place the booking into your calendar for you both, and can integrate with an online meeting tool like Skype or Zoom.
If you are emailing the same response to multiple customers, then set it up as an automated template. This can even be done using Gmail with canned responses. Use the systems you’re currently using and enhance them to work for you.
3. Document your processes
Once you’ve recorded all business tasks on a spreadsheet, document processes for all the tasks you intend to
outsource. An easy way to do this to log in to Zoom and record yourself actually doing the task, it will record your voice your computer screen, then save it to a folder with a clear naming convention e.g.: ‘Business name_taskname_processes_year’.
4. Define the project scope clearly
To set up your outsourced project for success, always start with a clear statement of the outcome you want to achieve. Define your requirements clearly. Your outsource partner will need accurate complete information to provide a quality proposal covering requirements, time frame and cost.
Information to provide:
1) What is the process for the task (as above)
2) What is the deadline or the priority for this task?
3) What documents, contacts, logins or other resources are needed to do the task?
4) Are there any risks or dependencies that may hold up task completion?
By relaying as much relevant and concise information as possible to your virtual assistant, you will increase clarity and accuracy and reduce overwhelm.
5. Build the trust – Start outsourcing with small tasks
In order to grow your business, outsourcing is essential. However, as a small business owner, you have a vested interest to provide the BEST service possible to your customers, so it can be daunting to trust someone to take on your work.
“If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate.” Richard Branson.
To outsource work to your virtual assistant, involves trust they hold the same service and ethical values as you do. Using an outsourcing partner from your own country and background, with English as a first language and where you can validate references, or certifications with ease can help mitigate some of these concerns.
Consider doing a trial run with smaller tasks, before you make a long-term commitment. You will be able to ascertain if your outsource partner’s capabilities, communication and ethics are matched to your expectations and vice versa. Be prepared to put in time and effort to train and explain at the beginning, you won’t immediately have extra time but it won’t be too long before you will soon be reaping the benefits.
Open communication is key and as your business relationship evolves, provide feedback and solicit feedback from your outsource partner. Keeping an open line of communication is vital to ensure everyone is on the same page and expectations are being met on both sides.
At Versatile VA you can access customer centric, experienced virtual assistants and online business managers any time you need it without the costs of having an employee. By staying focused on your core business function and outsourcing the rest, you can free up your time to get the balance back and scale your business.