Uncover Tasks to Delegate

Uncover Tasks to Delegate

outsourceOne of the big challenges faced by many new entrepreneurs is the lack of good business support. We usually attempt to do everything, which inevitably leads to overwhelm, frustration and less than stellar results.
 
When you are first launching your business, you may believe that you need to operate on a shoestring budget. You are probably not making much money yet; consequently, you search for free or low-cost support options or plead with family and friends to help.  
 
I can relate…I have done my share of bartering.  But once you are past the initial start-up phase and are generating some income in your business, you really want to start outsourcing and delegating as much as possible. 
 
Your time is your most valuable asset. How much is your time worth? $25/hour?  $50/hour?  $100/hour?  $500/hour?  $1,000/hour?  You must know what this number is for you. Let’s just pretend that it is $50/hour.  Identify all of the routine and labor-intensive tasks that must be done in your business and personal life. For example, formatting and sending out newsletters, scheduling appointments, following up to secure speaking engagements, updating your website, running errands, house cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.  Your goal is to outsource the tasks that can be completed by someone else for less than $50/hour (or whatever your time is worth per hour).  
 
The following list is not exhaustive; however, it will give you some ideas of the areas where you will most benefit from delegation and getting outside support:
 

Get Coached

We all need accountability–someone who asks you how things are going and can be relied upon to  be there for you, reminding you of why you are expending all this time and energy on your business even when you get tired or overwhelmed or discouraged, and asking you what it will take to move you forward. When I started working with a new coach, I immediately felt a shift based on having this powerful new level of support.
 

Administrative Help

Handle telephone calls
Respond to email
Manage email autoresponses and forwarders
Manage your calendar
Schedule meetings
Word processing
Create manuals
Create systems
Bookkeeping and accounting
Invoicing tasks
Manage travel arrangements
Research potential joint venture partners
Follow up with joint venture opportunities
 

Household Responsibilities

Daily/Weekly Cleaning
Spring Cleaning
Meal preparation 
Grocery shopping
Pet care
Childcare
Homework/home schooling help 
Personal Taxes
 

Blog/Website Support

Create blog
Blog setup
Blog Maintenance
Add new content to your blog/site
Manage comments
Manage search engine optimization
Build links to your site
Technical programming
Secure guest bloggers
Research for blogging topics
Add/manage Ad Sense
 

Information Products

Create your product 
Proofread/edit products
Transcribe calls/webinars/Google Hangouts
Fulfill orders
Design product images
Create PowerPoint slides/presentations
Edit and optimize product images
Product production 
 

Online Sales

Install shopping cart
Customize shopping cart
Stock products
Edit products
Setup sales/promotions/coupon codes
Optimize images
Analyze sales data to determine which promos are working
 

Affiliate Program

Setup affiliate program
Create ad copy, banners, etc for affiliates
Recruit affiliates
Article Marketing
Ghostwrite articles
Submit articles to online directories
Submit articles to targeted blogs/sites
 

Customer Service

Return customer service phone calls/email
Enforce your policies
Install support/help desk and manage
Survey customers
Send customer thank you notes 
Contact past customers with sales or special emails
Manage customer database
 

Newsletter/Ezine/Autoresponders

Setup a newsletter/ezine 
Create a professional template for your newsletter/ezine
Send out your newsletter/ezine
Write auto responder messages
Setup auto responder messages
List newsletter/ezine in directories
Create print version to mail out
 

Social Networking

Post promotional tweets/Facebook status
Schedule Tweets
Setup and manage a Facebook Fan Page
Setup and manage online bookmarking 
 
 
Of course, not all of these areas fall into the category of "outsource to someone who charges less than your hourly rate" Some of these areas will require a larger investment larger  AND they are worth the it.
 
You may be thinking that you would love to get more support, but cannot afford it at this time.  I hear you and I  understand.  I went a long time without having good support or investing in my business and my business was flat.  I was not enjoying it.  I finally said "enough" and brought on a virtual assistant.  She is a huge gift and has become an integral part of my business.
 
I encourage you to do whatever it takes to make smart investments in your business.  Not only will those smart  investments pay off exponentially, but your willingness to invest correlates to clients showing up who are willing to invest in your services.  If you are not investing in your business, you attract people who also are not willing to invest. 
 
When you step up, commit and put your money where your mouth is, you attract clients who are willing to do the same.

This is the third post in a series about outsourcing.  You can find Part 1 here (definition), Part 2 here (rationale), and Part 4 here (costs).

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About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.

Comments

  1. That is quite an extensive list of entrepreneurial activities which I try to accomplish every week. I would love to get some help one day soon, so thank you for the inspiration!

    • My eyes immediately saw the ‘try’ in your comment Holly.  That is what I was doing–trying to to do all.  The fact of the matter was that I could not do it all.  I could be the coach, facilitator, writer, graphic designer, programmer, bookkeeper, customer service, etc.  It was just impossible.  I hope that you get the help you need soon 🙂 

      Rachel recently posted…Top 4 Reasons to OutsourceMy Profile

  2. In my case, my time as a writer is worth some place between zero and thirty-three dollars an hour. Unfortunately, due to my wife’s hours being cut and my business being so new, every dime I can spare has to go to the household budget. I look forward to the day that I can start delegating stuff to paid personnel.
    Morgan Eckstein recently posted…Mother, may I? (31-HP Day 28)My Profile

    • I hear you Morgan and I said that a lot in the beginning of my business.  My business coach would always just say to me “you cannot afford to outsource because you are not outsourcing”.  For the longest time, I just ignored her. But once I started to outsource, I understood what she meant.

      Rachel recently posted…Top 4 Reasons to OutsourceMy Profile

  3. I agree, I am an author too and my writing is only worth what people want to pay… But this is helpful Informatuon, thank you!
    Caro Ness recently posted…Princess KhutulunMy Profile

  4. I totally agree with the thinking behind delegating. But delegating is hard.
    I am a control freak but I recently decided to hire a publicist to launch my last book. I thought it would help and free up some of my time.
    In practice I spend so much time chasing what they were doing it would have been easier to do it myself and it was certainly not cost effective.
    suzanna recently posted…Top YA books for Hallowe’enMy Profile

    • I can relate Suzanna, as I am a Recovering Control Freak.  I realized that a Control Freak comes from a place of believing that they do it best and that no one else could possibly do the work as well as they could.  While this may be somewhat true, it is a dangerous space to be due to the potential of getting caught in a trap of doing the wrong work. They will spend so much time and energy on all the “behind the scenes” stuff, that they do not have time to actually grow their business and deliver their services. For me, this led to lots of frustration, long working hours and, ultimately, burnout. 

      Rachel recently posted…Where Will You Be in Six Months?My Profile

  5. Renew Your Space
    Twitter:
    :

    I totally get this! I finally started delegating this year and it has paid off big time! There are many online services out there that are more affordable that we think! ~Renee
    Renew Your Space recently posted…Home Organizing Project {Week 11} – The Master BedroomMy Profile

    • I, too, was pleasantly surprised  at most of the rates Renee…but the freedom was priceless!

  6. Rachel,
    I have dabbled in having assistance. Sometimes it’s worked out, sometimes not. Mostly it is a financial conversation I’m having with myself – is it worth it? Will it pay for itself. Guess there is only one way to find out. Walk the plank and take a step.

    Thanks for your input today.

    RICK
    Rick Lelchuk recently posted…Is this a Good Meal?My Profile

    • That is true for me also Rick–it has not always worked out. What I struggle must with is letting go of control and remembering that there is more than one way to do things. Do I still cringe? You betcha!

  7. That’s a whole lot of tasks. I hope I don’t have to do that job for my blog. But then I’m just starting so I have no idea what’s waiting for. I’m literally going with the flow.

    How would delegate social networking? Don’t you want your fans and audience to connect with the real you?

    Ps: my price per hour is… PRICELESS

    • Some people outsource social media to a social media marketer.  Supposedly they are more adept at helping you get the most bang for your buck. I personally prefer a personal voice in my social media so it is imperative that I make an appearance.  I do not feel that using shortcuts in this area will grow my following or engage my audience and perhaps would even destroy some of the relationships that I have worked so hard to build.
      The Online Biz Boomer Babe recently posted…Decide to Sprout Your BusinessMy Profile

  8. Lisa Barton :

    I am getting to the point that I will need to start delegating soon, I only have around 25 hours a week to work in and my commitments seem to take double – either I am very slow or I am taking on too much. I have research articles months old to read lined up in my in box still, no doubt out of date by the time I get round to them. Your list is fabulous and I wonder which points can be deemed a priority and which (like the cleaning 😉 have to remain are a nicety for now 🙂
    Lisa Barton recently posted…10 easy & fun Halloween craft ideas – day 10 Washi pumpkins & Halloween housesMy Profile

    • I have a three-question criteria Lisa to decide what to outsource:

      (1) Do I have expertise in this area? If not, I would locate an expert.

      (2) Do I procrastinate about this task and why? Procrastinate usually indicates lack of knowledge or skill set to do a good job at it.

      (3) Do I dread doing this task? If I do not want to do it, why would I do it?