By Matt Newman
While some businesses start with a high level of funding and a significant number of employees, most have to bootstrap their way to success. Entrepreneurs are used to starting businesses and having to learn a wide array of skills. In fact, many business owners get so used to working across the entire company that they are reluctant to delegate. In order to really grow a business, though, you can't do everything yourself. One of the most important ways of scaling up is to outsource elements of your business to workers with expertise in a specific field. So how can you identify which tasks in your business are best suited for outsourcing?
Most businesses will have a number of tasks that produce most of their income. You probably won't want to outsource these tasks in the beginning as they are critical to your survival. Isolate these important tasks, leaving you with various other factors that are not so crucial. You may find, for example, that you are reliant on Facebook advertising for the bulk of your traffic, so might want to operate this internally. However, there may be smaller aspects of the process, such as graphic design, that you could outsource and save time.
Think about the tasks that take up most of your time on a daily basis. Write a list of these tasks, noting an approximate amount of time you spend on a weekly basis. In many cases, much of this work won't be critical to your success. Outsourcing could then free up a number of hours that could be spent on new activities. The most important and knowledgeable people in a business should be spending their time on building and growing the operation, so be wary of spending chunks of time on general activities.
An entrepreneur starting a new business will get the chance to try a lot of different tasks. You can quickly see what you are good at and where you struggle. You can spend countless hours trying to overcome deficiencies in certain areas, but you could instead focus on improving your main skills. If you struggle with web and graphic design, for example, it will be more productive to outsource these skills, letting you work on the areas where you excel.
Most jobs have aspects that you like and dislike. As an entrepreneur, you need to be a self-starter and highly motivated. Working on areas you dislike can sap your energy, reducing the effectiveness of your work. When you enjoy what you are doing, though, you can keep focus and discipline. After working on your business for a while, you should have a clear idea of the tasks you like and dislike. Look for opportunities to outsource the work you gain no pleasure from, with the exception being if it is a critical activity. Similarly, keep working on the tasks you enjoy unless they require a lot of time and are not particularly productive.
Outsourcing is one aspect of building an online business that is often ignored. You may grow to a stage where you can build a dedicated workforce, with each employee having expertise. In many cases, though, you won't need or feel comfortable taking on new employees when you have smaller tasks to be completed. Outsourcing these elements of your business ensures you get the job done well, freeing up your time to focus on the most profitable area. There is a huge amount of talent across the globe, so look for ways to introduce outsourcing into your business.
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