As a business owner, CEO or business manager, you are the very core of your business. You have the vision, the desire, the drive to grow your business and to achieve your goals… But you can’t do it all – nor should you, and that is the key!
In this blog, I’ll help show you how to ensure you’re spending your time on the tasks that will drive your business forward, and how to work out which tasks can be delegated or outsourced – freeing up your time so you can focus on your priorities and growing your business.
Step 1: Identify your zone of genius
The first step is to identify your zone of genius. Take some time to think about what you’re an expert in, what you love doing in your business, and what you're good at. Perhaps you’re the creative on which the business is built. Maybe you’re the glue that holds it all together; coordinating and managing lots of different elements and projects which make up your business.
What is it that’s your zone of genius and what would help you get better results?
When doing this exercise, it’s useful to think back to why you started, what your vision was for your business, what did you want to do this? All too often we start with a dream and then when we get sucked into the day-to-day, falling further and further down the rabbit hole of ‘busy’ and the genius we have gets absorbed by all the things that come with the basics of running a business. Step away!
Step 2: Identify your pain points
The second thing to do is listing your ‘pain points’. What tasks set your soul on fire and which definitely do not? What tasks do you consider as necessary evils, that need to be done but frustrate you? What jobs in your business take you three times as long as they should because they aren’t in your zone of genius?
We often think about our clients’ pain points and how we can help solve them but forget about our own. Knowing these is essential in growing a strong, stable business because they feed into outsourcing wisely. Which leads us onto...
Step 3: Do what you do best and outsource the rest
Once you’ve identified your zone of genius and your pain points, you can look at what you should, could and will outsource. This is where the magic begins to happen!
I’ll warn you now, outsourcing is uncomfortable at first, and you’ll almost 100% need to do it before you’re ready. But trust me, it’s the only way you can grow a thriving and solid business without burning out.
Ok so, what were those things you enjoy doing? What are the things you can let go of? What things do you like doing but take up too much time? Perhaps there are some things that will cost you more in time spent learning than in paying for an expert to deliver?
There’s a key process to use when thinking about outsourcing; Do, Delegate, Ditch.
- The stuff you love doing and want to keep hold of and the things that (honestly) only you can do? These are the tasks you Do.
- What are the tasks you can do and perhaps enjoy but could easily be done by someone else and will free up your time to work on the essential ‘you’ tasks? These ones fall in the Delegate pile.
- And what stuff isn’t essential, doesn’t have any impact on your business right now and are a waste of time or money at the moment? These we Ditch. (This doesn’t have to be forever, just for now or until the time comes when they become a more productive business task).
A few examples of great tasks to outsource include:
- Admin – paying a virtual assistant (VA) to do simple admin tasks for you often saves you so much money if you work out how much you’re paying yourself to do these tasks.
- Techie tasks – are these tasks taking too much of your time? Would it be cheaper to outsource to a tech expert who does this day in, day out and will get you the best results rather than losing days of your time and heaps of mental energy struggling to do it yourself? I’m going to say a big yes here!
- PR, copywriting, content creation - perhaps you’re not sure how to do PR or you haven’t got existing relationships with journalists? Maybe you’re not that confident in selling yourself in person or in writing and feel tongue-tied on the phone? Wouldn’t it be more business savvy to outsource this task to someone who does this every day and can get you the results that will boost your business and your brand awareness strategically and successfully?
- Social media - if hashtags, algorithms, engagement and lives baffle you or fill you with fear, consider outsourcing to a pro. Social media experts do more than just post pretty pictures, they use their expertise to deep dive into your brand, your audience, your analytics, everything that you need to do to be successful on social.
Step 4: Balancing the books
Now of course, in the first couple of years you’re going to have to do more things in your business yourself compared to years three-five. But as your business grows, the only way to allow it to flourish is to focus on staying in your zone of genius and outsourcing where you can.
This will enable you to get more time, perhaps the most sought after commodity. All of your jobs still get done but you can focus on your priorities and what is going to move your business forward.
Spending more time working ON your business rather than IN it is essential.
This is the key.
A business coach gave me a great tip a few weeks ago: if you’re feeling overwhelmed with your to-do list, looking after everything in your business and not sure where to start, what to do and what you can outsource - you’re in analysis paralysis.
So, to get some clarity, you need to think about the different tasks and assign them a value. They become £10 tasks, £100 tasks, and £1000 tasks:
£1000 tasks are the essential tasks that you must do yourself. The high-level strategic operations that drive your business. E.g live trainings, networking, relationships and business strategy.
£100 tasks are the ones that need your input, but you could train people to do for you. E.g. social media – you need to have input in what you want this to look like, what you want the tone to be, subjects you want to cover but you don’t necessarily need to do all of the leg work. You can outsource your social media by working out the strategy together with a social media manager, providing your key dates, topics and the wider business strategy which your social needs to feed into holistically, but you can outsource the actual ‘doing’ - the content creation, the hashtag research, the scheduling and the evaluation.
£10 tasks are things that can easily be outsourced and do not need your input except on perhaps a very, very top line level. E.g diary management, email management, invoicing, travel arrangements, anything which is admin based. If you want to keep hold of your social media, scheduling is a task which falls down into the £10 task bracket and can (and should) be outsourced as it will save you so much valuable time!
Identifying those three different types of tasks will help you decide what you can outsource and what you should keep hold of. What is the thing that drives your business forward? What is your brilliance? That’s what you should be spending your time and effort.
Finding your brilliance will always come back to your ‘why’. You set your business up for a reason: remind yourself of that reason. It’s very easy to get bogged down with all the doing rather than working on your business.
As a business owner or manager, you need to be looking at the bigger picture - thinking strategically and objectively, not just emotionally.
Yes, our businesses are our baby’s, but we need to give them room and opportunity to grow, not stifle them by being too controlling or over-involved.
Take a deep breath, release and let go of micro-managing. With the right approach, strategic thinking and wise investments, your business will repay you tenfold.
Both PR and Social media give you direct results in your business, helping to get you seen and heard and increasing your know, like, trust with your audiences. If these are tasks you’d like to explore outsourcing, book a complimentary discovery call to see how we can help boost your business and help you focus on your priorities.
I’m going to leave you with this golden gem my friend and business superstar Amy, from Social Cactus Coaching, shared recently: ‘You can always make more money but you can never make more time’. Choose wisely.