When Should You Start Outsourcing … and When Should You Stop?
If you were to rank every task that goes into the daily running of your business, on a scale of least to most critical to income, you would probably end up having “cleaning the premises” at the bottom and “planning future direction of the business” at the top.
When you start out running your business, you’re responsible for both extremes and everything in between. In most cases, you probably won’t spend much time cleaning, otherwise, planning will suffer. Your time will be consumed with getting things started and doing the actions that bring income.
That can go on for a while but not forever.
To achieve growth and greater success for your company, you will need to let go of tasks that are on the lower scale by delegating or outsourcing them. These are actions which don’t generate income. This will give you more time to spend on the higher priority items, which do bring in revenue.
When Should You Start?
Back when I began MOBE, I was doing everything: building blogs, writing copy, creating sales funnels, placing ads, handling sales, doing customer support—you name it. I had to do it all because there wasn’t much money coming in.
You probably know the feeling. It’s overwhelming and inefficient. I looked around and asked myself: What business activity was I spending the most time on that brought in the least money? One thing was Facebook pay-per-click ad research. This involved researching all the pages I wanted to target and then entering the data I found into a spreadsheet. It was mindless work but it took two hours to do—time I could have been spending on sales and marketing activities.
Right when I started making sufficient regular revenue, I could afford to let go of more activities that did not contribute directly to income such as administrative tasks, bookkeeping, and customer service. This is what you need to do as soon as you can. It will give you back valuable time and attention that you can turn toward sales and marketing—the money-making activities.
Leverage Other Peoples’ Time
You can always make more money. You can never get lost time back.
As an entrepreneur, the best use of your time is to direct the efforts of other people toward your goals in exchange for what they want (money, usually). In this way, you’re aligning their interests with your own.
For instance, I could spend a week figuring out how to build a webpage or I can pay $100 to someone who knows and likes web design to build the page for me.
This frees up my time to do the things that I can’t yet entrust to anyone else, such as marketing and sales. You’re leveraging time (get more things done in the same time period) by involving other people’s efforts.
Eventually, if you build your business right, you may end up letting go of those tasks you thought only you could do. I did.
When Should You Stop?
When I had grown MOBE up to $100K a month, I realized I would have to let go of another activity—only, it’s the prime money-producer: sales.
Remember that scale I mentioned at the beginning of the article? I realized that the more the company grows and the income increases, the higher up the scale the founder has to go. So, even though doing sales is a direct income-producing activity, handling it all by myself would have stunted the company’s growth at the $100K per month range; we would have hit the ceiling. So, I began hiring salespeople and built a sales team. At first, income suffered a bit. But in six months, we’d doubled the income and then doubled it again by 12 months.
Currently, I spend about four months of the year on the road and in the air, putting on MOBE events and scouting venues for future events. I stay in some these resorts for about three weeks, between the main event and the bonus events associated with it (including the Immersion workshops, where I deliver personal coaching).
Events are among the most important revenue streams for MOBE and I’ve let go of everything else beneath it on the scale. Above events is the new product development and planning for MOBE’s future—that’s as high as the scale goes.
Regarding the resort scouting, I’ve recently realized that all this time away from the office is not actually the best use of my time. Like sales, before this, I thought I was the only one who could be entrusted with resort evaluation but pretty soon, I will be letting that go, too. I will delegate it and I even have someone in mind already.
You will reach a point, as I have, where your time becomes extremely valuable and you will be less willing to waste it on things that aren’t remunerative. So, as I head up the scale, I will be more involved with longer-range planning: bringing out new products, putting on more events, bringing in new customers, and improving the average value of customers.
And who knows? Maybe at some point in the future, I will need to outsource those kinds of tasks as well.