Early in my career, I realized I had to be 100 percent focused on sales and marketing if I was going to grow my business. As far as I was concerned, anything that pulled my attention away from these activities during the start-up phase was a distraction. It meant I wasn’t bringing in cash or customers—and I knew that had to be my entire focus if I was going to succeed.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
So, I decided to outsource some things that were eating up my time without bringing in money. Anything admin related, really. I still remember, for example, how much time I used to waste doing things like Facebook pay per click ads. It was easy enough work, but very, very time consuming.
Then I realized that I could actually outsource this little task to someone else in the world, who would be willing to do it for $2.00 per hour. For this person, in another part of the world, that was decent money. I soon found my first assistant through a website called ging.com (no longer in business).
It was very easy; I just made a short, five-minute video explaining what I needed done and how to do it. The person did the work and, just like that, I had two hours of my day back that I could devote to sales and marketing activities.
Looking back, I can say this was one of the most important lessons I learned: when you have tasks that don’t bring in money and don’t require a lot of high level thinking, you want to outsource them right away, so you can shift your focus to revenue generation. Achieving this understanding had a HUGE impact on my business.
Sales Come From Selling
Now, as I scaled the company to earn closer to $100,000 per month, the next most important thing that I outsourced was sales.
Let me explain. You see, in January 2012, I had a record month. I generated over $80,000 in revenue (not profits, revenue.) It was the most money I’d ever made up until that point, and I made it mostly through phone sales that I was doing myself.
But I was on the phone all day long, sometimes very late into the night. And I realized that as if I kept on doing this, I would be stuck at a revenue ceiling of maybe $100,000 per month. It was the best I could hope for with me doing all the phone sales myself. I only had so many hours in a day.
I knew I had to outsource the sales function of my business in order to grow revenue beyond the low six-figure mark. At first, I didn’t want to because I felt I was the best person for the job and I had no idea how I would train someone to do it to my standards.
What I soon came to realize, however, was that there are people out there who could do phone sales even better than I could—and even if they were only 80 percent as good, that’s still acceptable. They could definitely be trained.
So, I started outsourcing phone sales. Eventually, I stopped getting on the phone, and this decision gave me back a tremendous amount of time.
Granted, my business’ revenue took a hit the following month. It dropped a little until the new sales person got up and running. But over the next few months, as I brought on new people and continued training them, we started doing bigger and bigger numbers.
In fact, within six months, we were doing over $200,000 per month. By year’s end, my business was pulling in $400,000 every single month! The revenue shot up because I made the decision to outsource sales.
But let me offer a word of caution here: you cannot go straight to outsourcing just because you don’t like to sell. Sales is something you really must be able to do for yourself—it’s a vital skill regardless of what you’re promoting, and you need to grasp the ins and outs in order to create a system that others can use to sell what you’re offering.
So, first, perform the sales function yourself. Once you’re proficient at it, go ahead and outsource sales. By outsourcing, you’ll be in a better position to focus on higher level business processes, like launching new products or hosting events—things that offer a much more significant return on your time.