The truth is, time is priceless. You really only have about 70-80 years to live on average and every moment wasted is a moment you can’t get back (unless you’ve found the fountain of youth and in that case, please PM me immediately!).
The idiom “make time” is a false idea. You can not “make” time. As Chuck Wendig once said, “time is not feces. It’s a precious resource. You mine it. You steal it. You carve it out of the schist and bedrock.”
How do you carve time out? By giving time sucking things to other people to do. Let them waste their time doing them for money. Here are ten of the things that suck for Entrepreneurs you could totally outsource.
1. Customer Support
You may not yet be spending hours a day on customer support. But at some point, you’ll scale and at some point you’ll have more customers than you have time to deal with. While that’s a good thing, nobody has enough hours in the day to run a business and deal with customer complaints.
Customer support sucks. But customer support is extremely important. Nearly 80% of consumers have bailed on a transaction just because of poor customer service.
So, now you’re in a quandary. You spend too much time on customer support, but it’s important and it could break your business if you get it wrong. The answer is a professional virtual assistant.
You’ll want to look for someone who is skilled in your industry. Someone who knows your niche backward and forward will be better equipped to leap over any customer pitfalls.
I once tried to do my own taxes back when I was the poor husband of a grad student. We ended up owing $150 when we probably should have gotten some money back. Ever since, we’ve gotten someone else to do our taxes.
When you own a business, taxes become an even bigger chore. You keep track of spending, deductions, employee payroll, etc.
And business taxes don’t just happen in one go like taxes do for the typical individual. You’re spending at least 30 mins a week doing your taxes. Get a CPA to do that for you and you’ll have more time to build your business.
3. Search Engine Marketing
There are people who do this for a living. For them, search engine marketing or SEM doesn’t suck. For the rest of us, SEM is a time suck.
You spend hours researching keywords, creating content, analyzing trends, etc. It all comes back to how much your time is worth. Are you getting value out of the time you’re spending? Could you do something better with that time?
Consider hiring an SEM agency to do the work for you. They can spend less time doing all the search-engine-y things you spend hours a week doing. And they can get results you probably can’t because you don’t have time to keep up with every little trick Google tries to pull.
4. Social Media Marketing
Let’s see here, we’ve got Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Google+, YouTube… Did I miss any? Keeping track of your social media is like trying to juggle ten balls at once and walking while you do it.
You can mitigate this with automation programs like Buffer, but you still must spend time writing posts and seeking out content. It’s a tedious task and you quickly get creativity fatigue.
Search on Upwork and other writer/freelancer platforms. Many writers will manage social media for you on the side.
Wait! Isn’t this an article for entrepreneurs? Why, yes, it is. And it’s an article for anyone who wants to have an efficient business.
What does your desk look like at this very moment? Are there stacks of papers, moldy coffee mugs, half eaten things you can no longer identify? You are being distracted by all of it.
Clutter can literally decrease your ability to focus. And it can even depress you. But if you’re like me, you look at the mess, say you *should* clean it up, and then put it off till later.
It’s never going to happen. And if it does happen, you’ll feel guilty you’re not working on your business. Here’s a secret: It’s absolutely worth the money to hire someone to clean your office or tidy your desk.
This won’t apply to all entrepreneurs. Most freelancers won’t have to deal with inventory or merchandise unless they have a badass Patreon.
If you’re running your business out of your garage, inventory steals a lot of your time. You might even feel like Bernard Black when he has to order inventory “from the place where you order books from for when you want to sell them from your bookshop.”
It might seem like a pain when you run out of inventory, but it’s also good news. You want the good news vibe to remain, so you hire a fulfillment service.
A note of caution: a crummy fulfillment service could tank your business. Especially now that pretty much every major retail company offers two-day shipping, you’d better get a fast fulfillment service.
7. Finding More Income Streams
This one could seriously pay for itself. It seems like a vague idea, but it really could work. You want to always add value to your brand anyways, and what better way than to have someone work on new avenues your business or brand could make more money?
Once you have a business rolling, especially a freelance business, you’re too busy kowtowing to
Clients and actually creating to find other streams of income. Maybe there are other projects you’d enjoy more, but you’re too busy putting beer on the table to find out if those projects exist.
What if a virtual assistant could find you projects totalling $10,000? Would they then be worth $5,000? You betcha! And then you could even hire someone to do a good amount of the work on the project, especially if it’s something that will continue to earn passive income like an e-book project or an online course.
Outsource Your Chinks
Everyone has a weakness. Find yours and cover it over with someone else’s strengths. That’s all that outsourcing really is.
What are some ways you’re carving out time for your business? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.