Business TipsProductivity Tips

How To: Effectively Outsource for Productivity

As a business owner, there are going to be times when you are scared…or maybe even downright terrified. I’m the first to admit, this also happens to me so I wanted to share some thoughts and my experience with you. 

The most terrifying thing I have ever done in business is…ask for help. Here’s the thing, I also suck at this in my personal life, so when it came time in business I knew it was going to be painful. I’m here to tell you that the payoff and benefits to having effective help in place, far outweigh the growing pains that get you there. 

For those that are struggling to effectively outsource, here are my tips to make the process smooth and productive. 

Determine Your Needs

First things first, you need to get clear on what you actually need help with. A great way to do this is by looking at your task list. From there, make two lists. One that highlights the tasks you enjoy doing, and the other that highlights everything you dread doing. The dreaded tasks tend to weigh you down, are the first ones you should outsource. By having a clear picture of what you need before you even start looking, it will help you find the best candidates in an easier manner. 

Be Clear In Your Expectations

After you’ve determined your needs, determine your expectations. Think about things like how long you expect tasks to take, what your goals are with what you are outsourcing, what you want to see from your contractor, what you expect for communication, and more. Ensuring you have these guidelines set in stone before you even begin interviewing will make it easy to clearly share it with interviewees. By defining expectations early on, you may be able to weed some candidates out, right in the interview process if they cannot meet your expectations. 

Go to a Trusted Source

Good help is hard to find so avoid searching in the wrong places. What sources online do you trust? Which sources have the best reputations? For me, I have a couple of Facebook groups that I rely heavily on in my business. In these groups, I read tons of relevant information, learn from questions others are asking, ask my own questions and receive excellent feedback and more. Because I know these groups are full of reliable and professional people, they are one of my first go-to’s when looking to hire. One of the other options I use to find trusted help is, iWorker. They’re system is great as they match you to freelancers who have the skills you are looking for, saving you time! 

Write an Effective Job Ad

To write an effective job ad, ensure that you include little details as attention to detail is always important when hiring. I like to include a sentence or keyword and ask applicants to include said word/sentence in their application. If they don’t do that, they are automatically out. You’d be surprised how quickly you can weed applicants out based on that little detail alone. I also like to ask about their hobbies or something personal too. To work together effectively, it’s important to be able to relate to one another on a personal level. 

Take the Time to Train 

This is the most crucial piece that many business owners miss when hiring. You can’t expect to throw a ton of things on the lap of your new hire and have them soar with no hiccups. Taking the time to thoroughly train your contractors will save you time and headaches in the long run. One of my favourite training tools is Zoom screen share. For each person I hire, we set an onboarding meeting where I share my screen and walk them through exactly what I need them to do. I also record this to share it with them for future reference, add them to Slack for easy communication, and share any necessary documents/passwords with them so they can get started seamlessly. The screenshare really is a crucial training tool, as it allows you to show and explain, while your contractor is given the option of asking questions or for clarification.

If you’re struggling to outsource, I hope you find these tips valuable! Feel free to reach out if there is anything I can do to support you.

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