If there's one thing you need to get savvy about in your business, it's the concept of time. Time is your currency, NOT money. Without it, you can't make money but with it, you can do so much.
Being a business owner doesn't open up an infinite amount of time for you that nobody else in the employed world has, you just end up working for more of those 24 hours than most. So the first thing you need to do is get time smart. Plan exactly what you're going to spend time on to leverage your growth, and what you're going to delegate to ensure that your time is spent in the right places, doing the right things.
Today I want to take you through the top 5 things I think all business owners need to outsource, to maximise their time which in turn, will help you scale. So, let's dive in!
1. Accounting and Finance
There's a reason this one is right at the top of the spot. It's the number one drain on your time and energy because there's so much admin around accounting and finance. First things first, no matter whether you're a sole trader or a limited company, you need to get yourself an accountant. Balancing the books is time-consuming, and so are your annual tax returns. You will not believe the relief you will feel when you offload this onto an accountant and never have to worry about it again. When I ran my first business, I didn't employ the services of an accountant and over the next 10 years, I would be up until ridiculous hours in the morning the night before my tax return deadline trying to get everything in order, every single year.
When I started L.T. VA Services, the FIRST thing I did was take on an accountant. Most accountancy firms will allow you to pay their annual bill in split monthly installments, usually for around £120 per month. It might feel expensive at first, but trust me, it's worth every penny. Not only will your account handle your tax returns, filing, and payroll, but it will also offer you advice and guidance as part of the package. Always ask for recommendations.
2. Website Creation & Maintenance
Building your own website is one of the most exciting parts of starting a business. And these days you don't need to be a web developer to do it. But that doesn't mean you should. It's not actually building the website that's going to drain most of your time although it will, it's learning about SEO, page load speeds, and all the backend stuff that will see you going in to change everything until your website no longer resembles what it did in the beginning. If you can afford to have your website built for you, do it. It will save a lot of hassle in the end.
From time to time, your website will need editing, and updating, or you might need landing pages created. Outsource all of this stuff to a really good tech VA. Or, utilise the services of your web developer if you keep them on retainer.
3. Document Creation & Infographics
There are going to be times you need documents to be created. Proposals, brochures, contracts, etc. You might need infographics for an event. It all takes up tonnes of time, even if you're creative and you enjoy it. Just because it's something you find fun, doesn't mean you should spend your time on it. Look at it objectively, if you do that instead of the thing that's really going to help bring in revenue, what will it cost you? Employ the services of a freelance graphic designer or a Virtual Assistant to help you with these sorts of projects. You may not need them for regular support, just sign up for ad hoc, pay-as-you-go services and, use them as and when required.
4. Podcast Editing, Publishing, and Pushing
Podcasts are a great way to market your business and create brand awareness. But recording them and prepping for them takes time. So, limit how much time it takes by getting someone else to handle everything after you've stopped recording. Editing, publishing, creating visuals, soundbites, show notes, and pushing the podcast out on your social channels, can all be handled by a really good tech VA.
5. Research and Data Gathering
Probably the most boring task of all unless you love data, are these two. Sometimes you will need to do research, whether that's product research or competitor research. And if you aren't gathering data, you should be! How else are you tracking website conversions and social media analytics? Always get someone else to do your research, it's too time-consuming, and just about anyone can do it for you, at least giving you something to start with, even if you want to add to it later. When it comes to data, it's fine for you to set up tools to gather the information you need, or even create a spreadsheet of the statistics you want, but let someone else run the monthly reports and fill in the data. There's no reason whatsoever you need to do that yourself.
There are lots more tasks you should outsource when it comes to maximising your time but these are definitely my top 5. With someone else taking care of these jobs, you will have the time to focus on the parts of your business that are going to help you grow. If you pick an amazing Virtual Assistant, they could easily do all of the work listed including building your website. So, take your time, ask for referrals, do some background checking, and start building yourself a delegation team!