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GETTING MORE DONE BY OUTSOURCING BUSINESS PROCESSES
ABOUT THE SHOW
Lack of time to get things done is one of the most common frustrations and complaints from business owners. There just never seems to be enough hours in the day and the things to do list just keeps growing.
In this episode of the podcast, I discuss how you can solve this perpetual problem in your business and we take a good look at practical solutions such as outsourcing business processes to help you focus on the important things that need doing in your business.
WHAT YOU'LL LEARN
Good day. Good day and welcome to the Business Made Easy podcast where we make business easy. Jason Skinner, your host here, again for another week of the podcast. It is all about growing your business, growing your business bottom line and having a better life as a result. How are you doing out there? Thanks so much for joining me another week down. Christmas is fast approaching for 2018. If you’re listening to this in the future, it’s been one hell of fast year. It’s going so quick. I don’t know if you feel the same way but it’s just zap before my very, very eyes, 2018. I certainly hope 2019 slows up a little bit although I don’t think — well, I’ve got my planet, I think it’s going too, somehow but anyway, we’ll get there. I hope your year has been good so far and we’re going to be talking over the coming weeks about setting us so far for the uh, for the new, the new year that’s coming and when everyone that’s sort of being their possible position ready to take on the new year as it, as it, as it uh, kicks up. But we’ll talk about that. I got some exciting announcements and things going on in 2019 that I’ll share with you as well in coming podcast as well. So lots to look forward to you there. But before we get into today’s episode, if you haven’t already joined our free Facebook community, do so at businessmadeeasypodcast.com/community, where a great group of business owners and entrepreneurs all over. They’re talking business and sharing ideas etcetera, so I love to see you over there at that free Facebook group. Nothing to join and uh, let’s get to really uh, get involved and um and yeah, help each other and uh, and learn as well as we go along which is a, which is what communities are all about. Alrighty, today’s episode, it’s all the build on from, it back in uh, episode sixty one where I spoke about seven strategies to, to help you I guess reduce distraction and get more done in your day. But I wanna focus a lot clearer today on, one particular strategy out of those seven. If you go back to businessmadeeasypodcast.com/episode61, that’s a sort of where I sort of started to talk about I guess strategies to remove distraction out of your day so you actually get more done. So we’re not chasing after shining new objects and getting caught up on Facebooks and all those sort of things. But I’ll give you seven strategies there to, to get more done in your business day but today I want to focus on one of those strategies and drill down a little bit further and get a little bit more granular with it and that is the area of outsourcing tasks in your business and getting other people to basic — delegation really. Getting other people to do stuff that you shouldn’t be doing. And I’m gonna talk to you today about how you can get more done in your day with less time. So uh, all about sort of investing less time and actually getting a, a more upward and, better results coming out of that. And I guess, when I speak to people about this and I mentioned this to people, the very first thing they say is, “Absolutely no idea. Their eyes were all over going, “It’s never gonna happened. There’s nowhere else in my day. I wouldn’t have time to do it, blah, blah, blah.” But I wanna show you today that you will have more time as a result of if you implement what I talk about today. I guarantee you, it worked for me and it’s worked for many of my clients that I worked within a coaching capacity as well. And just know that you’ll get the results as well. But I wanna give you a bit of strategy today to help you implement this. So stick with me, don’t, don’t switch off and go, “Oh, I don’t have time. Uh, it, it won’t work for me.”It will, it will work with you or in online business or traditional bricks and mortar. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, these strategies will, will work for you in terms of getting more and better work done in your business. And actually, the stuff that matters in your business because, here’s the thing with time; I do think as business owners, we lose so much time. We lose it through waste. We lose it through doing things we shouldn’t be doing. Getting caught up on things that we shouldn’t be caught on and, and I guess involved in things within our business that we shouldn’t be really involved in. And it’s just a lot of waste that stuff that takes up our time and I’ve said it before that you know, the only thing it’s gonna take you ten minutes here and ten minutes there but you know six of those ten minutes and that’s an hour gone and if you do it everyday we’re just literally losing thousands and hundreds of thousands of hours a year just through waste on things that really, these kind of things aren’t gonna stick with our business. They’re not gonna make a great, difference and I guess one of the concepts that I want you to think of before we get into this process is this concept which was brought about by Michael Gerber in his book, The E-Myth, which is just a business book I absolutely love. But in his book, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber talks about this concept of working on your business and working in your business and the difference between the two. When we’re working in our business, that’s when we’re in; we’re right in there. We’re doing the tasks. We’re doing the processes. We’re doing the buying, the selling, the manufacturing. We’re actually do — the thing that business does, we’re and they’re doing. If you’ve got a car wash business, you’re washing cars, if you’ve a mechanic shop, you’re working on car engines and working in, that stuff. That’s just working on where — if you look at the me They’re going to make your business rather more efficient. They’re gonna make it more profitable. They’re gonna improve your cash flow. They’re going to improve the number of customers that you’ve got coming in. The number of customers that can prospects, that convert to customers. The culture of your stuff, all those things, the system, processes. That’s when you’re working on your business so I want you to understand that distinct difference because it’s very, very important to finding more time in your business. So I guess, that’s the first step in the process. You really wanna understand the difference between when you’re working on your business and working in you business. And what have you doing now?If you’re working in your business now, ask yourself,”Am I — this is a working on task or working in task? Another question you ask yourself, when did I do a task that was working on or am I mainly spending my week working in, which is not good as the business owner. And I have a saying around this, when you’re working in the business, you’re trying to play all the instruments basically of an orchestra. But when you’re working on your business, you’re the conductor of that orchestra. So you wanna be the conductor of the orchestra, not the one playing all the instruments because there’s only so many instruments you can play at one time. There’s, a limit to what you can generate. But when you’re conducting and leading a team or leading a group of systems and processes and leading from the outside. You’re stepping out so you can see if I’m all that’s going on in your business and you can see all the various aspects and COGS the will how they’re working together and do we really need fine-tuning etcetera ’cause you’re outside of it. You’re looking back at it. So really important concepts so that’s step one in finding more time and getting more done. I want you to understand that concept and understand your work week in terms of working on or working in. Understand that difference and, how much of each task, of each task you are actually spending away. Now, if it’s very little working on and a lot of working in then we need to look at that. The next step in the process is to identify a time, a block of time, an uninterrupted block of time in your week where you are the most productive and that is an ideal time that is non-negotiable for you to work on your business. Every single week you’re gonna work on your business and you’re going to make that happen. So it’s a matter of ruling out your diary. It’s a matter of finding a suitable time during the week which is usually best where it’s not the busiest time of your business. It’s time where you’re most productive so if you’re more productive in an afternoon, or a more creative in afternoon, put it in an afternoon session. But you — it might only be that you can do three or four hours first off, you know? That’s all you can really spare because you are so busy but set that time and it’s non-negotiable time that you rule out and, and set it. So I want you to rule that out in your diary and then you’ll have a good starting point. So now, if it’s only two to three hours, don’t stress over that because if the good work that you do, will generate less stress for you and less requirement for you to be working in and you gotta start with small steps. It can be done. You might have to just start with smaller steps and someone else who’s got the capacity say do it. So don’t, say, “Oh this one, this won’t work for me,” or it will. You just got to be disciplined in that area and rule that, time out. Starts small and build it so you know, if you might say, so for the first round that I’m going to do three hours a week on this thing and then with the [Inaudible] moving it to four, four hours and then next month and then five hours and six hours. You can just rule it out from there. Gradually, you might be able to get to two or three days out of this but you need to start somewhere and that’s the place to do it and big point non-negotiable. I said, that by non-negotiable, that means no interruptions, no making around, it’s that’s serious work time for you. And another important point about that time is too, you don’t waste it making around on Facebook social media. I mean there’s no distractions in that time. It’s clear focus time of what you need to be working on, to get you going. So yeah, just keep that in mind as well. Know, you gotta use that time effectively, otherwise you’ll never get out of that rut. Alrighty, at the first meeting, so you’ve ruled out your first block of time at this first time of sitting down and working out, you’re sitting down working on what to work on in your business? What needs the most priority? First thing you wanna do and this is leading now into the more of the outsourcing, we’ve got to start looking at what our role, what tasks are filling up our weeks? So the very first thing I want you to do is to open some form of spreadsheet whether it’s a Google sheet or a free Google sheet or an excel spreadsheet, whatever it is. I want you to open up a blank spreadsheet and what I want you to do is list down every single task that you do or are responsible for in a week or a month. list them all down. So every single one, brainstorming, dump them out. Don’t worry about what, you know, what order they are. Just dump them down and, and get them all out of your head and list them, list them down. Another great idea then is in the second column once you’ve got that, I want you to list down roughly how much time you spend honestly on each of those task. So it’s five minutes here, ten minutes here, twenty minutes, one hour a week, whatever it is. So do it into a consistent sort of basis and breaking into weekly, writing those breaks into weekly uh, metrics. So how much a week do you spend on doing them all? How much do you spend a week doing, I don’t know, whatever it is that you do in your business. Working in the business, if you like. Doing actual working in task. Write all those down in a column and then I want in the next three columns, in the third column, I want you to go down and put a cross in each of the task that you hate doing.You absolutely hate doing it, it’s just a job that you hate doing and I want you to put across in that and work down that down that list. From top to bottom, cross next to each thing that you hate doing. Then in the fourth column, I want you to put a cross, so I want you to put a, a title on the top, things you like doing but you shouldn’t be doing. So there are things that you love doing in your business but you shouldn’t be doing them. I’ve said it before on podcast episodes before one of my things I love doing is tinkering with Photoshop and anything like that. Anything, web design or anything like that. I love and making around that stuff. I shouldn’t be doing it. I love doing it but it’s a waste of my time to be doing it if I’m doing it. another example would be putting this podcast together. I love doing all the show notes and all the putting it all together and that sort of thing but it’s something I shouldn’t be doing. It’s not a good use of my time to be doing it. Sure I need to record it but I don’t need to be sitting there tinkering with all the website and all that sort of thing. But it’s not a good use of my time. So that’s what I want you to do, is go down that column and put a cross next to each item that you like doing but shouldn’t be doing. And then in the fifth column, I think, we, we want to be then looking at what you should be doing. So these are working on tasks. These are, in your day, what tasks uh, are critical for you to be doing or you should be spending? things that are gonna leverage results in your time. So if I invest an hour, in building this procedural system, then it’s gonna return you know, X, X number of hours of productivity, across my business for years to come. So I’m gonna get a high pay off from it. It’s a high return activity. They’re the ones that you need to be putting across next to the ones that you should be doing. Then once we’ve got that clearly identified, so we’ve got our list of tasks that we do and should be doing. Then we’ve got the time we spend on each task. You know, some of those task you might have nothing next to. You don’t spend any time on them, you should be. They’re important to you to be doing it. List those down as well. Other important that you work on them in your business but you haven’t been doing them ’cause you’ve been busy counting paper clips, as I call it, but you know, not doing high and productive work. So you wanna get those down. So how much time you’re spending on each of those task? Then we’re gonna do a column for all the things that you hate doing. and, basically, yeah things that you currently have to do in your business that you hate doing. Then we want to look at things that you like doing but you shouldn’t be doing in the next column. So that’s what do we have? Column one, two, three, four, fourth column and the fifth column, we’re going to the things you should be doing so high pay off productive activity things. So, now in the sixth column I want you to put a heading on the top that called ‘procedurise’ or procedure. Is there a procedure for this task? I want you to go down and list next to each items, which items have, procedure and which one’s don’t. And you can put our link or a reference in there to where that procedure is or what it’s called and where to find that procedure. Use this list as a bit of reference point but put your procedures down along down in that procedure column. Has — so let’s just say for example of one of my tasks might be to, I don’t know, put out the bin, okay? now each day, before everyone goes home, now the task that I hate doing and that’s a task that I shouldn’t be doing. but there’s should be a procedure for it. So if there’s a procedure written, I would write there what, whatever that procedure is. And you’d go down and do that for each of the task that you have. Now, if there’s not a procedure, you leave it blank because we’re gonna need to do a procedure for it. We wanna proceduralized that task. It needs to be proceduralized because we’re going to be delegating and outsourcing that task. So that’s over in the next column. You just basically list those procedures in that sixth column. You list those procedures down. Then, basically, once you’ve got all that, you now have a clear picture of what you hate doing and how long spends for each of those task. You’ve got a clear picture of what you love doing but shouldn’t be doing and how long it takes you to do those and are there any procedures for those tasks? And then you’ve got a column that, of work that you should be working on and whether or not there’s any procedures and how much time you’re actually spending on that task as well. So with that spreadsheet now, that’s gonna to be your master and that might be your first session of your first work on session, of working on your business. You might set that up as a master document that you can refer to each week. Now, from there, we then wanna look at, what task, of those, what task can we outsource? So if I was to train somebody with a procedure on how to do something, I like a video tutorial — which I’ll talk about how you do that in a second — if I was gonna teach someone how to do that, what would I do to , what are those tasks could we do that and you’ll find that there’ll be heaps in there and here’s a thing with outsourcing, you don’t actually have to get a full-time person to actually outsource the stuff to. A lot of the stuff can be outsourced on, ad-hoc type, engagement with people — and I’ll talk about that in a moment — but I want you to go through and critically look at the way, does anyone physically need to be there doing that task or could I use a virtual assistant or a virtual outsourcer to do that task? For instance with myself and my website or my podcast or my business marketing etcetera, I don’t have to do that and so I don’t need someone in house to do that. I can engage someone to do that on a contract basis for me. So there’s great reliable people out there who can do this stuff a lot a faster, better and, more affordable on weekend so that’s what I want you to do. Look through that list and see who you could outsource. And maybe highlight those ones in a different colors or something like that you can, you basically see that could be bundled up into a roll. And once you have that roll, then we want to go about forming a bit of a job description on or getting the procedures together and basically formulating it into an actual job role that we can delegate to somebody to actually do it. Now, you may have people in your organizational business already that could take up that role, if you’re a small organization or you don’t have any staff or you’re just on your own and this is really applies to yourself if you work, for yourself, then we may need to outsource that to a, to a virtual type, type person. And how you can do that? With the technology that we have today is just absolutely fantastic and I’m gonna give you some tools that will help you to do that. The very first tool that I would recommend the setting any procedures or training videos or anything like that, is a program called Loom, L-O-O-M and I’m gonna put a link to that in businessmadeeasypodcast.com/episode67. And over there with Loom, what you can basically, do is — and I’ve spoke it about before I’m sure — but with Loom, you can record what goes on, your screen. What this — it will record, do a screen recording for you and you can upload that link into a document or a folder for someone to access and watch how to do that training video, which is really cool. so Loom is probably the first toll I would recommend. certainly, would be having Google drive or Dropbox or something like that where you can put procedures in so that a virtual sort of person could actually connects. You can share that photo with them and they can access what to do along with the training videos. And then I would make sure I’ve got as many procedures as possible and make sure they’re as well documented as possible. So with that in mind, we can and if we draft a bit of a job description, we can now go and find people to do this work. Now if it’s just a one-off, let’s say I just wanted a logo design or something like that or some artwork, or that whatever it is, a brochure, some form of marketing went-off type stuff, you might just use, if it’s a one-off type arrangement one of our jobs, you might just go on to something like Fiverr and get it done there. And I put the link to Fiverr in the show notes. Fiverr is actually spelt — let me have a look here — five and two R’s. So five, F-I-V-E double R dot com. So if you go to fiverr.com you can engage people there for one-off sort of type jobs. The other way to do it is, if you are just gonna do more of a casual engagement for somebody, you don’t need someone full-time working. you just need a sort of someone to do certain types of work in your business, I would then use then a program called Upwork. and you can go to upwork.com, so that’s U-P-W-O-R-K dot com and again I’ll put a link to the show notes for you. Now, the beauty of Upwork is there’s people from all over the world with skills and capabilities and just amazing pool of talented people all over the world. And what you do, if you haven’t used it before, for those of you who haven’t used it, you just go, you register and u an account, uh with Upwork and you put your credit card details in there and then when you open Upwork, you can post a job. And you can say, “I’m looking for — let’s say — somebody to do web design for me, for in any –” put in all the specifications that you’re looking for and then you post that job. You can put whether it’s on ally write type thing you’re happy to pay or you want a set fee type arrangement. They’ll vary depending on the type of work you’re getting done. But the beauty with Upwork is when you shared, you post that job, it’s like a job’s broadcast all over the world through the Upwork network. And people will contact you and say, “Hey, I’ll do that job for you for this rate and for this pricing. Here’s my previous experience. Here’s my previous work and feedback, etcetera and they’re really, really good. And I’ve had just some fantastic experiences with Upwork and I’m not and advocate, I’m not a promoter of the company so I’m not getting paid to refer them. I only refer things that are really working well and I think Upwork really does. I must admit, I’ve had a, look, occasional, you get not so great experience where for one reason or other, the person didn’t work out or didn’t quite get the job that, done that you wanted done. But I’ve got to say that, that’s probably minimal compared to the results that I have had with using the sort of, outsourcing work. And I use it do all those things that I, either hate doing myself or I love doing but I shouldn’t be doing. Those types of tasks, I wanna get those done and automated, and process. So what I basically do is, once you find someone for that role, then you build a relationship with that person online and they’re back, they get to know what it is that you want doing and you communicate and bit by, it grows over time. You create more procedures for them and they’ll start to take on more work for you. Actually start taking work off you and when you do get a great assistant like I do in my assistant, Riche, she just does some fantastic job of putting our podcast together. She’s part of our podcasting team and she puts all that show notes together and everything behind the scenes Riche is keeping control off. And then I’ve also got a, an assistant that does the audio editing of the podcast as well. So all the things that yes, I could do myself but it wouldn’t be a very good use of my time. So I get to — I hope you can see the point of what I’m, talking about here, using virtual assistants to get rid of tasks. A very, very important point before I wrap up, don’t think to yourself or make a mistake of thinking to yourself,”it’s only a ten-minute task anyway. It wouldn’t be worth me doing it or outsourcing that task.” But it, it certainly is because it’s one last thing that you have to do and as you engage and build that relationship with that outsourcing worker, they’ll be other things that they can do as well and you’ll get confidence in the process and you’ll want to delegate all work. You want to build better systems and the more you work on, spend your working on time building procedures and systems that, can be outsourced, reliably then you are gonna be in a far better position time wise and your business is going to thank you and your staff is gonna thank you and your bank account is gonna to thank you because you’re gonna be getting more done because you’re more effective rather than losing and zapping away with your time to do that. So that’s the point of today’s podcast. It’s really to talk to you about outsourcing give you a process to start or a way to start the process and to identify what you can and, shouldn’t outsource or can outsource. And just have a critical look at that; set that regular time to set that regular time to work on your business and understand that process versus working in it. Remember when you’re working in it, you’re doing, the to do task, the actual mechanics of your business, what your business does. You can’t scale that but you can scale working on. You can create systems process and some things to work to scale and grow your business that way. So really important, message and important topic. if you need a help with putting that spreadsheet together, drop me a line at Jason at business made easy podcast dot com, more than happy to help you. if you want to double check or cast an eye over that for you, certainly here to help do that. but just make sure you do it and make sure you set that time. That work on time, very critical in your business. Alrighty, I hope that has been a helpful episode for you. I do know a lot of people who is struggling this area with getting stuff done, getting enough done and it is a common complaint I hear from business owners, it’s just never enough hours in a day. And I just wanted to drill down on that strategy for you to help you to, get the confidence to, and the technique to getting outsourcing going. Alrighty, that’s all I’ve got time for this week. It’s been great bringing the show to you again. I love offering as much value as I can to you and I hope you’ve finding it of benefit. If you’ve got any feedback on the show, feel free to drop me a line at Jason business made easy podcast dot com specially if you did in this episode helpful. Love to hear from or leave a review on iTunes. they’re always helpful as well. It helps the show to, to be found as well. Alrighty, that’s all I have time for this week, until next week I’m going to leave you and in a careful hands of Mia who’s gonna take the show out but until next week, here’s to your success and I hope you have and awesome week. Thanks for listening. I really appreciate you. All the best. Take us out, Mia.