Words to live by for your creative business: you can’t build out if you’re still working in. If you’re planning on growing your business, it is not possible (or wise) to do it all yourself.
Trying to do so will result in you running yourself in circles—you’ll spend all your time focused on the day-to-day tasks instead of activities that foster your business’ growth.
You may think it’s a big risk to outsource elements of your business—it’s ALL important to you, right? But you need to start thinking about your time as a value, almost like money.
What are the tasks that take up most of your day? Try to find ways to cut them down. Additionally, take a look at the segments of your business that you aren’t emotionally attached to—you may not want to outsource product design, but it may be easy for you to hire someone for your social media management.
A great way to discover where you can outsource is to break down your workday. Take 3 days in a row, and each day take note of your tasks and the time it takes to do them. You might be surprised at the time you spend on customer emails, packing orders, or getting your products listed. Writing it out will show you opportunities to use your time in a better way. Once you see the opportunities, it’s relatively simple to find the right partners to help you nurture your brand.
For professional services, word-of-mouth is the best way to find high-quality people to work with. Ask your fellow entrepreneurs who they use (and who they don’t)—there are tons of solo professionals who’ve started businesses that are geared towards small indies just like you. Think about how many people you probably know who started a business during the economy tank; support each other. Personally, I know a number of folks who offer accounting services, administrative services, copywriting, and web design. Take advantage of the well-crafted skills of such providers to develop your business!
Another potential way to outsource is to hire someone to take over part of your production process. You can easily bring in an intern/apprentice who wants to learn your craft, or hire a skilled worker for a couple hours a week. Perhaps you can bring in a person who just takes care of packing and shipping orders—that alone could buy you a lot of hours back into your workweek.
And, Don’t forget! Your time is just as valuable as the money you’re making—are you using it wisely?
Megan Gallagher is a small-business strategist working with creative indiepreneurs at Method & Madness. She talks business development, creative vision, and indie lifestyle through one-on-one strategy sessions, e-guides, and the Method & Madness blog.