Outsourcing in your Small Business for Balance & Growth
Running a small business on your own is challenging. We all know that. We have SO many tasks to juggle and on top of that, we probably waste a lot of time or compromise our efficiency by constantly switching gears. This is one of the reasons why getting someone to help out can be incredibly powerful in helping improve your mental health and grow your business. Trust me, I know it's hard to actually pull the trigger in getting help for many reasons. Today I want to help with 3 of the top reasons I hear most often from other creative business owners.
No one can do your tasks as well as you.
That's often true. But sometimes it's not. If you hire someone to handle your album design and they do this weekly for other photographers as well, they probably are spending time getting new inspiration for layouts, have determined an efficient way to track the progress, and already have templates to help them accomplish all of this efficiently. Or if you are looking for some type of production help, you can train the right person and even work alongside them. There has to be some simple tasks that someone else can do. And even if they are slower than you, especially at first, you are still getting help.
The cost isn't something you can handle right now.
I get that. It's hard when you are growing a business and already investing a lot of your revenue back into that growth. It feels like there's not a lot of wiggle room to add more overhead. However, do you really need to be the one counting out stamps? Or is your time better spent on design work. How many more clients could you take on if someone was handling the more administrative tasks? The idea is that you would bring in more revenue with your additional time which would more than pay for your assistant. Or, equally important, how much better would you feel, mentally and physically, if you got back even 3 hours a week to rest, exercise, or spend with your family? I would even argue that you would be more efficient in the hours you do work if you are in a better place mentally and physically which ultimately helps grow your business as well.
How would I even find the right person?
As a stationer, you might need part time production help. As a wedding photographer you may need help with editing, album design, or even client communications. And as a planner or florist you may need a general assistant to help with logistics.
If you are looking to hire someone you can personally train, here are a few ways I have done that in my own business.
1. Indeed.com, this is a commonly used job board. Try to be as specific as possible in the job description to attract the right people. If your helper doesn't have to be in the same city as you, this avenue can expand your search pool.
2. Local Groups where your ideal assistant would hang out. For example, here in Atlanta, there's a community called Girl Gang (they are in Charlotte & Nashville too) and they post a job board monthly on their website & social media. I've received a handful of highly qualified potential helpers who are maybe working on their own thing right now and looking for a few hours of extra work per week in a creative field.
3. Local Universities. I have also personally hired college students to help on a part time basis. Most universities have job boards on their websites. You can make an account and post your description.
4. Sort of piggy backing off the university avenue, but if you have a list of babysitters who are in college, ask them to ask their friend group for anyone who may be interested in helping you out in your business. As a creative business owner, you have advantage - even if you think your outsourcing activities are a bit monotonous, to someone studying business or science, working for you can fulfill their creative side.
If you are looking for an outsourcing company to help with editing, marketing, etc. then your network might be the best place to start. Not everyone advertises where they outsource, but if you start asking your closest industry friends or posting in industry facebook groups, you are bound to receive a few leads.
You started this creative business so that you can make art and live the life you've dreamed. If you are bogged down with admin tasks or generally overwhelmed, then you aren't really achieving either of those things as well as you could. Outsourcing can help you find more balance and even grow & elevate your business. There are other options as well to achieve these things and we will continue to share all we can in supporting you as you grow your business and build a beautiful life. Please always feel free to reach out to us with any questions at all. We are committed to supporting you & our wedding industry as a whole.