Outsourcing and Freelancing
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that we’ve recently finished a freelancing series, detailing the highs, lows, and bookkeeping tips for those who get to work in their pyjamas.
As a freelancer myself, when it came to growing my business, I made the choice to outsource some of the work I needed doing, instead of hiring full or part-time staff.
Being able to empower and support these women has not only helped me and my business but left me safe in the knowledge that by supporting these freelancers, I’m helping them grow their businesses. That ripple effect gives me a great sense of satisfaction.
In this article and the next, I’m going to be sharing my experiences with you. What led me to outsource and how it changed the way I do things here at Sudoku Bookkeeping.
Over the last six months, one of my main focuses has been growing my business.
A lot of what I’ve done has involved me stepping out of my comfort zone, and start doing things I’ve never done before, such as writing blogs, attending networking events, joining coaching and mentoring groups, and attending even more professional education events than usual.
Other tasks have taken some discipline, like consistently posting on social media, and making time to read and keep up with industry information.
I’ve also done some other tasks that are more process-based, such as implementing and upgrading systems and software, managing staff, and launching my in-person workshop series. All this on top of managing my existing client base and serving some new clients that have come on board!
As you can imagine, it’s been an enormous amount to deal with, and I started to feel extremely overworked and overwhelmed.
Eventually, I had no choice but to admit to myself that I am not Superwoman. It simply isn’t possible for me to work 8-14 hours every day during the week, plus additional hours over the weekend. To some, those hours might seem doable, but for me and the life I lead, it’s just not ok. As well as running my business (and all that goes with that!), I’m also a mother of three, a grandmother of four beautiful grandchildren (whom I take great pleasure in babysitting regularly).
I also have a large immediate family (around a hundred close family members!) and am an active member of our church. It was just too much to handle. There aren’t enough hours in the day, and I found that I couldn’t keep juggling everything. I wasn’t able to give anything my full attention and was dropping the ball in more than one aspect. I had to make some changes. I was trying to grow the business, and the workload would only increase, making it even more challenging to keep all the balls in the air.
I HAD TO MAKE A DECISION- BUT WHAT TO DO?
I had reached the point where I had no choice but to bite the bullet and do something to keep my sanity, my physical health, and maintain a healthy marriage. I realised that outsourcing is the next logical step. Naturally, I was worried about the cost because I was doing a lot of background work that I wouldn’t be paid for, but I had no choice with everything I had going on. Eventually, I took a deep breath and took the plunge.
Here’s what I did:
Hired a Freelance Copywriter, Samantha Andrade (who is editing this article!): Earlier this year, I started writing blogs without having them professionally edited. You can see the clear difference between the first four blogs on my website and the subsequent ones. Writing is a skill reserved for some, and I am not one of the selected. Since English is not my first language, I find it even harder to express what I want to say, let alone making it easy to read and sound professional. I can definitively say that this choice has been fundamental in making both me and my business look good. This was the best decision I made.
Engaged a Virtual Assistant: My VA, Amie Kendall has taken on managing Sudoku Bookkeeping’s social media, including Facebook & Instagram. She’s my right-hand woman and has taken over tasks like preparing and scheduling posts, managing ads, and setting up and managing a lead capture program. She also monitors insights and stats, prepares checklists, manages Eventbrite workshop listings and registrations, and few other tasks. Phew! What else can I get her to do?
I decided to keep managing my LinkedIn profile and Google My Business myself, so I can tell myself that I’m doing something too!
Workflow Management Platform: One of the hardest things for me to hand over was this area. I didn’t think I’d find someone who would be able to do what I want, the way I want it done. I have processes set up, but I like them to be in one place. I am a to-do list type of person, and I like knowing what needs to be done and when. I keep organised with my month, week, and day lists, and I needed something to keep my staff and me on track (as much as possible) and monitor progress. I researched the platform that works best for my industry but found it too overwhelming. Trying to learn how to set up and implement it would only add to my already over-full plate, so I decided to engage someone to do it for me; a costly process but worth every cent. I use Karbon now.
I didn’t stop there. I made some other strategic moves that helped me to scale and grow my business through outsourcing.
Tune in for the next blog where I’ll be detailing some of the other decisions I made that changed my business and my life. Changes that allow me to have the time to take on new clients!
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