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As a business owner, you may struggle with having to wear so many different hats and working many hours.
An online business brings with it even more challenges, as you need to develop, secure and maintain your website. These are time-consuming and counter-productive if you do them yourself.
In this article, I’ll show you what steps you can take to effectively work on your business and what are the benefits of outsourcing your tasks.
What Does It Mean to Work “ON” Your Business Rather Than “IN” Your Business?
This popular entrepreneurial mindset has two points: you want a profitable business that produces consistent results, and you won’t need to do the day-to-day activities yourself. Basically, working “in” your business means doing those routine activities that keep the business going every day. On the other hand, working “on” your business means you prioritize developing your business and building customer relationships. Working on your business also means creating a systems-dependent business and delegating work.
Create Business Results that are Systems-Dependent, Not People-Dependent
The system you create becomes the tool everyone uses to get the job done in a way it needs to get done. Working on your business means you need to test and develop these systems to make sure they produce your desired result. When you have an efficient system in place, you’re mostly assured of the quality of work, and that business continues even if the people come and go. Training new staff becomes that much easier.
You may need to personally create these systems on your own. It is important that you document it. For Wooassist, we use DokuWiki to document our processes. You can find your own platform that you are comfortable with. Once the system is in place, it’ll be easier to delegate the task to someone else.
It’s important that you build a team that you trust. These people will do the day-to-day activities of your business, following the systems you’ve approved or set. Delegation will only be effective if you trust the team to do the job for you. Because you trust these people, you can focus more on being the business owner and developing strategies to sustain and even grow your business.
Outsource Technical Tasks to Save Your Time
Even if you love working in your business, chances are there isn’t enough time to get everything done on your own. This is especially true as your business continues to grow. Hire reliable, technology-savvy staff and those with technical skills that match your needs. Doing so will help you better manage your time so you can focus on managing and growing your business.
You Can Be Assured that Experts Will Do a Good Job
You don’t necessarily need to be The Expert on each role in your company. You may only do a mediocre job at a technical task but a skilled professional can save you time by doing a great job on a role where he’s already an expert. You won’t need to spend too much time learning nor trying to do the job yourself. That’s the developer’s job. For an e-commerce store owner in need of a web developer, outsourcing is the way to go if hiring full time isn’t ideal.
You Have More Time for Leisure/Travel
Nanette Miller, founder of The Training Doctor LLC, outsources 40 hours of work weekly for non-revenue-generating tasks. This includes administrative work, website maintenance and social media posts. Outsourcing allowed her to focus on growing her business and keep a manageable work schedule that allows her to have a personal life. She gets to take about 12 weeks of well-deserved vacation per year. Just imagine the places you can visit with that much free time.
You Have More Time to Spend with Family and Friends
When you outsource, you free yourself of the daily worries of running your business. You have a better hold of your work schedule and productivity. After work, you have time to relax and be with your family. You can even go out and spend time with your friends.
WooCommerce Happiness Engineer Dustin Hartzler strictly adheres to his work schedule and wraps up work by 4:30pm. The rest of the evening is spent with his family and on non-computer activities.
Work on Things that Require Your Skills as a Business Owner
With routine and technical tasks delegated to staff, you can devote more time in managing and developing your business. This means you can focus on exploring ways to innovate on what your business needs to grow. For an online business, here are some functions a business owner can prioritize:
Planning and Strategy
You should have more time to revisit your business roadmap and make changes as needed. Conduct market research to identify current trends that could help you sell your products. Check your competition and find ways to attract more customers. Devote time on continuous learning. You get to leverage on other people’s expertise, but the decision is still yours to make.
Marketing and Sales
You may feel comfortable handling your own SEO and advertising. This is because you’ve conducted market research and you know who your target customers are. When you have clearly defined your customer personas and know how to use them, you’re well on your way to maximizing your marketing efforts. You can also allot time to learn more online marketing strategies and apply them to your business.
You build customer relationships. You make sure their needs are met, particularly as they navigate through your website. You may also opt to personally address customer queries. You may need help on this though, depending on your business’ size and nature.
While it’s understandable to be very busy at work, especially in the early stages of your business, you also need to know when and how to effectively delegate. Prioritize your core functions as a business owner and focus on growing your business. Set up systems and tools to maintain consistent, quality results for routine activities. Outsource technical and other non-income-generating functions. These actions will help you better achieve a work-life balance. Spend more time with your family and friends and go on much-needed vacations.
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