Hi friends! Today we are diving in to the five big obstacles that are holding you back from outsourcing. Hold onto your seat because I am going to be calling you out! When I talk to small business owners about their biggest stumbling blocks in their business, hiring, training and managing a team is always close to the top of the list. I get it! I’ve been there! But let me tell you, there is so much freedom to be had in building a team that believes in and supports you. You were not meant to walk around with the entire burden of your business on your shoulders. It is ok to ask for help and can be one of the most rewarding parts of owning a business. So in today’s episode, we will be dissecting the five top limiting beliefs around outsourcing and how to overcome them.
But before we jump in, I want to tell you about my free interview template to get you started on hiring the perfect virtual assistant for your company. Go to karengreenoe.com/VA to get your hands on it. Hiring doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Use this guide to help walk you through the interview process!
I have a confession to make. I am OBSESSED with outsourcing. I am constantly looking for new things in my life and business that I can standardize and outsource. I spent far too many years in the trenches where I felt 100% responsible for every tiny piece of my business. It was overwhelming and I really did feel that if I stepped away, it would all crumble to pieces.
When I was on maternity leave with my first daughter, I did have a design team in place to maintain the business while I spent a few away. They designed events, met with clients and kept the place from burning down. They really did do a great job, in spite of me. And I say that because I really did a really crummy job of handing over the reins. I gave them just enough information and control to keep the boat afloat, but nothing more. I was still scheduling all of the appointments and answering incoming emails. I was still sending payment reminders and logging invoices. Heck, I was answering emails in the hospital while I was in labor! Definitely not the vision of work life balance that I strive for today. But my attention was divided and I was not giving my all to either my business or my newborn daughter. Bless my husband, he called me out MULTIPLE times about not being present. He was exactly right.
Because I wasn’t doing a great job on a job I shouldn’t have been doing in the first place while on maternity leave, my team was suffering. They were meeting with too many clients in one day. They didn’t know if a certain flower was being substituted or if the client had made a last minute change. I was not doing a great job supporting them. Bless them, they stood by me even through all of this nonsense!
When I came back from leave, it was obvious that something had to give. I couldn’t keep up. I had to find help. My team was already overwhelmed. I needed a dedicated person to hand over some of the more administrative tasks. I knew it wasn’t enough of a job to fill a full time position, nor did we have the room in the budget to hire another salaried position. And that is when I hired my first virtual assistant.
The first thing I handed over was managing incoming inquiries on our website and scheduling. Next was billing and reminders. And it snowballed from there.
The transformation was INSTANT. The number of emails coming through my inbox every day dropped drastically. The number of emails I sent every day was easily cut in a third if not more. I felt so free that I could run through a field a wild flowers in all of my newfound free time! I want that feeling for you. I want you to feel like you can hand off elements of your business that are keeping you BUSY when you don’t need to be. I want you to feel like you can step away and the whole thing won’t crumble.
On the flip side, I know its hard. I know it’s scary. But in today’s episode, we are going to break down the limiting beliefs that are holding you back from outsourcing so you can move forward into your biggest freedom! So let’s get started!
Limiting belief #1: The belief that no one can do it like you. We are small business owners are very proud people. I get it! I am right there with you! You are so proud of what you’ve built, and you should be! You are doing something that’s such a small percentage of people in the world can do! And that is incredible! But that doesn’t mean that you can’t accept outside help. We’ve all heard the saying that no one will care for your business like you well. While that may be true in some regard, I would challenge you and say that there are people out there who can support you better than you can support yourself. There are people out there that have skill sets that are different than yours and can actually do things better. And that is what makes the world a beautiful place! We all have different talents and when those talents come together, it creates something truly beautiful!
I truly believe that it is essential to your success to surround yourself with people that are smarter than you and have complementary skill sets to yours. One example I will give you is my bookkeeper. I’ve been working with the same accountant for years and they have always taken such great care of me. When my business really began to grow, it became obvious that my limited understanding of accounting and reporting needed to be supplemented. I remember spending the better part of an afternoon sitting in my CPAs office with their QuickBooks expert as she ran through all of the things I would need to do to tackle my bookkeeping on a monthly basis. I took pages and pages of notes and was just trying to keep up. When I got back to my office, I opened QuickBooks and attempted to reconcile the past month of transactions. I was instantly lost! Even after taking all of those notes and spending all of that time with her, I still didn’t know the first step to take. Instead of spending even more hours trying to figure everything out all over again, and simultaneously being terrified that I was really going to screw something up, I sent her an email. I think her for her time and then said I really don’t think I am cut out for this task! Could I hire you for a few hours a month to run all of my reports and reconcile my accounts? Of course she agreed wholeheartedly and now every month, I have a beautiful statement that is 100% done correctly! And that is one more thing off of my plate that I never have to worry about. She does a much better job than I could ever hope to!
Limiting belief #2: Thinking you don’t have the time. I totally understand where this belief comes from. When you were starting to build a team, it can be very time-consuming. It is so easy to look at how jam-packed our schedules are and think that there is no possible way you could fit in training another person to work in your business. But I will also tell you that time spent building your team will return to you tenfold! If you carve out a few minutes a day or an hour or two a week to start taking small steps towards your bigger goal of handing off things in your business, you will be amazed how that time adds up.
Start small. Bring on a VA to handle a few tasks in your business that suck up a ton of your time but are relatively simple to standardize and teach. For me, that was my inbox. I found myself writing the same email over and over and over again as inquiries would come in. And I STILL wasn’t getting to that ever elusive Inbox 0 status! By creating a collection of template emails which literally consisted of me copy and pasting my past emails into a Google Doc, I could train my VA to respond in all sorts of scenarios.
Limiting belief #3: Being overwhelmed by training. I get this one too! Being overwhelmed and creating systems that you can then hand off to someone else can be a daunting task. And then the thought of managing that person and making sure things are done to your brand standards make it even more overwhelming! I get it! Here is what I challenge you to do. Take everything in small doses. Document the systems that you want to hand off. Every time you work through a repeatable process in your business, write it down! Record it! Right templates! Over time, this will help you create a training manual that you can then hand off to someone else. Training does not have to be intimidating. Get it all down in writing so that it is easier to transfer.
Limiting belief #4: Believing that it won’t save you time. Ooooooh Girlfriend, this one is straight up not true! I cannot begin to tell you the number of reclaimed hours I have had in my business by standardizing my procedures and handing them off to my virtual assistant. She can knock out these tasks far quicker than I can and in a mere five hours a week, she can do what took me 20! So, if you look at it that way, you are actually LOSING time by not outsourcing! As the business owner, you should be focusing your time and attention on the things that move your bottom line forward, not the things that simply maintain. Focus your daily activities on the things that truly make a difference and you will be amazed how quickly you grow!
And here we go we are saving my favorite for the last! Limiting belief number five: The cost. I get it, Hiring cost money. But what I challenge you to do is break down what you should be paid on an hourly basis. Run the numbers. If that hourly rate is higher than what you would pay a virtual assistant, you are actually costing yourself money. And if you jump back up to limiting belief number four, because a virtual assistant can often accomplish what you do in a much shorter period of time because of focused work tasks, you are costing yourself even more!
I am going to challenge you even further. There is more of a cost to not outsourcing that cannot be quantified in dollars and cents. Your time is the most valuable resource that you have. Even if you don’t use your newfound time to make more money, is it time that you would be better served to spend time with your family? Or with friends? Because let’s face it, your family will be there far longer than your business so any investment made in them is one that will pay off in huge dividends. Do not forget about the ROI of the heart.
So friends, I hope this episode has shown you that you are not alone in your fear of outsourcing. Change is different. Change can be scary. But I promise you, but laying the groundwork to create a business support system around you to carry the burden of running your business, you will free up time, reduce overwhelm and reclaim your life.
September 13, 2019