February 5, 2022

Simple Outsourcing to Free Up 15+ Hours Per Week

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This week's tip: How I outsource repetitive, non-strategic work to support agents.

As a solopreneur, it's critical that you spend your time focused on the most strategic areas of your business.

When you outsource effectively, you free up a tremendous amount of time.

You also avoid costly "context switching" (our tendency to shift from one unrelated task to another), which turns 5-minute distractions into 30-minute distractions.

Unfortunately, so many people are caught up in the day-to-day minutia of their business, that they never stop to apply this effective process.

Everything about your online business feels important

When you're running your own business, every little issue can feel like it's the most urgent matter of the day.

Have you ever found yourself spending a lot of time:

  • Answering emails from random "brain pickers"?
  • Helping someone find their username or password?
  • Explaining where to find something in your product?
  • Going back and forth trying to schedule a podcast or event?

Of course, these are important things to address. But they can be managed by someone who isn't the strategic force behind your business.

Here's a 5-step plan for outsourcing non-strategic tasks (and saving 15+ hours per week).

Step 1: Audit what distracts you the most

Identify what distracts you the most.

I’ve started paying close attention to distractions to understand when I was most distracted, by what, and how often.

I keep a running tally each week to make sure I'm identifying any new distractions that have crept up.

Awareness is your first step.

Step 2: Record videos to “show and tell” how you solve each issue

A lot of people audit their time. But few implement systems that allow someone else to step in and help.

Remember that your outsourced helpers may not have the background to understand what they’re solving and why.

So it's important to record a granular video where you walk through every single step.

Share your videos with a few people who have no context, and see if they can complete the tasks you teach on video.

Step 3: Store the videos in a process document on Notion or GDrive

Once you have your videos recorded, upload to GDrive or a Notion page with additional text instructions.

The most common instructions I store in text form are things like:

  • Email templates to respond to prospects and customers.
  • Username and passwords for accounts they'll access. (note: create roles where your helper is not an admin)
  • Links to other resources to support their work.

Step 4: Teach someone on Fiverr or Upwork to follow your process

When your processes are recorded and documented, it’s time to hire your helper.

I've used many different services before: Fiverr, Upwork, PHOnlineJobs, etc. It matters less about where you look and more about how you train people.

My favorite way to train someone is to take an actual distraction and hire someone to follow my instructions. Once you work with someone 3-5 times, you get a good sense for how you like working with them.

Step 5: Route these emails to your new support agent

Once you find a helper, simply reroute common support emails you get by creating a secondary email address (inquiries@, help@, support@, etc.) that is sent to your new support person.

I recommend a weekly catch-up with your helper to prevent any confusion on their end.

Congratulations, you just freed up 15+ hours of your time to be more strategic.

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