What to Outsource In Your Online Business…and When

It’s very likely that your entire conception of “outsourcing” is off-base and in need of serious re-thinking.

Yes, you. And me too. I’ve made more than my fair share of mistakes trying to offload work to other people.

The wild part about building an online business is that it’s more or less the exact same thing as building a “real” business. Newsflash…a business is a business. 

An online business abides by the same general rules as “normal” business. The difference is that your options are much broader online.

Which brings us to outsourcing. In the real world, this is called hiring. Try looking at it through that lens and I guarantee most of your problems around outsourcing will melt away.

What Should You Outsource?

First, read my article on how to grow a website. My process for determining what to outsource is simple:

  1. Write down a list of EVERYTHING you do for your business on a daily, weekly and monthly basis
  2. Evaluate how essential you are to each task on a 1-10 scale
  3. Narrow the list down to the tasks with a 1-5 rating
  4. Delete or delegate (outsource) these tasks

All you’re doing here is evaluating where you’re most valuable in your business. Your value to your own business changes often.

For example, when I started building out my website, I was 100% valuable to every part of it. I had no revenue, no growth, and my brainpower and effort was needed in every aspect of the business.

As traffic and revenue grew, some tasks became worse uses of my time:

  • Development work
  • Writing every article for the site
  • Editing videos, podcasts, etc.
  • Hunting down brand deals

One way to think about your role in your business is to be the Alpha and the Omega, but nothing in-between. I am the strategic brain behind my business, and I am also the reactor to market feedback to my business.

To bring this into practical terms:

  • I create the content strategy and listen to how my audience reacts, but I do not necessarily create all of the content myself
  • I record videos for my YouTube channel and respond to 100% of comments, but I do not edit my videos
  • I record podcasts with myself or guests and field questions about episodes, but I do not edit them or schedule interviews myself

See how it works?

I am not saying that you need to copy my strategy. You have to evaluate where you are most valuable and what your most irreplaceable talents are, and then hire out the rest of the work.

You might be an incredible writer, so you should never give that aspect of the business up. But hiring an editor, social media coordinator, outreach specialist, etc. could all be great choices.

When To Start Outsourcing

My rule of thumb is “as soon as you realize your time is better spent elsewhere.” In a perfect world, I would insta-hire someone to take something off of my plate the microsecond that it wasn’t valuable for me to do anymore.

Of course, that’s not realistic, but it’s a good heuristic for how to think about when to outsource if you’re trying to scale up quickly.

The sooner you remove low-value work from your plate, the more high-value work you do. And the more high-value work you do, the higher value you output. The higher value you output, the more your business grows and the more value you can capture if you so choose.

Simple, right?

Once you internalize these models for outsourcing work, then you can get into the practical elements of outsourcing, which I’m more than happy to write about. Leave me a comment or drop me an email and I can put together a more practical guide.

Keep growing,