Outsourcing is the practice of hiring outside specialists or generalists to perform certain tasks traditionally handled within a team or organization. These tasks can include calendar management, travel arrangements, and social media management. Outsourcing frees time for full-time staff to focus on more revenue-driving tasks.
You know the feeling of bliss you get when you reach inbox zero, cross the last item off your to-do list, and plan your week-long vacation with ease? Yeah, neither do most of us. Because of that, outsourcing is an increasingly relied upon tool for small or overworked teams who need help with tasks like booking meetings, replying to emails, and arranging travel.
Other companies rely on outsourcing to fill knowledge or skill gaps they don’t yet have the headcount or budget to hire for internally, including paid advertising, video production, and payroll.
Think you might need to outsource some projects? Here’s the ultimate list of tasks commonly outsourced to virtual assistants, specialists, and freelancers.
You might never achieve inbox zero, but outsourcing the right tasks can give you the satisfaction of scratching off another item or two from your to-do list -- and that’s almost as satisfying, right?
How to Tell if You Should Outsource a Task
When you’re part of a small team or growing business, it’s tough to allocate budget for other people to complete tasks that normally fall to you or your internal team. Instead of thinking about the extra money you’ll spend, think of it as an investment in the growth and productivity of your team.
And before outsourcing a task or project, have a checklist of questions you ask yourself:
Is the task a primary service or benefit of your business offering? If yes, consider hiring someone internally to scale company growth responsibly. If not, it might be a task worth outsourcing.
Will outsourcing this task free up time for you to grow your core business or product? If that’s a yes, outsource it.
Will it cost less to outsource this task than to hire someone new or tackle the task internally? If yes, outsource it.
Can someone else complete this task better and faster than your internal team? If yes, you should outsource.
Is this a rare or one-time need? If so, it’s time to outsource.
Will it give you a competitive advantage to handle this task in-house? If so, try to hire staff or complete this project internally to avoid outsourcing.
It’s important to know when it’s time to outsource and when it’s time to buckle down and develop self discipline to finish tasks internally.
By using this list of questions as your compass for whether or not to outsource a task, you’ll ensure your decision to outsource is always the right one. These questions will keep you honest and your business growing steadily. This list of best sales tools for small businesses can help too.
The Ultimate List of Tasks and Projects for Outsourcing
Outsourcing Marketing and Design
Social media content creation
Social media management
Data management and reporting
Canva image creation
PPC campaign management
Writing and blogging
Competitive and industry research
Guest blog outreach
Blog comment moderation
Press release writing
SEO site audit
Editorial calendar management
Outsourcing Administrative Tasks
Greeting card sending
Outsourcing Sales and Support
Expense report creation
Outsourcing HR and Operations
Candidate screening tests
Outsourcing Personal Tasks
School pickup and drop off
Doctor appointment scheduling
Mail pickup and drop off
Outsourcing is a form of business delegation that can save you time, money, and energy better spent on growing your team or business. Consider outsourcing where it makes most sense for your company and foster a healthier work environment and better results.