Thursday, October 10, 2019


To do or not to do? That is the question.

No matter what your business, there comes a time when you need to decide what priorities you need to handle yourself and what you can outsource.

Whether you offload work to a live or virtual assistant, a different "team," or an outside specialist, more often than not, the time and energy you save will be well worth the expense.

The Litmus Test

When deciding whether to take on certain projects or offload them, here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Is this related to my specialty?
  • Can someone else do it?
  • Should someone else do it?

Characteristics of items that are good to outsource, include:

  • Repetitive tasks, such as data entry
  • Time-consuming tasks, such as transcription.
  • Out-of-your-comfort-zone tasks. If something will take you more time to learn than it will take someone else to do properly, unless it's something that will benefit your own professional development, it should go on someone else's plate.

Professional Services. Unless it's your actual business, look to others for:

  • Web Design and Support
  • Legal Advice
  • Accounting
  • Graphics
  • Finance

Project Support. There are also certain cases where you need get assistance, even when the action item can be done by you. Especially when doing something close to you, such as self-publishing, to get the best product possible, you may need to hire the following contractors:

  • An editor
  • Copy editor
  • Cover designer
  • Book designer
  • Marketer or Publicist
  • Don't forget a photographer for new headshots.

Finding the Right People

If you do decide to outsource, start with your network. Ask friends directly for recommendations, post a request in a LinkedIn update, or go to networking events where you can potential find the right people.

Alternatively, you can look to job boards and ask for suggestions relevant Facebook or LinkedIn groups.

The Bottom Line

When the question is about outsourcing, it usually comes down to money. If you can afford the expense, it enables you to focus on the things you do well and are passionate about ... which will ultimately generate more money. Outsourcing in the perfect world pays for itself.

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How do you decide what to do and what to outsource? What are your tips for finding great resources? Please share in the comments.

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For more on Getting Press, read the #GoalChat recap on the topic.

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Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of The D*E*B Method: Goal Setting Simplified and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. Like the Write On Online Facebook Page and join the Facebook Group.  Debra is the author of Your Goal Guide, being released by Mango in January 2020, as well as Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages. She is host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and the Guided Goals Podcast, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.


Karen Cioffi said...

Debra, I've been thinking about outsourcing more and more. It's becoming difficult to keep up with a presence on social media so that may be something I look into. Thanks for tips.

Debra Eckerling said...

Good luck with your outsourcing exploration. You do need to put in the work to find and train someone, but the benefit is definite long-term.

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