Delegation or outsourcing – create more time and supercharge your business

May 15, 2024 by Natalie Brewer
Delegation or outsourcing – create more time and supercharge your business

One person can not do it all. You may have every single skill you need (which, let’s be honest, many of us don’t) but the amount of time it takes to run a successful business is huge. Not having enough time in the day often leads to burnout and poor quality of work. The answer is to create more time and focus your skills on what you do best – and the way to do this is to either delegate or outsource tasks.

Creating more time in the day is just one benefit

Sharing tasks creates more time for business owners to focus on priority tasks. This boost in efficiency will deliver numerous benefits and is a very important reason to outsource. But there’s more.

Delegating work to others frees up mental energy. Having time to think, rather than continually ‘doing’, could be the boost you need to come up with a new strategy, a new product, or a new way of making your customers smile.

You’ll learn new skills yourself. Knowing how, to whom and when to delegate tasks is not always straightforward as you plan ahead to work out who is the best person – or business – for the task and alongside this, weigh up the cost benefit of taking on an employee or setting up a contract with a specialist. But taking the time to determine the pros, cons, costs, and benefits will sharpen your management skills.  You’ll also hone your communication skills to explain what needs to be done and why, and it’s highly likely that you’ll need to give constructive feedback and potentially have tough conversations along the way – other great skills for a business owner. 

The part that is often overlooked is how sharing tasks will ultimately improve your work/life balance. Over time, your goal should be for your business to run without you being present – so you can enjoy the fruits of your labour. Delegating and outsourcing tasks will support this goal by helping to define your succession plan and allow you an opportunity to forge an exit strategy.

How to get the most of outsourcing tasks

When outsourcing or delegating tasks there are three actions that will help ensure the task is completed successfully. 

  1. Remember that the person completing the task is not you. They may approach the task differently to how you would do it but that’s ok. Be patient. 
  2. Have a clear understanding of what you want to be done. Clearly articulate the task and if appropriate, the reason for the task and any potential pitfalls. 
  3. Check in regularly to guide the person completing the task and allow them to ask questions. Of course, if you outsource to a professional, fewer check-ins are needed but it is still worthwhile to keep in touch. 

Which tasks could you outsource or delegate?

Accounting and Bookkeeping

As a business owner or manager, you should always have a good grasp of your financial position, however, there is no need to do all the work yourself. Basic bookkeeping to trial balance, expense management, invoicing, collection, and reconciliations are all tasks that can be outsourced and a monthly report will give you all the information you need. You can even outsource/delegate tax preparation and payroll. 

Social Media Marketing

Social media may be free to use but it takes a lot of time to create great content that will resonate with your audience. You need a plan, great images, pithy text and lots of interesting content. All tasks that can be easily and effectively given to someone else to do. If you choose to outsource or delegate, make sure that you pick someone who knows what they are doing and who understands your followers.

Email and Diary management

Inboxes fill up quickly with questions and tasks. Using someone to answer your emails, filing them in easy-to-access folders, responding to standard questions and making appointments, you will free up hours of your time.

Website Maintenance

Regular, fresh content makes your website more visible and attractive to search engines but it can be a time-consuming task. This is an action that you can easily hand off to someone else – ensuring your website is up-to-date and interesting to visit regularly.    

Travel Arrangements and Events Management

If your work requires a lot of travel, you can delegate booking flights and making hotel reservations, even planning routes. Likewise, planning an event – be it a team building day, a conference, a drinks evening, or an online webinar – takes time and meticulous planning. 

What’s the difference between delegation and outsourcing?

In all honesty, there is not a lot of difference between delegation and outsourcing. Outsourcing involves using an external company while delegating often refers to giving tasks to internal employees. Both options can work well depending on your individual circumstances. To decide, it makes sense to weigh up the pros and cons including the cost-effectiveness of keeping the work in-house vs paying an external professional to do it.

The benefits of outsourcing

When you outsource a task you know that you will enjoy a professional service from experienced individuals and this expertise may be shared with your team, upskilling them too. Outside contractors are motivated to keep you happy and want you to refer them to others so it’s in their best interest to perform at their best at all times. Outsourcing is a cost-effective option when your business needs to scale up rapidly or if you have a one-off task that needs completing quickly.

The benefits of delegating

Delegating is a great way for staff to learn new skills, and for managers to develop leadership skills. Both take time so if you have a long-term need and the resources available, it could be good to invest in your team’s development. 

Also bear in mind that team members feel valued when assigned tasks as they know that they are respected and trusted. This positive feeling is likely to lead to greater loyalty and potentially, fewer days off sick.

How the flexible Hour Hands EA team can support your business

Hour Hands is made up of experienced Personal Assistants and talented bookkeepers all ready to support you with those urgent and important tasks that you just don’t have the time to complete. From booking travel, to managing your diary and managing your accounts and tax returns – we can help you complete tasks and shift them off your to-do list! By outsourcing your tasks, you can flex when you need support – be it ongoing support or for a one-off project or resolving a particular task. 

To find out more simply call us on 01727 818262. We will ask how we can support you and offer a solution either on an hourly rate or package cost. The choice is yours – we simply want to help.