After becoming a victim of the dot.com bubble bursting, I was pretty broke when I launched my first Seattle-based business back in 2002. That means I did everything I could myself.
So while my business card said marketing copywriter (IE writer of sales, advertising and marketing materials), I quickly became the receptionist, salesperson, Web master, bookkeeper, tech support, graphic designer and about five other things I did not know that much About.
Soon I was also booked solid with clients and working 12-17 hour days trying to get everything done. Then tax time rolled around.
I've always done my own taxes, but crunching numbers is not my strong suit. I was looking at 12-15 hours of self-imposed agony. And I had a long list of other things I needed to be doing with that time.
Finally I said "Enough is enough!" I hired an accountant.
A huge weight came off my shoulders! Suddenly I had time to get something else done, and I was less stressed.
Soon I hired a bookkeeper to set up QuickBooks, enter my receipts and balance my books monthly. I got back eight hours of my time monthly.
Then I started outsourcing more of my Website work and graphic Design, because frankly, my attempts took forever and looked pretty bad. Finally, on the advice of a friend, I hired my first Virtual Assistant (VA) team.
It did not take me long to see the value of outsourcing all kinds of stuff. Especially once I started figuring out who to outsource to and how to do it right.
Nowadays my VAs take care of most of my day-to-day marketing tasks and run the online side of my business. They update my website and blog, send out my ezines, handle my shopping cart, mail out holiday gifts, submit articles online, and much, much more.
Outsourcing in general, and hiring a VA team specifically, has turned out to be the best thing I've ever done for my business. In fact, it's been a highly profitable investment that's let me double my revenues every year since having my first VA team !!
And I'm able to take 30% more time off and say no to working late nights and weekends!
If you're an overworked solo-entrepreneur, or any business owner looking to leverage the power of the web to market your business, I guarantee you can benefit from hiring a VA team too-no matter your budget.
Because while a good VAs hourly rate may seem high up front, they're typically super-fast and require very little training. And they only bill you for the minutes spent on your projects. So they get a ton done for the dollar.
Plus they're super-flexible. You can use them one-hour one week, then 12 the next. That means you can start small then increase or decrease your outsourcing to match your budget and business needs.
The best part is, once you're freed up from all those day-to-day tasks you have time to focus on doing the things you're best at … And the things that bring in clients, customers, and revenues like Sales and marketing-making outsourcing totally affordable.
Not sure what you could actually outsource? Try following my …
3 Golden Rules for Outsourcing
Rule # 1 – If a task somehow never sees to get crossed off your to-do list, and it needs to get done, hire someone else to do it.
Rule # 2 – If you're not good at doing something that's important to your business or success-or you hate doing it-outsource it.
Rule # 3 – If you can hire someone to do a task for considering less than your own hourly rate times the hours it takes you, you have no business doing it yourself.