Do you like to be at home alone?
Working away on your latest project?
Sometimes I get lonely and go to a cafe and pretend the other coffee sippers are my friends and that we have coffee parties together.
But mostly, I like working at home alone. It’s simple.
So if you prefer to run your business without hiring outside help, that’s entirely fine.
Indeed, it can be much simpler to wake up in the morning knowing that all you have to do is the thing you’re really good at, rather than having to manage other people and processes.
E.g. maybe you help people write stand-out resumes for themselves and you can do that by yourself.
On the other hand, maybe you are trying to build something with a little more size, and you just don’t have the skills or time or interest to do it all alone.
Rather than going straight to the more involved process of hiring and managing employees, it often makes sense to contract out some help.
It sometimes helps combat solopreneur loneliness, too.
Here are some ways I’ve outsourced and delegated:
- Use services. Do you have your own server to host your website? No, you probably pay a monthly fee to a hosting company to have them do it for you. You probably use a few services similar to this, like Aweber. But what you may not have considered is that there are many other useful services out there that can take tasks off your plate without you having to hire someone directly. Here’s my list.
- Use Fiverr. This is where there are talented people offering millions of services that cost as little as $5. I’ve hired people to do sketches for me, transcriptions, and even light coding. It’s probably the easiest way to get started with hiring someone to do a task for you.
- Hire someone you know. I have family and friends who occasionally work for me. I pay them as contractors. It can be risky to partner up with people with whom you’re close, especially on big projects (as I understand it, a lot of relationships get burned after two people partner up – my marriage being one of them, doh!), but if you need help with specific tasks and you already know someone who would be good for the job, it’s a great way to go.
- Hire a freelancer. If you need just a small project done, try Upwork.com (the result of a merger between Elance and Odesk, two of the most well known freelancer sites). This is the one I haven’t done yet, because I’ve always gone right to:
- Hire a virtual assistant. My advice is to hire someone from the Philippines. In my experience, they’re the best. I’ve hired a few assistants over the years from www.onlinejobs.ph, or if you want a little more help finding a good person and are willing to pay more, www.virtualstafffinder.com is highly regarded.
- Hire a professional. I’m one of these rare nerds who enjoys doing his own bookkeeping and tax returns. It helps me better understand my business. But if you’re not into that, by all means, hire a bookkeeper and an accountant, or check out my recommend list for other bookkeeping options.
Personally, I still lean to doing most of my work myself because I like the simplicity of it.
I know people who have founded and run multi-million dollar businesses only to decide that they’d rather work from home alone and go eat ice cream in the afternoons.
But even if you are running a minimalist business, it can be nice to get some help. It allows you to get rid of tasks you don’t enjoy doing or aren’t particularly adept at doing, freeing up time for those tasks that are more important and that you love.
When you’re just starting, it can be hard to outsource and delegate because you don’t have the cash flow yet. I get that.
But if you have certain tasks that you’re dying to get off your plate, think of it as an investment that allows you to get back to the more important work.
And since a major goal of minimalist business is getting rid of time commitments that aren’t enriching your business and your life, outsourcing and delegating can play a big part in allowing you to spend more of your day in love with what you’re doing.
And you won’t be quite so lonely in your little office, which we will minimize next time.