One of the best things about freelancing or running your own business is the autonomy you have. With both types of work, you can at times manage your time for you, without necessarily answering to another person or company. This freedom is something entrepreneurs crave, and it can be both scary and exhilarating. The flip side of being in complete control is that you are responsible for everything, and that means making the right decisions that will help your business to grow. Success is not something that is easily achieved in isolation though and knowing what and when to outsource is a key skill for the self-employed.

Recognizing your skill set

It’s essential to be able to identify your key skills and how your time is best spent at work. Very few people can excel in every aspect of their business, and even if you could, it would put undue strain on your time. The primary contributions you make to the business are likely to be your expertise in, and passion for, your niche, and the vision to drive the business forward. If you are also an accountant, you may wish to use your skills to take care of the books, or maybe you are an excellent salesperson, and you want to play a role in generating sales for the business.

Whatever your skills may be, prioritize the ones that will make a difference. It’s no good concentrating on the accounts, if you’re not spending enough time on marketing, for example. It makes more sense to employ someone to do the accounts while you concentrate on the skills you have that are not so readily substituted. Approaching tasks with an understanding of how much time needs to be given to them is essential.

Outsourcing the right tasks

Having a website is one of the most important elements of modern business. Maintaining an effective presence online will be one of the main strategies in your marketing plan, and if you don’t get your online presence right, it could have serious consequences for your enterprise. There is so much competition for consumer attention online that your site needs to stand out from the crowd and have a robust SEO strategy to ensure it features as high up the search engine rankings as possible.

This is a good example of how you can save yourself a lot of time and stress by building websites with professionals. Admin is another task that takes up your time but doesn’t require your expertise, so employing a suitably skilled person to help in the office or using a virtual assistant are sensible potential solutions.

Managing your outsourcing

Engaging the right people for the job in the first place is vital to ensure the smooth running of any outsourced operations. Make sure you speak to several different companies or interview a selection of candidates before deciding which one to employ. Once they have taken over, don’t take your eye off the ball; monitor the performance of your outsourced tasks and make sure you are satisfied with how well the work is being done.

The best thing you can do for your business is to use your time doing the work no-one else is as qualified to do, so that you can optimize performance and profitability. The time you gain to concentrate on your primary role, plus the increased productivity of your business, will more than makeup for the expense of outsourcing.