How do I know when it's time to outsource?

If you're feeling overwhelmed with too much work, it's probably time to start outsourcing some things.

We just made our first hire for AllStreet in April and while it's only a part-time role for now, we hired before we truly needed to.

Talking with other business owners, we repeatedly heard that one of the biggest mistakes they made early in their career was not hiring sooner and not outsourcing less impactful tasks.

Waiting to outsource may not seem like a big deal.. until you realize how much time and effort can go into getting someone up to speed.

If you wait too long, you may be so bogged down with work that you don't have time to evaluate candidates, teach them your processes, and then hand off tasks.

But if you outsource too early (or for the wrong things), you may burn through excess cash that could've been better used elsewhere.

It can be a tough choice to make, especially if you don't have a ton of extra funds in your business, but these are a few times when it makes sense to start offloading some tasks:

If it saves you time, and your time is more valuable elsewhere

Graham Stephan and his YouTube channels are a perfect example of this.

Because he's the face of the channel, he can't give up the time it takes to record videos. But he can give up some of the tasks that go into creating a video from start to finish, which would let him spend more time on the important things (recording videos, research, and building the brand).

So he brought on an assistant a few years ago to help with editing & partnerships and has since hired another assistant to support the growth.

Take some time to think about the things you do day-to-day that can't be done by someone else, list them out - and then do the same thing for tasks that someone else could do. After that, do some research around potential costs and standard rates to determine if the cost of outsourcing is worth the time saved.

If it can make you money

If you're spending money in business, it should almost always make you money back in some form.

You may not see a direct profit from a hire but you may be able to spend more time on something like business development, which could then lead to more business and more income.

If they're better at it than you

If there's an important piece of your business that you're not particularly "good" at and you're only doing it because you're doing everything, you may see a lot of benefit from outsourcing.

This could be marketing, content writing, bookkeeping, or operations - but you need to be self-aware and know where you're lacking so that you can fill those gaps with necessary talent.

If you can afford it

Unless you plan to be a solo business forever, you're going to hire at some point.

You may not feel the pressure to bring on additional support, but sometimes it just makes sense if you can afford it. Affording it can be as simple as knowing that you have enough income each month to pay yourself and to set aside money for taxes, so excess income could be used to reduce your time spent in the business.

Think: If outsourcing a few things gives you back 10 hours a week, even though you can easily do the tasks, how would that affect your life? Could you spend more time with family? Could you pursue some other passions? Could you grow your business even more?

When it comes to outsourcing, think less about the direct costs and more about the opportunities that more time could open up. Business is a long game, not a short-term profit play.

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