How do I know when I’m ready? What do I outsource first? How do I get the best results?
Does this sound like you?
You started climbing the mountain a little while ago. You took the first exhilarating but scary steps towards realising a dream and becoming a tour or activity operator. You’re in business!
Since then, things have been okay. You’ve tasted a little bit of success. You’ve seen your bookings increase . You’ve been getting some great reviews, have started working with a few travel partners, hotel concierges and some Online Travel Agents
But, you’re exhausted.
You’ve got a few tour guides working for you in times of need, but aside from this it’s a one person show.
You’re doing everything.
You’re a tour guide, bookkeeper, marketer, reservations agent, sales and operations manager, web designer, product developer, you’re responsible for SEO, vehicle maintenance, office management, payroll…have I missed anything?
If there’s no ‘you’, there’s no business. You are completely maxed out. You’re scared to grow your team because you don’t know if you can afford to.
You’re starting to realise it’s not sustainable if you ever want to grow, scale and build a business you are proud of.
You’re not getting a chance to do anything in your business that you actually love doing because there’s just too much to do and nobody else to do it.
It’s all starting to get you down.
Something has to change.
If you see any of yourself in the above then trust me, you need to start outsourcing fast.
Knowing you need to outsource is one thing. Actually taking the plunge and doing it is another thing altogether.
So what did we do in our business? After two years in business, the people I describe above were us – Suze and I. We found ourselves dejected, exhausted, frustrated….and we took action.
So should you.
So what did we do?
We did four things.
First, we took a step back. We drew a list up of absolutely everything that happened in our business.
We then decided which of these:
- We didn’t like doing
- We weren’t very good at
- Were taking us ages to complete (longer than they should)
- Were not the best use of our time….(for example, I actually like playing around with the design of a newsletter, choosing the right images, getting the layout absolutely perfect. It’s kind of therapeutic in a weird way……but the reality is it’s a terrible use of my time).
Then, we made a list (individually) of all the things:
- We loved doing
- We were really good at
- We thought were a really great use of our time and were propelling our business forward (for example organising sales calls, business development, product development, building an operations manual).
Next, we placed a value on our time. What was our hourly rate? How much were we (in theory) paying ourselves? How much was our time worth?
Finally, it then became a fairly simple process. We drew up a list of tasks that were a part of our business – in order from the biggest to the smallest priority – that we needed to outsource.
We started at the top of that list of tasks that we wanted to outsource and began working our way down. It wasn’t going to happen all at once (we wouldn’t recommend that) but we set ourselves a timeline (it may have been 6 months or one year).
Our objective was to find (one by one) an outsourced solution for all of those key tasks at a cost that was lower, or equal to the hourly rate that we had estimated for ourselves – the value that we had placed on our time.
It was a fairly simple equation in the end.
The most important part comes next…
‘But I’m still terrified of taking the plunge’ I hear you say.
‘How do I know it’s going to work out? How do I find the money? I’m not even actually paying myself so how am I going to find the money to pay someone else?’
I totally get it. We were scared too. It’s normal. Every business goes through it.
My answer to that:
You HAVE to take the plunge. You don’t have a choice unless you plan on becoming a statistic for the start up scrap heap.
Outsourcing is the thing that is going to set you on the path to success.
It takes a lot of self belief. It takes a lot of overcoming fear.
But you have to back yourself and tell yourself over and over that it’s going to be okay.
The fastest path to success is to spend your time in your business on the stuff that you are great at that is going to propel you forward as quickly as possible.
So I hope you’ve found this useful.
Keep an eye on your inbox for my email over the coming week.
I’ll be diving a little deeper on this topic of outsourcing and giving some great tips on, and insights into, where to find great quality, great value outsourced solutions.