As a solopreneur, we have lots on our plate. I don’t have to list all the tasks that we do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, but I know that you feel the exhaustion, and sometimes the overwhelm, that I feel.
Your business is your baby and sometimes…well, it is just hard to let go. But once I read this quote (and honestly, I can’t really even remember where I read it…) and it essentially said, “There are some things only YOU can do for your business. Then there are tasks that anyone can do. They may not do it exactly how you do it, but relinquishing those tasks frees up your time to focus on the things that only you can do, and those are the things that ultimately grow your business.”
Let’s take a step back…
And put this in terms of a business that isn’t a photography business, so that it is a little less personal:
Let’s pretend you’re a property manager who is trying to expand the rentals that you have to offer. A property manager has a lot on his/her plate: move-ins, move-outs, writing leases, fixing maintenance issues, landscaping, answering emails for prospective tenants, marketing the available properties…and that’s just the day-to-day. Those day-to-day tasks aren’t even touching on any tasks that would allow your business to grow. Now, in order to grow, you need to search for other properties that fit what you/your tenants need, visit those properties, inspections, negotiate and sign contracts, etc. If you are bogged down with day-to-day or small tasks, like mowing the lawns of the existing properties, then you don’t have time to grow the business doing the tasks ONLY you can do.
Now let’s bring it back…
Let’s equate some of those tasks to a photography business:
Mowing the lawn = Editing your images
Scheduling maintenance requests = Scheduling consultation calls
Marketing available properties = Planning social media posts
Some of these things may be difficult to part with because, well, your business is your baby. It’s easy to feel like no one can do things the way you do them. It’s also easy to feel like the cost doesn’t justify the outsourcing.
But think about the time you spend editing ONE wedding and how that time can be used to grow your business instead of maintain the day-to-day tasks.
That time could be used to develop that idea you have had in the back of your head for the last year. That one that could be a massive income producer. That passive income possibility. That project that appeals to another niche client.
Alright, I’m ready…
Once you’re ready to outsource, determine which tasks are not necessary for YOU to do. Then, write down your process in extreme detail. Like down to the things you think are obvious. This may sound silly, but often we are dissatisfied when we outsource things because we assume that everyone does things the same way as we do. That is almost never the case. Having a “standard operating procedure” that you can pass on to a virtual assistant or editor is extremely helpful when handing off tasks within your business.
The tasks that are outsource-able are different for everyone! My business is not going to be the same as your business. You’re not going to outsource the same things I outsource. If you’re ready to outsource, but don’t know where to start, here is a list of some of the most commonly outsourced tasks within a photography business:
- Social Media Planning & Content
- Client Correspondence (Emails/Contracts/Invoices/Scheduling)
- Album Design
From here, I wish you the best as you outsource those “day-to-day” or “maintaining” tasks and switch gears to be able to focus on the larger “growing” tasks. If you are currently outsourcing something or thinking about doing so, drop the task below to give others inspiration!