If you run a small business or are a busy freelancer or independent contractor, you know that your time is, quite literally, money.
A lot of small business owners make the mistake of thinking that the most cost-effective way of tackling all of the things they have to do in a day—from core business activities to getting food on the table at home—is to do it themselves. On the face of it, this approach might seem inexpensive, but in reality, it can lead to day after day of rushing from task to task, with little bandwidth left to devote to your core business, critical blue-sky thinking, or even being mentally present to help your kid with homework after dinner.
At this point, it's old news that multitasking, though impossible to completely avoid, is bad for productivity, so how can a small business owner or freelancer make the time they need to get everything done? Consider outsourcing. Here's one approach:
Put a Monetary Value on Your Time
If time is money, you need to know the exchange rate. Determine how much an hour of your time is worth: take your salary and divide it by 2,080 (for a 40-hour workweek) or 1,950 (for a 37.5-hour workweek). Let's say you're a freelance graphic designer who makes $105,000 a year. For a 40-hour workweek, you're making about $50.50 an hour.
Select Tasks to Outsource
It's possible to outsource almost anything these days. Some experts suggest focusing on chores like house cleaning, grocery delivery, and handyperson services, while others suggest thinking about the elements of your business, like bookkeeping, payroll, and accounting, that might be easily handed off on a regular basis. Remember to pick the tasks you don't enjoy doing—no sense in handing off something fun!
Get Some Prices
Now take the tasks you've identified and get some prices. Keep in mind that some service provider platforms charge their workers high fees that end up getting passed along to hirers. If you're striking out on one of the better-known platforms, that might be the reason. Another tip: older service provider platforms have a tendency to specialize in one type of service—if you're trying to outsource a variety of tasks, it can get a little unwieldy to slog through a bunch of sites.
Once you find a service provider who can handle a task at a low enough hourly rate to make sense to you, outsource away! Congratulations—you’ve not only removed an unpleasant task from your to-do list, but you’ve made yourself more time! Whether on a regular basis or just during those weeks when you're completely overwhelmed with work and life, outsourcing can give you more time to focus on the things you value most.
Looking for a one-stop service provider marketplace for all of your outsourcing needs? The Urban Helper is a Great Source for Outsourcing. Get in on the ground floor by joining The Urban Helper beta test! We don’t charge our service providers a usage fee so their costs stay low, which means you can find competitive rates for the services you need.