Updated: Feb 9
We’re all looking for shortcuts. Whether we choose to take the drive-thru at Starbucks or save our credit card information on Amazon - I mean who wants to wait inside anyway. Still, shortcuts aren’t always the best decision. I know how dangerous it can be when your next online purchase is just a click away! In spite of that, there are areas where saving time is actually a boon rather than a bane. One area in particular is outsourcing jobs, especially as a busy health business owner!
This blog post will walk you through five jobs you need to outsource as a busy health business. When you outsource you’re able to focus your time, attention, and resources on your company’s core skills.
What Does it Mean to Outsource Work?
Outsourcing works is when a business gets a product or service from an outside provider, rather than handling it in house. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, more than a third of small businesses currently outsource at least some of their operations. When a business owner decides to outsource work they have to systematically and ruthlessly examine certain tasks and the steps taken to achieve those tasks.
At its core, outsourcing is removing inefficiency.
Yes, it is also letting go of control. If you’re a control freak like me I can relate to the instant tightening of your muscles at the mention of “letting go.” Don’t worry, take a few deep breaths and let’s get into this.
Let me tell you a story. Imagine your office manager is torn between committing to growing your company’s online presence and providing high-quality care and attention to clients. She has to devote several hours a day to this task, which she wasn’t hired for in the first place. Her true skills in face-to-face relationship building are put on the back burner.
The company suffers because her skills are wasted on projects that could be completed more efficiently by someone else...aka a social media manager.
So, When do you Outsource?
When work is too menial for your current employees skill set.
When work is out of your current employees skill set.
When the overhead of hiring a new employee exceeds the benefit of their job.
When you need to focus on growing other aspects of your company.
Okay, but what types of jobs should I keep in-house?
Anything that relates to the expertise/or offer of your company. For example, a gym owner is not going to want to outsource personal trainers or nutritionists. They will want to develop those positions in house - because they relate directly to specific value offers of that business.
What is a Freelancer?
Now, let’s talk about how exactly to outsource. When you outsource work you are hiring a professional “freelancer.” A freelancer is someone who is self-employed and takes on contract work for organizations and businesses. Generally, a freelancer will have transitioned to their current position from a corporate job, but that’s not always the case.
Freelance workers are in charge of things that many employees would not be. For example: they set their work hours, track time spent on different projects, pay their own employment and business taxes, pay for their own healthcare, and generally function as their own small business. When you outsource to a freelancer they are considered “contractors” rather than “employees” of your business.
Ways to Search for a Contractor
The amount of professionals freelancing in the United States is growing. That’s good news for the health and wellness business owner! In the past, it was difficult to find contract workers. Now, they’re everywhere! The first place to look would be your own personal network. Next, you can search the following terms and the position you are looking to hire for on LinkedIn and Google:
1099 contract position
The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing
As in everything, there are positives and negatives to outsourcing. While outsourcing offers business owners an advantage, there is a learning curve. In an article by Entrepreneur, evidence shows business owners can benefit from improved client and employee satisfaction when they outsource. But, finding the right freelancer can be difficult. Let’s take a deeper dive into the pros and cons!
Economical: the costs of outsourcing work can vary widely depending on the work you need done. Imagine a one-time website design versus a consistent virtual assistant or human resources manager. However, you can generally expect to spend less when outsourcing work rather than hiring in-house.
Efficient: outsourcing allows you to build a team of highly skilled workers while still keeping full-time employee costs down. It allows your in-house employees to focus on what they were hired for.
Time saving: outsourcing frees up the time you would have spent learning new skills. It helps you avoid getting bogged down in tasks that can be completed without your attention.
Security risk: anytime you bring a new member onboard there is a security risk - employee and client data must be protected anytime you outsource.
Finding the right contractor: company culture is important, especially when you are a small business. Finding the right fit can be a challenge.
Learning curve: communication is key between contractors and the contracting company. Sometimes there is a learning curve that the freelancer must overcome before creating totally satisfactory work. A contractor may not be a full-time employee, but they are still an investment into the company.
Traits to Look for in a Freelancer
Deciding to outsource work as a health business owner is an important decision. As with the hiring of any new employee, there are key traits to look for in a freelancer. Due to the nature of working remotely, a freelancer may value different things than an in-house employee. Make sure you and the contractor you want to hire have similar communication styles - and ALWAYS sign a contract before working together!
Here are traits you’ll want to see in a freelance contractor:
Five Jobs you Need to Outsource as a Busy Health Business
Finally! You’ve reached the point where you’re ready to start outsourcing some work. As an entrepreneur you’ve been doing everything yourself - from payroll to Instagram! The overwhelm is real. You don’t even know what work you CAN outsource. I’ll be the first to tell you, in today’s market, you can outsource almost anything. But, the following list is specifically created with health business owners in mind!
Virtual assistants are becoming more and more common! Especially for the small entrepreneurs and bloggers who work from home. If you run a personal training business, a nutritional consulting business, or even an online functional medicine practice you could benefit from a virtual assistant! There are VA’s who can handle everything from inbox management to social media posting. Any administrative tasks that you can’t handle or don’t have the time for - get a virtual assistant.
Web designers are the visual artists in the way of online marketing - that and graphic designers. Sometimes, your web designer will also be a graphic designer and that’s a win win! If you’ve been a successful brick and mortar business for a while and are looking to go online you’ll need a web designer. Of course, there are ways to circumvent a web designer with companies like Wix. Nowadays, you can build beautiful websites with drag and drop templates for half the price of hiring a web designer. One thing you can’t drag and drop is good copy - that’s where your writers come into play.
My personal favorite, ahem, no bias here of course, is a content writer. Content writers are audience building machines! If you’re looking to build traffic, educate your clients, and increase your community - you want a content writer. They have expert knowledge of search engine optimization and content marketing best practices. In fact, if you’re curious about content marketing strategy you can read this post on content marketing for health professionals!
Copywriters are the cousins of content writers. They are usually more sales focused and specialize in persuasive writing. If you have a new project you’re about to launch or need help writing a sales funnel a copywriter is your go-to. A copywriter can benefit any health business owner who needs to convert traffic into sales.
Software developers and IT support are SO important for any business. In the health and wellness field, they’re particularly necessary when you have a large customer management system. However, they aren’t someone you’ll need on a daily basis - which is why contracting out your IT support may be a better option.
As a content writer myself, I have personal experience working with health and wellness business owners. If you’re looking to start outsourcing work please send me a message and I’ll see how I can help! If you’re not ready to take the plunge, but still want to learn more about content marketing and business tips, sign up for my newsletter! You’ll get special goodies and regular blog updates, specifically created for the health and wellness entrepreneur.