How I Am Building My Business By Outsourcing
The day I decided to outsource…
I took off my glasses and groaned as I rubbed my bleary eyes. I tentatively stretched my aching back and then glanced at the clock by my bedside table, it read… 4am! I jumped up out of my chair and decided to take a power-nap until 6am which was when I had to wake up to go to my full-time job.
I was hunched over my computer since 6:30 pm the day before editing ONE audio interview and it still wasn’t close to perfect. What is going on? I need to outsource this ASAP.
Why Is Every Single Business Project Taking Longer Than What I Think It Will?
I am inexperienced with technology and incredibly optimistic. These are two very dangerous elements when coupled together. 🙂
EVERY SINGLE thing I have done to date for this blog; ranging from getting interviews, learning about audio & video equipment, building/maintaining this website (myself), learning about SEO/Google Analytics, & keyword research., etc. has taken much longer than I have predicted.
I am not unhappy with anything I am doing; it is fantastic to acquire this business/technical knowledge so quickly.
However, I have not been taking in consideration that before I do anything, I do extensive research that ranges from a couple of hours to several days/weeks. I am growing a business so I have startup problems stemming from the fact that I am trying to do it alone.
Should I Outsource Technical Things?
Hmm, well having a full time job takes up significant time; so does my online business course; researching, brainstorming and writing blog posts; reaching out to people to interview; scheduling those interviews; in person networking to meet other African business owners & millennials in town; learning how to use and position my lights/ camera/ microphone/ video, etc. The list of activities is endless.
Little Details, Big Business Problems
I write down actionable tasks daily however I am building a small business with limited resources so I miss little details.
Little details like I have never used Logic Pro X (music software) in my life and there are not many training videos on YouTube or Vimeo. So…Why did I think I could just pop on the computer for an hour and knock out this audio interview?
I have drafted impressive plans that outline to the T the amount of productive hours that I have per week.
However, I do not take in consideration that I get tired and I need a break; or sometimes have to stay late at work; go to an unplanned networking event in the evening; or might travel on the weekend to meet exciting African entrepreneurs that happen to be in the country.
These little details add up!
Being Okay With Not Doing Everything Myself
Recently I had the opportunity to work with Nicole Eniola; she is a graphic designer that hooked me up. I was fiddling with my logo for weeks and it just wasn’t crisp or professional enough.
So I caved in and decided to ask Nicole to design a logo for my site/social media accounts. I gave her the colors of my website (the hex numbers), and the only direction I told her was “Give me some life.”
She took me from THIS (what I created on June 7th)
I also gave into my friend Ibukun Adeniyi, founder of Bukka, he is going to design a website for me. He told me that my current website was nice but he could take it up a notch.
I ignored him at first however he wore me down by telling me that my desire to be independent (i.e. not outsource) is going to slow me down and potentially harm my business. He is a web designer, software developer, coder, engineer i.e. a tech man to the fullest of course he could do a better job than me!
After I type this blog post, I am going to develop a web brief for him and trust him to use his good taste, I mean take a look at Bukka the website that he created. It’s kind of amazing.
My sister Ebere, is an engineer and an architect. So she has a really good eye for design, colors, etc. She helped me choose the colors for my blog/brand. I typically just go with whatever she suggests, I run everything by her first. If she says it’s good than it’s good. 😉
I spoke to my friend Christina Tegbe, Founder of 54 Thrones, we often meetup in Houston to discuss our online businesses. We met up this week and talked about how we both needed interns with technical and editing skills. She reminded me how important presentation is to brand building and development.
The Second Project I Outsourced
I have been looking at Fiverr for a couple of weeks. I have been overwhelmed with trying to google keywords for my website and research my target audience. So I hired 2Girls1Copy to do that for me. They did such a great job. I am relieved that I didn’t have to do it myself. It would have taken me quite a lot of time and energy.
Being Realistic As I Move Forward
Just because I am going to outsource the technical things does not mean that this blog, isn’t my vision and my voice.
I have been spending so much time on the technical aspects of things that I have been slipping on blog posts and I am behind on publishing interviews. These are the most important things right now. There is no Ivy Interviews Africa without my blog posts or interviews!
I need time to research potential interviewees; to read about who just launched a startup, who just sold a company, who is doing innovative & inspiring work in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, etc; brainstorm and write blog posts; study other bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers; what works and what doesn’t blah, blah.
This is just a tip of the iceberg of work that I have to do for my business. All these activities take time. I am going to learn how to use Logic Pro and edit my videos but it’s going to take me awhile and that’s okay. Until then, if I can (i.e. have the funds) I will outsource.
I want to scale and grow so I need be realistic. I need to start delegating. I am proud of the work I have done however it’s time to let other creative entrepreneurs carry some of my load.
I know I can still build a profitable business and I am going to do it by outsourcing some of my technical responsibilities.
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