I have written several articles in the past on outsourcing, and why it is so important for your real estate investing business or any business for that matter. It is in fact vital that you begin to delegate if you are to not only survive but thrive. If you feel like you are drowning in your business, you need to start outsourcing.
A while back I wrote about the “The ABC’s of Successful Delegation and Outsourcing”. Another topic was “Setting Your Virtual Assistant Up For Success”. I carried this theme a little further on my blog, breaking down each one of those steps.
One of the stumbling blocks for folks is where to begin. Even though I addressed making a master list of every possible task you do in your business, I think it is only after you “see it” that you really grasp the potential that delegation will really afford your business.
Employees or Virtual Assistants?
That question can only be answered by you and the vision you hold for your business.
Some people have an office and a staff, while other folks like me choose a different path. I was responsible for creating enough work to “feed several people” in my other business for 17 years. So when I decided to close that business and concentrate on my real estate investing business full time, there was never a question about whether or not I would have employees; I definitely would not go down that path again. I knew I would need help, but they would not be someone I had to feed.
It’s all in the Details
There are a lot of ways to go about deciding what to delegate or outsource, but I can only tell you what worked for me.
I wrote everything down; every single task that needs to be done in my business. I have been doing this a long time, so I didn’t even have to keep track of my tasks or keep a log to know what those things were. If you are new to real estate, this will be an exercise you will most likely need to do.
I put everything in categories such as daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or occasional tasks.
Once that was done, I created several other lists. Those were projects that I wanted to do, products I intended to create, and procedures and systems I wanted to add to my business. I put everything down on few sheets of paper that had been taking up space in my head.
Mind Mapping; Creating a “Grand Vision”
The next thing I did was to use the “pencil and eraser” method of creating a mind map. I know there are programs that do this, but it was really easier for me in the beginning to use this method. I move things around a lot kind of like when you are creating a garden. Once I was sure I had every one of the tasks in my business down on those sheets of paper, I put the whole thing out of site for a couple of weeks.
I headed over to Home Depot and bought a big sheet of whiteboard. You can get one that is approximately 2’x4’ for under $10.00. I proudly hung up my big whiteboard on my wall in the office. I might add that I used mirror hangars so that I wouldn’t damage my board. (Who knows; I might want to move that one day).
After a couple of weeks, I took those papers out of the folder and reviewed what I had previously written. Once I was satisfied that it met my goals now, I wrote it all up on my whiteboard. I know that I will make a lot changes over time, but I wanted to have a clear idea of where I was headed at least for now.
Once I had everything up on my board, I began to look at every task and project listed. Then I started to think about how I could eventually outsource most of this work. I decided to use a color to indicate “an outsourcing opportunity”. For now, I am just underlining with my color. Later on, I will probably add a different color to the label to indicate that is has actually been outsourced.
Here is the really important question you need to ask yourself; “What is my core genius? What is it that no one can do (or should be doing) except me?”
I Love My Whiteboard!
I was reminded during this exercise about a blog post I wrote one time about the effect procrastination has on your business. The title was something like, “Procrastination; the Thief of Time and Accomplishment”.
I started thinking about just how true this is. All of these projects that roam around in your head without direction usually end up never getting started much less completed. Just the act of writing these things down and creating a plan sets you on a different path. There is one other benefit too. When you have a 2’x4’ sheet of whiteboard staring you in the face every single day with “outstanding projects”, it has a very positive effect on your decisions you make about how you use your time each and every day.
Create Your Grand Vision
Decide to go to work on your own master plan this week.
If you are just getting started it might just be 4 or 5 steps for marketing your business. I had that plan once. Or, possibly you might have those same steps with a detailed direct mail campaign as one of the “legs” of your plan, and the details of the website you are in the process of creating.
Start small and watch it grow. Be sure to take some pictures of your whiteboard from time to time. When you get discouraged along the way (and everyone does), just pull out those early whiteboard pictures and see how far you have come.
I wanted to show you what my “master plan” looks like; just a peek mind you. I won’t be sending anyone copies or close-ups. A girl has to have some secrets after all!
Outsource early and outsource as much work as you can.
Which tasks do you currently outsource in your business? What do you plan to outsource?
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.