If you’ve seen my last post on Help! My brain won’t let me delegate! then you’ll know that even the idea of delegation triggers lots of uncomfortable reactions from your brain. But the key to making it ok for your brain is to keep doing it, over and over, until it starts becoming second nature. That’s when the magic of delegation really begins to happen.
But in the meantime, you need the practice. One of the big fears about outsourcing is that it’s going to be expensive. Well, it can be. Going out to hire an agency to find you a high-flying, full-time employee is certainly going to eat up your cash.
However, there are plenty of low-risk ways of getting started. Here are three of my favourites ways to delegate for under £30 (or $45). And all of them are so cheap, you’ll have no excuse not to keep practicing.
1. Book a freelancer to try something new
Get yourself onto Elance, Odesk or PeoplePerHour and take a look at what freelancers can do for you, for just a few pounds (or dollars of various kinds). Pick something small that isn’t business critical, but would be nice to have. Have you been meaning to get the links on your site all checked? How about getting a report proofread, or some research done on some potential new clients?
Look for a freelancer with a high ratio of good ratings or reviews to jobs done. Many people prefer to not leave a review than write a poor one. Or you could take a chance on a newbie, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. On PeoplePerHour you can buy ‘hourlies’, a fixed job offered at a fixed price, or you can put up a job posting and ask people to give you proposals.
2. Buy in bulk for great delegation practice
You can get astonishing value from specialist VA services, particularly those overseas. Efficise will do 30 tasks, of 20-30 minutes each, for just $45 (about £29), including repeat tasks, which many companies exclude.
If having native English speakers is important, try US-based Fancy Hands, who for the same price will do 15, 15-minute jobs, and turn them round almost immediately. It’s a great way of training yourself to think, ‘Do I need to do this, or could someone else?’ If you’re new to this kind of service, you’ll undoubtedly find you’ll win some, you’ll lose some, but treat it as a learning experience. Experiment with different kinds of tasks and different briefs, and observe what gets you the best results.
3 Have fun on Fiverr
Ah, Fiverr. All you dreamed of, and lots of things you didn’t, each one for the grand sum of five bucks. Yes, that’s 5 US dollars, currently around £3.45 sterling.
What can you do? Well, you name it. You can have web banners designed, animations created, blogs written, data input, get coaching or advice and a thousand other things.
Some of them are great value, particularly where someone has, for instance, unusual software or skills to do something quickly and efficiently. Some benefits are possibly less clear, but if you need someone to record a message as Homer Simpson, or paint your brand message on their rippling muscles, this is your place. And it’s the only place I know where you can get someone to make you a video singing Happy Birthday in Welsh, dressed in only a thong and a woolly hat.
So no excuse, now. Even you can afford $5. Go and start training your brain that delegating is not only useful, it can be fun too.