The ultimate 5 things not to outsource

In my experience, people fall into two camps when it comes to outsourcing. The first doesn’t want to outsource anything, they can’t separate themselves from any role within their business, tasks have to be prised from their hands. The second will quite happily give ALL their work to someone else without thinking about what they’re handing over. Everything and the kitchen sink will be thrown at the poor VA who will struggle to understand or complete everything they’re given. 

That made me wonder if there are some tasks which are more suited to being outsourced than others? After some pondering, a few cups of coffee and a biscuit or two I decided that it’s not the task itself that defines if it’s suitable to be outsourced, but what that task means to the individual.

So here is my list of 5 things not to outsource!

Something you’re really picky about

We all have those tasks that we’re really particular about. For me, it’s the content I post on LinkedIn, but you might be super particular about how your emails are filed or have a really effective system to create your social media content. If that’s the case and it’s working for you then keep hold of it. Trust me, if you try and outsource it you’ll spend all your time nitpicking your VA’s work which isn’t an ideal situation for either of you!

Something you don’t have time to train someone else how to do

There will always be an element of training, or a handover needed to get your VA up and running. If the amount of time, effort and energy it takes to do that training creates more of a headache than it will save you, don’t bother outsourcing it. The success of your relationship with your VA depends on how well you set them up. If you’re too busy to train them on a task that you expect them to complete then it’s never going to work. Yes, outsourcing requires time spent on it at the beginning but if you’re willing to spend the time training your VA then you’ll see the benefits pretty quickly.

Something you haven’t 100% decided on outsourcing

Whatever tasks you decide to outsource you have to be certain that you’re happy for someone else to do them. That means not checking up or worrying about the tasks being done – no one likes working with someone constantly looking over their shoulder – even virtually. You know that task that you’ve been dithering over whether or not someone could do it for you? You’re dithering for a reason, which is normally that you aren’t happy with the idea of someone else doing it so keep that one to do yourself!  

Something you aren’t sure you’re going to keep for the “long haul” 

You need to go into outsourcing tasks with the view that it’s a marriage. You’re in it for the long haul, for better and hopefully not worse. How does that relate to what you should and shouldn’t outsource? You need to outsource tasks that you’re committed to. Not something that you’re interested in this month but might drop next. If you keep changing your mind about the basic tasks your VA is working on for you then you’re going to make it really hard for them to get a feel for your business, to build knowledge and, most importantly, to succeed for you. It’s also a massive waste of time AND money.

Something you love

This is key to me. When you run your own business you get to choose what you want to do and avoid the jobs you hate. So why would you outsource a job that makes your heart sing? Similarly, if there’s a task that you really, REALLY dread doing then you can find someone who loves to do it! When used properly it’s a win-win situation. You get someone passionate and skilled about the tasks you hate and you get to keep doing more of what you love. So why aren’t you outsourcing yet?

When you start thinking about outsourcing, think about what the task means and how easily you’re going to be able to train someone up and let it go. If you can tick those boxes then you’ll find outsourcing will change your life, no seriously it will, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

Need help working out what tasks you can outsource? Email us at to arrange your one hour, one-to-one session where we can help you decide.

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Amy Lester

Amy Lester

With over a decade of experience in Business Administration, Operations and Marketing, I’ve seen it all. I work with my clients on regaining their time so they can focus on taking their business to the next level.

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