A Mompreneur’s Essential Outsourcing Guide
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Hey there, Momma! Well, I have to assume you’re a momma, so if you’re not, oops! I’m proud of you for checking out this list, because, trust me, I know first-hand that being a mompreneur is hard-work.
If this is the first time we’ve met, let me introduce myself! I’m Kim, mom of five, wife, host of the Positive Productivity podcast, soon-to-be published author and soul-centered marketing and business automation mentor. Basically, I like to set up systems for my clients so they can get out of their business and back into their life.
And yes, I said five kids. I had two, my husband had the brilliant idea of having one of our own, we did, and then God decided to immediately throw twins in after her. We have a full house, loaded with a constant stream of dirty dishes and laundry.
That’s why putting this article, A Mompreneur’s Essential Outsourcing Guide, together is important to me.
I’m often asked, “How do you do everything?” It always takes me a moment to respond. Do I tell lie and say I’m Mary Poppins’ twin sister? Or am I honest?
Honesty (usually) wins.
I’m writing this on a Friday night, from my recliner, while watching “Jack Ryan” on Amazon with my teenagers. Within two feet of me are three laundry baskets full of clean clothes waiting to be folded.
I’m not touching them.
At the risk of sounding elitist or lazy, I have better things to do with my time. Like write this. It took me way too many years to realize the value of my time, and what I should delegate rather than do myself.
Have you figured this out yet?
If not, let me help you get started…
A Mompreneur’s Essential Outsourcing Guide
Following are just a few of the ways we can outsource tasks which may otherwise cost us time, money and sanity.
>> Grocery Shopping
When I was doing the grocery shopping it involved multiple trips to the store every week. I was horrible about putting together a list, so I would often run to the store every other day before picking my littles up from daycare.
Every time I went in, I walked out with more than I intended. It wasn’t rare for the extra items to add an extra $40+ to the bill. This means that in any given week, we spent an extra $120 on stuff we really didn’t need. And each trip took at least 30 minutes, without factoring in time spent in the parking lot. Ugh.
When my preferred grocery introduced online ordering I was thrilled. I now spend 20 minutes organizing the week’s meals, another 10 filling the online cart, and two processing the order and choosing the pickup time. The drive-through pick-up never takes more than 15 minutes, and most of that is spent reading the book of the moment.
Online ordering isn’t free, at least at my store, but it’s definitely more economical than visiting the store 3+ times per week. An online order costs $5 and 45 minutes of time, but with better planning, the orders are lasting our family 10 days rather than two. Delegating the grocery picking to the store clerks allows me to MAKE hundreds of dollars in the time I would have otherwise spent shopping.
If you don’t have online ordering or grocery delivery available in your area, consider hiring a personal assistant. Regardless of where you live, I have no doubt you will be able to find someone who would be thrilled to have the work and will allow you to stay in your zone of genius.
>> Household Chores
Remember the laundry baskets I mentioned earlier? Yea. I don’t touch them because they’re delegated. So are the dishes and the litter boxes.
If you have teenagers, you undoubtedly know that teenagers want stuff. Lots of stuff. Cell phones, computers, brand name clothes, etc. My teenagers are no different, except they don’t care about the clothes.
So, my husband and I cut the two of them a deal. You do these chores, and we give you the hook-up. We don’t have a Whirlpool dishwasher, we have a Jacob. And Robert handles the laundry and litter boxes. Chores that would have taken me hours every week are now being completed by kids, who are (hopefully) learning the value of working for money.
By the way, we also hired somebody to take care of our lawn. My husband was so excited to take care of his yard when we bought our house. Unfortunately, with a severe back injury from his time in the service, mowing puts him down for days every time he does it. As an entrepreneur himself, weekly downtime wasn’t something we could or wanted to sacrifice.
While one of the boys could do it for less, we now have a lawn care service come in weekly. For $30, they get the mowing and edging done in about 30 minutes. With our push mower, the yard would easily take a couple hours. This wouldn’t work with my busy client and podcast call schedule.
Remember, you don’t need to do everything around your house. The age of Susie Homemaker has passed, especially when you’re building a business. Invest in yourself and your business by delegating household chores to others.
And, yes. “Honey Do” lists are permitted.
>> Email Management
Email inboxes shouldn’t have tens of thousands of unread emails in them. In a mess like that, you never know what you’re missing — good or bad. That’s why I have help with my inbox.
My business outgrew the “Me, Myself and I” status years ago, however it wasn’t until a year ago that I outsourced my email. Creating an SOP (standard operating procedure) for email management was key.
My team knows what stays and what goes. They know which emails to alert me about, and which can simply be added as a task to Teamwork. Most importantly, they know what to delete and when to unsubscribe.
My inbox currently has 100 emails in it, and that’s my limit. I never want to see it go above 100. I also don’t want to be using my inbox as my project management tool. So, several times a week I go through the contents and do my own clean-out. I take care of what I need to and file the rest.
As business owners, we can not be slaves to our inbox. We shouldn’t be starting our day checking it either. Before we even realize it a quick check turns into an hour of wasted time.
Let someone else clean out the crap, and visit your inbox only at prescheduled times. Your wallet and task list will thank you.
>> Social Media
With only a couple exceptions, social media drains me. A quick pop onto Facebook always turns into hours of scrolling, with a random onset of nosiness kicking into full gear.
I don’t have time for this and neither do you.
I consider my team my family, and we call ourselves, “Team Awesome.” They are each (almost) as vested into the business’ success as I am. For this reason, we all share social media responsibilities. If I’m going to be honest, however, there are a couple platforms I rarely touch, for example, the company Instagram account.
If you find yourself losing hours of time to social media, I encourage you to recruit a team member to support you. You need to be staying in your zone of genius, creating content, products and services. Scrolling won’t support you or your big dreams, so delegate the important social media activities (posting and engaging) to someone else.
Numbers may be your thing, but they most certainly are not mine. For that reason, I have delegated my bookkeeping. While the task is still being handled internally, I’m no longer cursing at spreadsheets or tools I have no desire to use.
Keeping bookkeeping internal was a personal choice, however I’m happy I went in that direction. The extra eyes from the inside provide a system of checks and balances, which we may not have gotten had we hired externally. What I mean by this is that I have someone keeping me on track for staying away from Shiny Object Syndrome.
Note: I’m very transparent with my team about all areas of the business. They know what and who is coming and/or going, and they have access to almost all systems. This includes the person handling bookkeeping. This is important because I have been known in the past to purchase membership programs and then never use them, and my team has the right to call me out on the BS purchases.
Since getting the team involved, I have been MUCH more aware of money and where it goes. It’s easy to overlook purchases when you’re handling the bookkeeping yourself, but when you have someone else — even internal — handling the numbers, transparency keeps you accountable for your purchases.
I know there are mompreneurs who are able to juggle kids and clients like the world’s best circus clown. I am not one of them.
With three kids born with 16 months of each other, I think I must have been insane for the short time I thought I could balance child-rearing and work. Quickly, however, I realized I was wrong. I had one client who, literally EVERY time I got on a call with, one of my twins would start screaming. EVERY time.
We had three in diapers and drinking bottles, two who couldn’t yet walk, and none of whom could speak coherently. Instead, they would just cry what felt like non-stop.
Work came to a standstill, but I was the primary breadwinner in our family. It couldn’t be that way.
So, I made a decision. We needed childcare.
Daycare for three is NOT inexpensive by any stretch of the imagination, however there are options and solutions that may suit you if you look for them.
Here are a few you may wish to explore:
- Public assistance for childcare – I live in Ohio (United States), and even the self-employed are eligible for childcare assistance if their income falls below a certain level. Please don’t be too proud to consider applying for assistance if you think you may be eligible. Programs may differ based on your location, but it never hurts to research whether an option like this is available in your area.
- Au pair – In the United States, citizens may hire an au pair to watch over the children. Income is capped (currently less than $200/week), however the programs do require that the au pair has their own bedroom AND that the host family pays for college credits during their time of service.
- College student – Students who are pursuing an early education degree are often limited for employment options while in school. I know that in Ohio, for example, some daycares only employ those with degrees. Given their other options, students may be thrilled to gain experience helping you with your kids.
I delegate dozens of other activities in my personal and professional life, but I would love to hear what you delegate!
What duties do you delegate in order to maintain some semblance of mompreneur sanity? Please share your ideas, comments and suggestions down below!