So you think you’re ready to scale your wedding business, start outsourcing tasks, and eventually grow a team (even if small but mighty)? Doing so usually sparks one of two feelings for a business owner: extreme excitement or terrorizing fear. You’re either ready to get someone onboarded now so that you can stop doing that thing you hate doing, or handing off tasks to rely on someone else to do is completely nerve wracking.
You shouldn’t find yourself waking up in the morning dreading having to manage all of the things in your business. You started this journey because you love what to do, right? When your task list gets so full that you have to pump yourself with caffeine at all hours of the day just to keep from going crazy, it’s safe to say that it’s time to find an independent contractor to outsource tasks to.
If you’re racking your brain trying to figure out what to delegate to a contractor, start simple. What do you dislike doing the most and what do you never have time to give attention to? Maybe your email inbox is getting out of hand, but you dread the thought of having to go through and clean it up. Perhaps, even though you have amazing ideas for social media content, you just don’t have the time to write posts or get them scheduled. Believe it or not, there’s someone out there who’s willing to do all of these things for you.
Now, just because we used the words “freelancer” and “virtual assistant” doesn’t mean that’s what the person goes by. While a Virtual Assistant is technically a freelancer, they may not necessarily equate. There are different kinds of Virtual Assistants. Some may literally go by a “Virtual Assistant” because they do less-specific, general admin tasks, and some may go by a different title.
Think about the kind of tasks you need done, and use those keywords in your search. Keep in mind that you may need to hire more than one freelancer for different jobs, as they don’t all wear multiple hats. For example, if you need help with bookkeeping, you’d search for a “Bookkeeper”. If you needed someone to post social media content, you’d search for a “Social Media Manager”. On that same note, if you needed someone to write copy for your website, sales page, emails, etc., you’d search for a “Copywriter”.
While there are websites like UpWork and Fiverr, we’d recommend instead using either Google to find freelancers with legitimate websites of their own, or use LinkedIn. Which platform you find them on also depends on the tone and “voice” of your business. If you have a more professional brand, LinkedIn could work out best for your search versus if your brand’s “voice” is more casual.
The first thing would, of course, be your budget. Most contractors will have their pricing listed on their website, but if not, it wouldn’t hurt to still book a call with them to find out. However, don’t base your decision entirely on your budget. You may get on a call with someone and discover that you both fit amazingly well, but their pricing may be outside of your budget. If that’s the case and you don’t want to spend more than your budget allows, at least you know now that you really enjoyed speaking with them, and you’ll be able to hire them once your income increases.
Really spend time viewing their portfolio before booking a call so you’ll have an idea of whether or not you think you could trust this person to follow through with the work you need them to do. Pay attention to their samples of past work and the kinds of businesses that leave testimonials.
As you will have your own process for onboarding, so will your contractor. Be sure to read their contract in entirety to make sure you’re both on the same page before you move forward, and if you haven’t already, consult with a legal professional to write yours. There are also templates you can purchase online for general contractor agreements. You don’t have to have a contract, but it could be a good idea, especially if it’s your first time outsourcing, just to serve as an extra layer of precaution and understanding between the two of you.
Once contracts have been signed and you’ve paid the invoice, plan a strategy call with your contractor so you can really dive in and discuss everything you’d like them to do, what you’d like them to start with first, etc. If there’s a task(s) that you like done a specific way, don’t be afraid to record a video training(s) for them showing them how you want it done.
There are some tools and systems that will make communication and processes between you and your team members so much easier.
LastPass is a password vault that will save your login information anywhere. You can also share that information with someone else without them ever actually having your password, which is ideal if you need a team member to have access to an account of yours.
There are many project management tools out there, like Trello, ClickUp, Asana, and Monday, that will help streamline tasks between you and your team members, as well as allow everyone to be on the same page as far as what’s expected of them.
Slack is a communication tool intended just for members of a team. Think of it as a group messaging tool. You can add multiple “channels” for different topics, and you can add certain team members to those channels. For example, if only one or two of your team members is responsible for graphic design-related tasks, you can limit that channel to only those involved to talk about that specific topic. You can also have a private message thread with another team member or a private group message, in case the circumstance arises that you need to talk about a topic with only a few people that you don’t necessarily need a whole channel for. Slack also has a mobile app, which makes it perfect for on-the-go communication.
Some contractors may prefer voice text, which is what Voxer is all about. It’s a mobile app that serves sort of like a walkie talkie. You can group Vox chats as well. It works great if there’s a super long message you need to send that you don’t have the time to type out, but there’s still the option to type messages as well.
Having a Google Doc that everyone can view while on a team meeting can be super helpful in taking that extra step to ensure everyone is on the same page. List out tasks they each person will have on their plate for that week (or month, depending on how often your meetings are), as well as topics that each team member would like to discuss. It also serves to make sure everything that needs to be discussed during the meeting is being discussed.
You need TRUST! We know it can be scary, especially if you’re a perfectionist, to delegate tasks to someone else. However, the key to a long lasting and sustainable relationship with your contractors is to trust them, and also let them know that you trust them. It can make a world of a difference in how your team members feel about working with you just as much as how you feel about working with them.
We’re so proud of you for getting to the point in your wedding business where you’re ready to hire on help! This is a sign that your business is growing and moving in the right direction. If you need more help or guidance, be sure to send us a DM on Instagram!