This article is included in Entrepreneur Voices on Growth Hacking, a new book containing insights from more than 20 contributors, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders.
The hallmark of any entrepreneur is the ability to wear multiple hats, juggle dozens of tasks simultaneously and multitask his or her way from startup to consistent income stream.
Ironically, though, multitasking can actually damage your brain and decrease your productivity. Studies are rife with statistics and case studies showing that the human brain lacks the capacity to successfully perform more than one task at one time.
So what’s the solution? Tactic 1 is to grow your business slowly and give yourself the time to exclusively manage single tasks. However, if you’re like me, you love building and running your business and don’t want to scale at such a painfully slow pace.
The other solution, Tactic 2, is to immediately outsource specialized and tedious tasks to free up your time while you simultaneously scale your business. Here are seven ways to get started.
1. Conversion optimization
Approximately 96 percent of people who visit your website aren’t ready to buy from you. That means you either need to optimize your conversions for greater sales and profit, or be content with living off that 4 percent of customers you’re actually selling to.
The good news is that it’s possible to give your conversions a dramatic boost through content marketing, product reviews, improvements to your sales funnel and guest-speaker opportunities.
But, do you know which one will work best for your company, and how they might all work together? Instead of wasting time and money on guessing and experimenting, outsource to an outside expert the conversion strategies you need. The sooner you improve those conversions, the faster you'll profit and scale your way to success.
2. Customer support
It can take entrepreneurs years to hone their messaging and create a steady stream of sales. But it can take just a few minutes to lose a customer’s loyalty with poor customer service. Hire a virtual assistant skilled in your industry and the products and services you offer. Comb through LinkedIn and look for recommendations through your network, or utilize LinkedIn groups to find someone who aligns with your needs.
Customer service pros can help you focus on the channels your customers use the most. For example, Live Chat support can help you resolve issues the moment a customer comes to your site to look for your contact information -- or help you close a sale by answering questions about your product or service.
3. Lead generation
If lead generation were easy, we wouldn’t constantly read articles about entrepreneurs failing 90 percent of the time. Like conversion optimization, lead generation is difficult and directly impacts how far you can scale your business. It’s also incredibly time consuming and technical, and can take more time and skill than you have in your business arsenal.
It’s possible you can handle lead generation in-house and save on the cost of a lead agency. But you still need to consider the trickle-down costs involved. Outsourcing lead generation can save you a bundle on hiring sales teams to make cold calls, run ads and figure out the optimal marketing strategy.
4. Automate income streams.
Juggling too many projects and clients distracts from creating income streams that help keep your business running. You can’t possibly be a business coach, investor, digital product creator and public speaker without losing focus and letting the important details slip through the cracks.
However, you can hire a virtual assistant to do just about anything you would ordinarily do. Hire someone to track down research and pull together data on projects you want to pursue. Then hire someone else to keep it all running. For example, an entrepreneur interested in real estate can get started on Realty Mogul for as little as $5,000. A virtual assistant skilled in real estate can help keep track of potential deals and your investments.
Meanwhile, an entrepreneur who wants to create a course on growth hacking could hire someone to set up the digital platform, write scripts, create graphics and organize the project.
I can think of few things that are more tedious and time-wasting for an entrepreneur than analyzing and ordering inventory over and over again. It’s normal to need to dive in and sort out your system before handing it off to someone else. But, instead, hire an inventory and fulfillment center to handle all of the details for you and streamline the process.
Mishandling inventory can also lead to poor customer service and fulfillment issues. It’s never a good idea to try to box up orders and ship them out in the middle of the night.
6. Content marketing
It can take years to figure out how to connect with the right audience and optimize that marketing for growth. Start with content marketing as a low barrier entry point to connect with your customers. For example, selling an ebook can help establish your authority and credibility while generating more income for your own business. I’ve personally found this method effective and have sold 40,000 copies of my ebook while generating leads for my businesses.
If writing isn’t your expertise, then outsource it. Find a content marketer who can create the type of copy that converts to help educate, inspire, and generate leads for your business.
7. Financial analysis
You may not have enough money to hire a talented CFO and retain this person on your staff, but that doesn’t mean you can't outsource that task or hire someone on retainer to work a set number of hours each month. Your virtual CFO, or someone who comes into the office every few weeks, can review your financials and bookkeeping to ensure your company is in good health and staying on track for success.
Consider the alternative: Skimping on a quality CFO could mean a failure to understand or foresee a financial disaster on the horizon. Avoiding that fate could make the cost of outsourcing a worthy investment.