Jennifer Eckhardt teaches solopreneurs how to outsource

“I know I need help but I’m not sure where to start…”

You KNOW that you need support, but it’s tough to articulate what that support looks like and how it’s to be carried out. After six years of walking clients through the process of putting together an outsourcing strategy, I’ve put together some guides that can help all small business owners and entrepreneurs determine exactly what they want and need from an outsourcing relationship.

Learn From the Team

My role as an Online Business Manager puts me squarely between  exceeding client expectations and working with and contractors to get the job done.

This is a group effort, and you’ll find wisdom from my favorite freelancers shared in the blog (7 Top Tips – still in progress) to give you some additional insight into working with the different types of contractors that are available to support your outsourcing strategy.

OutsourcingU – A Return on Your Investment

Make no mistake:  the outsourcing courses, tools and resources available here will save you time and money, as well as a lot of frustration.  I’ll often spend up to 90 days working with a new client to determine where they need support and how to best deliver that support in a way that fits their unique situation.  My monthly fees start at $1,500, so if you complete these courses in advance of hiring me, you’ve just saved yourself a minimum of $1,500 – $4,500. Because I work with teams of freelancers on behalf of my clients, I understand what it takes to recruit and hire the right contractors for you and your business.  I also know what it takes to successfully manage projects (without losing your mind in the process).  No matter what type of freelancer or independent contractor you hire, these guides will help you design and implement a successful outsourcing strategy that will yield tremendous value.

Why I Do What I Do:  My Story

I started as a Virtual Assistant wayyyyyy back in 2008 after 15+ successful (challenging) years in business office management of bricks & mortar businesses.  (I’m dating myself, aren’t I?)

A Virtual Assistant business seemed to offer the freedom that I wished for – allowing me to better balance personal and professional passions. Within one short year, I had a full roster of clients and was struggling to keep up with all of it myself – so I started hiring freelancers that could help me support my clients.

I found that I loved working with other professionals that operated little boutique businesses like I did – we understood each other. And I adored the ability to bring in experts as needed without committing to some long term contract – worked with graphic designers, copywriters, web designers, database experts, software developers, and other virtual assistants, etc. on an as needed basis.  Surrounding myself with people that were smarter than me made for very happy clients – and it made me giddy – I had the opportunity to learn from some of the best!

I won’t lie: Plenty. Of. Mistakes.  Many long hours trying to micromanage everyone and communicate with both teams and clients.  Not a lot of family time.  About halfway through 2011, I decided enough was enough.  I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and discouraged, and my husband was suggesting that perhaps going to work for someone else would be less stress (and fewer hours) and would benefit my health – and that of my family.

A Business Retreat for One – My Own Outsourcing Strategy

Working for someone else was simply not an option for me.  So I hosted my own little business retreat for one.

My trusty whiteboard helped me sort out what I should be doing myself, and what I should be outsourcing to an expert.  I took an honest look at the workload, at my own strengths and weaknesses, at the team I had available to me – as well as the team members I still needed to find.  The beginning of my own outsourcing strategy was born – and now you have the same opportunity before you.

One of the most important things that I kept in front of me while working out my own strategy – and we all have Stephen Covey to thank for this one – is to “begin with the end in mind.”  I constantly reminded myself (yes, I hung up a handmade sign on my wall) of priorities, roles, and even worked out what the ideal daily schedule would be for me.

My business is built to support and contribute to living life on my terms.  If your business does not provide the same to you, let’s work together to get you there.

Enter OutsourcingU

OutsourcingU is my way of giving back.  I love my job as an Online Business Manager, but the truth is, I can only work with a limited number of clients at any one time, and my roster has been full for years now with long term clients.  (In fact, my first two clients are still with me, and as of last month, my newest client has been with me for over a year.)  I’m both thrilled and humbled that the SavvyAssist team gets to be part of their success.

My mission? I want to share with you what I’ve learned over the last 22 years of business office management – and the last six years of doing it virtually.

  • introduce you to the freelancers that I’ve met along the way that have so much to offer you and your business.
  • help you build and scale your business (without sacrificing your life).
  • return you to your families.
  • help you ransom back the freedom of time that you thought small business ownership would bring.

I don’t know it all.  Not by any means!  So I continue to search out freelancers that are willing to share their expertise with you – offering you the short-cuts that they’ve learned over the years to help make the process more efficient and the product second-to-none.

What’s Your Story?

You’re an integral part of this, too!  I need your help to direct the content in a way that addresses what you need and want to support you and your outsourcing strategy. Tell me about your wins, as well as your fails.  I want and need to know!

As small business owners, we sometimes feel isolated.  A support system of colleagues that can help us reason through decisions, jump on great opportunities and pass on poor choices (that are sometimes disguised as opportunity) is an important part of our job satisfaction AND success.

Let’s give that support to each other, ok? Email me at jennifer@outsourcingu.com to tell me what’s on your mind or meet me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIN.