Things that make us happy: family, ice cream, Italy, steak, spa days, live music, chocolate, dancing, pets... the list goes on and on. These are just a few things people mentioned when I asked them "Quick! First thing in your mind. What makes you happy?" Interestingly enough, no one said anything about work. That's not to say a meaningful and well-liked job isn't important in the grand scheme of happiness, but it's not usually our first thought of happiness. The most popular answer was FAMILY.
Family is very important to me too, but that often also means travel. Thankfully, I have a passion for both. In order to reconnect with my small family of husband and wonder-pup that means we NEED to get away. It is a formidable challenge to truly let go of work thoughts, daily tasks, and general "adultness" when we are surrounded by those exact things (especially those of us that have married the job and made a mistress of our partners). Its awful when a labelled "family day" is interrupted by such baggage. Holidays gives us the opportunity to leave our familiar surroundings for a family- or fun-focused time. Unfortunately, this can be tricky for entrepreneurs and those with extending work responsibilities. You have to work to pay for the trip, but you need the trip in order to not lose your mind at work.
Here are my Top 6 Things you can easily outsource, so you can stop and smell the flowers:
1. Hotel/Flight Bookings- This may not seem to take much time when we do it, but if you're a business on the go these flight search times really add up! Often enough, travel agents really can find the best deals on flights and hotels. Save yourself the stress. Outsource it!
2.Lead Follow-Ups- Not everyone loves to do call backs to people we've met networking or through social media, and some people are just plain terrible at it. This also means it can be pushed off so long that those warm leads become cold. Don't lose the hard fought momentum gained! Either call them yourself or have someone else call. There are loads of qualified telesales and virtual assistants out there. No excuses.
3. Social Media Management- Let's face it. Facebook can be addictive and suck all the time out of a day. Coming up with hashtags for Twitter posts can get interesting. And Lord knows what Snapchat is up to. Outsourcing this crucial part of your marketing campaign can save loads of time!!
4. Receptionist Duties- This is rather obvious coming from a call handling company, but using a reliable company to take calls and book appointments on your behalf frees up your family time in significant ways. You no longer have to worry about missed opportunities due to poor reception or lack of pen, you won't have to answer the dreaded PPI calls, and your business always sounds professional. We are literally paid to be pleasant to your customers for you. Click here to start your trial! (Shameless plug)
5. Creating Basic Reports and Presentations- Some folks get a kick out of spreadsheets and Powerpoint, and some loathe the idea of going near a keyboard for more than a quick email. Stick to your strengths. These tasks do need to be done professionally, so be sure to do some research before you outsource a virtual assistant. Since we are frequently asked for this service, I have found some great recommendations on this. Just ask.
6. HR- If your business has more than just you, your partner, and your mum in it, you need an HR manager. The laws are always evolving, and you probably didn't study many of them before setting up shop. You were focused on your product or service, not HR. Bad things do happen and having a plan of action in place or having a negotiator to ease a situation can be an absolute godsend.
Here's the hard part. Actually action one of these 6 ideas! Your family and your sanity will thank you for it. Your happiness is what should get you out of bed in the morning. For me, it is hiking with my best guy and dog. Be sure you are making time for the the things that make you happy and leave some of the rest to great folks like Factotum. Outsourcing is your friend.
Photos taken by my fearless partner-in-crime, Matt McQueeney, on our trip to the Lake District.