What Should I Outsource?

More than you think. “Every time you do something that could be delegated to someone else for a lot less money, you are actually costing your business – not only money, but its most valuable asset: you,” says Jennifer Martin, a San Francisco-based business coach and founder of Zest Business Consulting. “Work like you are the most valuable player, and only do what you do best.”

>>Back to the Big Book of Questions

In the “gig economy,” where freelancers and temps abound through platforms like, that makes it easy to outsource a surprising amount of ordinary tasks at cheap rates ($10 or less per hour) that right now are a fundamental part of your day. Here’s a quick list with comments from Martin:

1. Reading Your Emails: “There may still be people you have to respond to, but you don’t need to be the person reviewing your emails. Pay someone else to filter all your newsletters, client calls and whatever else is filling up your email.”

2. Research: “This is time-consuming and generally doesn’t require a master’s degree to do. Stop wasting your time researching when someone making far less than you per hour can get the job done.”

3. Social Media for Business: “Creating posts, replying to posts, creating events, monitoring analytics, the whole shebang. Unless this is your full-time work, don’t do it anymore. It’s generally one of the biggest time wasters and not often the best use of your valuable time.”

4. Scheduling/Answering Phones: “Outsource, outsource, outsource! Or at least automate. There’s no reason you need to spend time with anyone until you are ready. Eliminate all distractions as often as you can.”