Time management. SO important, so hard to get a handle on.
Outsourcing is a fantastic way to manage your time and your business, so I’ve got ten different parts of your life you can — and should — hand off to someone else.
I’ll go over the first five this week, and the rest next week so we can keep this, wait for it, manageable!
1. Cleaning your house:
I know, you’re thinking, “this isn’t about work, Maelisa.” And you’re wrong.
The fact is, your home environment affects your stress levels at work even if you aren’t aware of it. Having all that work waiting for you, especially if you’re single or female (#sorrynotsorry, guys, the reality is that most house work is still shouldered by women).
House cleaning is one of the cheapest things you can outsource—it needs no specialized skills, there’s a large pool of candidates, and you can usually get it done right away. You’ll feel better when the house is clean, and you’ll feel amazing that it’s not necessary to keep it on your radar anymore. Getting your house cleaned is one of the biggest things you can do to reduce your mental load and create space for clarity, and it’s one of the cheapest and easiest.
2. Billing Services:
Billing is super complicated and it takes lots of time, especially if you work with insurance. Even more so if someone denies a claim, which can turn the task into something that takes hours. So this is a fantastic way to save time. PLUS, billing people usually charge you based on a percentage, so you’re not paying them unless they’re bringing in money, which is a huge help. Most of us didn’t go to school for this, so it’s not one of our major skill sets. I do have a lot of training and experience, and it’s still really complicated for me.
Having a specialist deal with it is worth EVERY PENNY, I promise.
Actually scheduling your time with clients, even ongoing, can be outsourced or even automated.
For example, when I did individual consultations, people could click a link on my website and schedule with me online, meaning no one is being paid to schedule for me, and I’m not using up my time doing it either.
As a bonus, clients love this, too.
Why? Because this is a quick win for them. They’re coming to your website for a reason, because they want services, and with automated scheduling they can book themselves in quickly and easily with no hassle, based on their schedule.
A lot of EHRs offer this as well, letting people schedule their first session online or, if you want to do more intake before the first session, some will allow clients to schedule ongoing sessions with a click of a button. They can also cancel or adjust sessions. It *could* create some clinical issues, but honestly, anywhere you can save yourself time is a good thing. Plus, there are so many systems for scheduling out there that this is an easy one to take off your plate.
This is your (dun, dun, dun) BOOKS. Related to billing, but still a separate task.
Once the money is coming in and you’ve got someone making sure you’re getting it, you need to track it.
This is so important, and particularly for solo practitioners, it’s something you tend to end up doing on your own, and it can get out of hand really quickly.
Having someone do your bookkeeping, handle your taxes, and give you a report each month of how much you’re making and how much you’re spending can be hugely helpful. This is also something that you *can* automate a lot of, so if you don’t want to pay an accounting service, you can pay $10/month for something like Quickbooks.
That system will learn your expenses and you can create rules for it, so if you do have things that are automated, like an EHR payment coming out every month, those services know what business expense category the payment falls into so once you set it up, it’s doing that work for you every month.
The benefit of an accountant here is that having so much automated makes it sort of settle in the back of your mind rather than keeping it a focus. Whereas with an accountant you have someone there reminding you to pay attention to the money and stay on top of how your business is running.
Either way, this is so worth it and you WILL thank me. Trust me ;)
Yes, you CAN outsource your email.
I know how it sounds, but hear me out. You can hire someone to answer your customer service emails, or have someone manage pitch emails if you market yourself through podcasts or speaking arrangements.
This one was really hard for me—I held on to answering all my own emails for a long time.
But once I finally gave email access to an assistant, I immediately noticed how much weight was lifted. I had been really stressed feeling like it was all on me. I always had to be the person to answer, and sometimes my email would get out of hand, which happens to a lot of people when business is going well (so don’t feel bad).
But what about privacy?
For some of these outsourcing ideas, like hiring someone for billing, scheduling, or email, you might need a business associate agreement. Commonly referred to as a BAA, this is something you absolutely must have in place if you’re a HIPAA-covered entity.
Anyone who has access to your client information, anyone you’re contracting with, you need to make sure they are following certain protocols and understand the special protections around health information. So make sure you have a BAA with these people that you both sign so you’re covered.
Even if you’re not HIPAA-covered, make sure you put a confidentiality agreement in place to protect client info.
Tell us your favorite time management hacks in the comments, and come back next Friday for the 2nd installment where I’ll give you even MORE outsourcing ideas.