How Delegating Routine Tasks Can Raise Your Freelance Income

Could you use a little more income?

If you’re like most of us, you probably answered “yes” to that question. Which of us wouldn’t want a little more coming in each month?

In this post, I’ll share a surprising technique to help you earn more freelance income–delegating your routine tasks.

When to Delegate

We freelancers are an independent breed. We like to “do it ourselves.” That’s probably one of the reasons many of us struck out on our own in the first place.

However, sometimes doing it yourself just doesn’t make sense. It may seem contrary to logic, but delegating routine tasks to others can often result in a higher freelancing income. That’s because delegation frees your time up for paid work.

Here are two clear signs that it’s time to delegate:

  1. You are busy and delegating a task costs less than your hourly rate. Your time is a valuable limited resource. Doing something yourself doesn’t always mean you are saving money. What it could mean is that you are using your time at your average hourly rate when you could be paying someone else less.
  2. You don’t know how to do something or don’t like doing it. Freelancers can’t afford to make mistakes. If you’re not good at something and can’t afford to take the time to learn to do it well, it’s time to delegate that task to someone else.

Delegation frees you up to take on more work at your higher hourly rate. Remember, you don’t earn anything for the time you spend on daily tasks.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Let’s suppose that you want to bill for thirty hours of freelancing business each week. You average $50.00 an hour for your freelancing services.

However, you rarely find yourself billing for thirty hours. The problem isn’t that there isn’t enough work. In fact, you’ve been turning work away because you don’t have enough time to get to it.

After examining your time carefully, you realize you’re spending about ten hours each week on non-billable tasks. You delegate these tasks to someone else for an average hourly rate of $25.00 an hour. Now, you can take those projects you’ve been turning away.

Now that we’ve discussed when delegate, it’s time to take a look at what to delegate.

What to Delegate

From personal tasks to professional tasks, many of your routine tasks can be delegated to others.

Here is a sampling of eight common freelancer personal and professional tasks that can be delegated:

  1. Administrative tasks–Administrative tasks can take a lot of a freelancer’s time. Can you really afford to spend an hour or two each day on this? Routine administrative tasks can often be delegated to a virtual assistant at less than your hourly rate.
  2. Bookkeeping/accounting–Many freelancers don’t really have a good grasp of accounting. They tend to put bookkeeping off and before long; they have a mess on their hands. A good bookkeeper can handle your tasks in a fraction of the time that it would take you.
  3. Web development/maintenance–You keep telling yourself that you’ll figure it out, but you never really do. Your website is hopelessly out of date and it would take you a long time to fix it. Hiring a knowledgeable web developer can be a good freelancing investment.
  4. Writing–You hate to write. You know that your grammar and spelling mistakes make you look bad. You’ve been known to spend an entire day composing an important email. Why not hire a professional writer and free yourself up for tasks you are good at doing?
  5. Lawn care–If you have a lawn to maintain, you know that keeping up with this task can take a lot of your valuable time, especially during the summer months. You may be surprised that hiring a professional lawn service often makes more sense than doing it yourself.
  6. House cleaning–How much time do you spend each week on house cleaning tasks? Whatever you answered, it’s probably too much. Consider hiring a maid service to take over some of your house cleaning tasks. You’ll also have the peace of mind that comes with a neat house.
  7. Laundry–Laundry is another time-consuming chore that can be delegated. Many dry cleaners offer a laundry service at a reasonable rate. You drop off your dirty clothes and pick them up a few days later, clean and folded.
  8. Cooking–Every time you eat out or order in, you’re essentially delegating your cooking task. While I don’t necessarily recommend having someone else prepare your food all the time due to nutritional concerns, if you are really busy sometimes it makes sense to order in.

Your Turn

What routine tasks do you delegate?

Share your answers in the comments.

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