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For business owners, time is of the essence. As I’m sure you know, time is also money. Depending on your situation, your time could mean a lot of money, or a lot more money if you only had time to accomplish all the things on your to-do list.

If you’re like many entrepreneurs, there are likely days and weeks when you’re practically working around the clock to keep your business running in top shape.

The good news is you can outsource pretty much anything these days; you just have figure out how you value your time, and then use good sense to decide what tasks you should hire someone else to do.

To really get the most out of your time, you should try to zero in on the things that are most likely to expand your business. The time that’s leftover should then be spent getting refreshed and recharged and/or doing valuable activities with family and friends.

So how do you decide what tasks to outsource to others? First, ask yourself how much time a particular chore takes out of your day. Then, decide how you feel about it. If it’s something you enjoy, then maybe it’s worth your time after all.

You should also figure out the monetary value of your time and compare that with the cost of the service (Figure out an average of how many hours you work per year, divided by your salary).

Following are a list of tasks that could be taking up too much of your time. By outsourcing some of them, you may find you have more time to devote to other areas that could expand your business and make it more prosperous.

Office Upkeep

As you know, the basic monthly cost you pay to rent your office space does not include utilities and incrementals.

One option to avoid paying for more office maintenance than you actually need is to opt for a coworking space. A company like WeWork takes care of all the cleaning, maintenance and security of your office. They also provide amenities like coffee and water, which are included in the cost of rent. WeWork can be pricey considering the amount of space you get. But the above services could allow you and your staff additional time to focus on the more valuable aspects of your business.

Click here to check out Business Insider’s list of coolest cowork spaces around the country for more resources.

Social Media Management

There are many tools to help you manage multiple social media accounts in a more efficient manner. Two of the most popular tools that automate posting on your behalf are Hootsuite.com and Buffer. With both sites, you can still create and personalize your content while saving precious time that would be spent logging into social-media accounts throughout the day.

Office Organization

Eliminate unsightly clutter and cut down on paper filing by scanning and archiving your receipts, invoices and other miscellaneous items through a service like Shoeboxed. If you’re already handling much of your own bookkeeping, marketing and advertising in addition to working with clients, isn’t this something you’d like to simplify?

Project Management

Are you spending a considerable amount of time managing your employees’ tasks, checking in, and evaluating work? If so, it can take time away from growing your clients and business. A project-management app called Asana can help keep your employees on task and increase their productivity on your behalf. It also alleviates stress by ensuring your to-do list is always accomplished.

Other popular apps include Trello and Smartsheet.

Various administrative tasks and freelance work

No one can argue that making phone calls, sending mail and email takes a lot of time each day. Luckily, there are several options to take some of those tasks (or all of them) off your plate.

A freelance marketing company called Upwork (formerly oDesk) offers a variety of virtual services, including data entry, small website updates, content writing, translation, and bookkeeping.

Small business owners can hire Upwork on an hourly basis, and then message freelancers with jobs as they come up. Upwork then tracks their work and sends me back screenshots of them doing the work. This keeps everything low cost and efficient.

Elance, which is now part of Upwork, also provides such services marketing, social media, web designer, and technical support.

Other popular freelance services include Fiverr, Zirtual, Toptal, Freelancer, and Guru.

Some of additional personal tasks you may consider outsourcing (with a suggested source in parentheses) include dog walking (Care.com); odd jobs around the house and yard (www.taskrabbit.com); personal finance management (Mint.com); Cooking (postmates.com); Shopping (Instacart.com, BlueApron.com, also some Kroger stores); Laundry (FlyCleaners App); and cleaning (handyman.com).

Bottom line: Start treating your time as precious by outsourcing some tasks. You’ll ultimately find it’s best to hire an expert in certain fields and leave those roles to them. This allows you to continuously focus on the growth of your company and take the steps necessary to achieve your business goals.

Author Ron L. Brown, CFP®

Ron is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and President of R.L. Brown Wealth Management. He specializes in retirement, estate, and business planning for professionals and entrepreneurs. Ron assists his clients with creating a financial plan to ensure they are able to live their ideal lifestyle during retirement and leave a strong legacy for their family. Ron has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, US News, Yahoo Finance, Investopedia, and numerous other high profile financial publications.

More posts by Ron L. Brown, CFP®
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