March 23, 2021

7 Things You Need to Know Before Your Start Outsourcing

7 Things You Need to Know Before Your Start Outsourcing

Want to start outsourcing but not sure where to begin? In this episode on Systems Made Simple™ , business systems expert Courtney Elmer unpacks 7 things you need to know when building a virtual team.

Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of waiting too long to get the support in place they need to grow their company beyond their current limits. 

Don’t be like most entrepreneurs, who quickly become the bottleneck in their own business and stagnate their growth.

In this episode, I’m going to give you the shortlist of the 7 things you need to know before you start outsourcing to create a virtual network, and how to get started if you’re ready to free up more time to do work you actually enjoy doing. 


  • Why it’s not actually quicker or cheaper to do it yourself

  • What it’s costing you to solve problems by taking action

  • How to know when it’s the right time to start hiring

  • What position to hire for first

  • The two critical processes you need to have in place when hiring

If this episode inspires you, leave a review and share your biggest takeaway with me. And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow me on Instagram @thecourtneyelmer for more quick tips on how to streamline your business systems and spend more time in your zone of genius.





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You’re Listening to the Systems Made Simple™ podcast, Episode #62, which is all about outsourcing, virtual team, or process management! Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of waiting too long to get the support in place they need to grow their company beyond their current limits, so don’t be like most entrepreneurs. 

In this episode I’m going to give you the shortlist of the 7 Things You Need to Know Before You Start Outsourcing, and how to get started if you’re ready to get some things off your plate and free up more time to do work you actually enjoy doing. That’s coming up next, so stay tuned!


Before we jump in, I’ve gotta give a shout out to our featured listener of the week: @Katelin H. who says: “I haven’t even listened to all the episodes yet and I can tell you this much: Court’s heart for serving others shines through everything she does. You won’t regret subscribing!” Thanks so much, Katelin! We appreciate you taking the time to leave us a review. It really helps people find the show, and we love hearing how the show is impacting your life.

I remember back in the days when I started my business, how much I wish I could afford to hire help with outsourcing, virtual teams, or process management. I was doing everything myself, and it sucked. Chances are if you've been an entrepreneur for any length of time, you know exactly what that feels like, don't you. Yet somehow, at the beginning of growing a biz, there’s a part of you that doesn’t mind doing the work yourself because you’re just getting started, and it’s what you have to do. Makes sense. 

But then you grow a bit and start wishing you had more help. The problem is, that by then you’ve developed a HABIT of doing it all yourself. And the beliefs along with it to justify why it’s faster to just do it yourself, cheaper to do it yourself, easier to do it yourself, even though it’s killing you in the process.

So, fast forward a couple of years into business when I started playing around with hiring people on Fiverr & Upwork here and there to tackle different projects and take little things off my plate. It was in no way the dream team I envisioned, but I was following all these influencers who said that to grow I needed to outsource to a virtual team so there I was doing the thing, right? But it was still problematic because I still felt like there were some major reasons I couldn’t start hiring that dream team. 

Number one, I wasn’t making the revenue that I thought I needed to make in order to justify hiring the help, and then number two, hiring already trained people was EXPENSIVE! Which sounds like the same problem but it’s the other side of the coin: hiring people who weren’t familiar with the industry or with the projects I needed done meant that I’d have to train them myself. I didn’t have processes in place to train anyone, and I was always on a time crunch so I needed to get stuff done fast. I didn’t have time to wait around for someone to learn what they needed to do in order to help me, much less time to train them on how I wanted it done. 

So this kept me from hiring people sooner than I did. In a moment, I’ll paint the picture for you of what our process looked like once we did start hiring and show you the ups and downs and mistakes to avoid on outsourcing, virtual team, and process management. But here’s what I want you to know: it’s really easy to misunderstand and misinterpret the message from influencers out there who say well, in order to be successful you need to hire help and outsource more. But I GET what it’s like to be living at the less-than-seven-figure mark, where you hear that and say, ok yea I GET that, but I don’t have the budget and I don’t have the time to train someone, and I don’t have any processes in place so bringing someone on is more trouble than it’s worth. It’s quicker/easier/cheaper to do it myself, instead of outsourcing to a virtual team.

If this is you, I want you to know that I hear you. I have been where you are and what we're going to cover today is a different way to look at outsourcing so that you can begin to get the help in place that you need, without breaking the bank. 

I’m going to reveal to you the things we’ve learned along the way in our own outsourcing journey so you can avoid the mistakes we made and save yourself a lot of wasted time, energy and effort.

I’ve identified seven things you really need to know about outsourcing to a virtual team, that the influencers with 15 - 20 people on their teams won’t tell you: 

  1. Outsourcing is a process that happens in phases. This needs to be talked about more because there's a progression to outsourcing. You don’t grow a dream team over night like a patch of mushrooms. Yet this is how many entrepreneurs think it works, and that’s a misconception. 
  2. Always remember, there are some things that only you should do in your business. The problem for most people is they might have some idea of what they’re good at, but because there’s so much else to DO and because they don’t understand the value of their time and how to monetize their genius, they stay stuck over-doing in their business. Working, working, working, but winding up in the same place they were last year in terms of revenue and sales, not seeming to break through the ceiling and wonder why because they’re working so dang hard. So part of this is you need to know what you’re good at, part of it is understanding how much money it’s costing you NOT to do what you’re good at every day, and how to start hiring the right people and put them in the right seats to support you in doing the things only you can do. 

  3. Number three is simple. You don’t need to have processes in place for the people that you hire — let them build the processes for you. This brings me to #4, which is

  4. There are only two processes you need to have in place when hiring, whether it’s part time, full time, or freelance: an onboarding process, which generally takes place over 90 days, and an independent contractor agreement, which clearly outlines their responsibilities, sets the expectations, and protects you in case you need to let that person go. This is all part of outsourcing to build a virtual team.

  5. The way to know if someone is dream team material is to put them to the test, literally. Your onboarding process becomes the KEY to knowing if someone is the right fit. Whether that process is over 60 days, or 90 days, shouldn’t be more than 90 days, it gives you a length of time to see how well someone works, how quickly they catch on, and how good of a job they do at supporting you, AND AN OUT in case they don’t work out the way you originally planned.

  6. You do not have to hire anyone full-time to start. You can contract on a part time, hourly, or project by project basis. This helps you stay in control of your budget and frees up your time to go out there and do what you’re good at, which will make you more money. 

  7. You DO need to outsource at some point in your business if you want to do only the things you’re good at and become the Visionary Leader of your company. The key is knowing WHEN to start and HOW to start, and both of those are easy when you understand what I’m going to talk about next.

We made a lot of mistakes when we first started outsourcing. I hired without a clear plan, I hired for the wrong reasons (primarily because influencers told me I needed to), I didn’t start outsourcing to build a virtual team with process management in place for what that person’s responsibilities would be. When I did hire, I meddled in their work and jumped in to do it myself out of habit, anytime they ran late on a project or anytime I didn’t have time to clearly communicate the changes I needed to be made, thinking it would be quicker for me to fix those myself than it would to tell them and then wait for them to do it and then go through more iterations of whatever it was they were working on. And more importantly, I meddled because I didn’t trust that it would get done right, which created a self-fulfilling prophecy. I started out hiring jack of all trades type people, thinking they could do ALL of what I needed to be done, instead of outsourcing in a more leveraged way, by looking at what was the heavy lifting stuff and hiring someone to take THAT off my plate to free up the most time. 

We went through three VAs, multiple freelancers, and a bunch of random people on Fiverr and Upwork before I finally realized the secret to outsourcing to build a virtual team, which is to 

  1. Be clear on what you’re outsourcing someone for, specifically. What’s on your list right now that’s going to kill you first, as my integrator so bluntly asked me when I first brought her on? Hire for that position FIRST. The secret to knowing who to hire first is to have your ideal Org Chart built out -- something I teach our students how to do -- because without this clear plan in place, outsourcing is confusing and you run the risk of having a lot of overlap which is a waste of money, a waste of time, and people won’t be clear on whose responsibilities are what, which creates a lot of frustration. Having your Org Chart mapped out ahead of time is like the blueprint to building a house. It shows you what needs to go where, or in this case, who needs to go where.

  2. Have a contract agreement and an onboarding process in place. Outside of that, let them create SOPs for you as they go

  3. Be willing to let someone go if they’re just not working out. It can feel tough, but think of it this way. What’s easier in the long run? 36 hours of pain when you let them go and worry about the potential repercussions? Or 3 - 6 more months or longer of frustration, resentment, and complaining, because the person you’ve hired clearly isn’t a right fit? 

Since we’ve started this outsourcing process to build a virtual team, we now have a team of 2 part-time people, 3 part-time freelancers, and 1 VA who takes care of work for us on a regular weekly basis. We’ve identified who is dream team material, and we’re actively working to be able to bring them on full time within the year. 

So if you’re on board with this, let’s continue. This is usually the part of the conversation where people start asking me, “Yea but what about hiring and outsourcing overseas? Is that safe to do? How does that work?” Or, “How do I tell if someone is a right fit when I’m interviewing?” Or, “What does your 90 day onboarding process look like?” Or, “Can you show me a sample contract so I know what to include in mine? How can I build the right virtual team?” 

And the answer is yea, I can show you all of this. But before I do, I owe it to you to tell you this because I’d be doing you an injustice if I didn’t. 

You might have heard it said, The less I DO, the more I make.

And that’s all fine and good. Sounds great, right? But chances are, that was some 7-figure entrepreneur telling you that, and it’s easy for your brain to gloss over it and go, yea works for YOU but not for me. I have to work hard still to make it to that level. 

I’m going to let you in on a secret. 

The REASON successful people say this is because visionary leaders place a high value on two things: people, and planning.  Meaning, they focus on relationships and leadership. They value action the LEAST. 

The more you DO in your business day to day, the more you bottleneck your own growth and the longer it will take you to see the revenue you want to see. And IF you do see it, that’s a big if, it’ll feel like you worked way too dang hard for it. 

I’m going to let you in on another secret that we teach our aspiring Visionary Leaders here at the EL. There is NO LIMIT to the SYSTEMS you can have in place to support you, or the PEOPLE you have in place supporting you. But there is a limit over what you can DO. 

If the lightbulbs are going off in your head right now, and you’re asking, ok sounds good Courtney but HOW do I do that with outsourcing to build a virtual team, then here’s what I want you to do next.

If you’re interested in learning how to own your power and step fully into your role of Visionary Leader in your business this year, meaning: you put the process management, systems, and people in place to free up your time to do what you’re good at and monetize your genius, I want to help. I could sit here and give you examples of how clients of ours have gone from barely bringing in six figures to generating over a million in revenue in as little as a month when they start running their business using the Visionary Leader Formula™. I’d love to teach you how. We have a top-secret program here that we only open up applications to once in a blue moon, called the Visionary Leader Incubator™. 

Inside this 12-month program, we help you implement the Visionary Leader Formula™ into your business step-by-step, so you can learn how to stop being the bottleneck in your business and start owning your authority as the Visionary Leader your company needs to succeed. This includes outsourcing, virtual team, and process management. There are some qualifications you have to meet to be considered for a seat at the table, so if you want to get more info on this, go to so my team can get in touch with you with more details. This is time-sensitive, so don’t wait. 

Go to to get the details and apply if it looks like a fit. Learn outsourcing to build a virtual team. We keep these groups small and intimate so that those who are inside get the chance to work very closely with me in a hands-on way, and you get my eyes and expertise on your specific business. 

And when you finish listening, we'd love to hear your biggest takeaway from this episode--whether it was outsourcing, virtual team, or process management. Follow us on Instagram for daily tips on how to simplify your workflows so you can spend more time in your zone of genius.

Coming up next week on the show I’m sitting down with my dear friend Kristin Marquet, who is THE expert when it comes to getting media attention for your business. She’s going to reveal her 5 easy secrets to get your business noticed by media outlets like Forbes, Business News Daily,, Thrive Global, and more, all for free. How do you do it? Well, tune in next week and find out! Until then, go live your EffortLESS® Life.