Does it feel like there are just not enough hours in a day?
Do you have a “to do” list that never seems to get done?
Are you putting off that new website? Your accounts? The cleaning? All of the above?
Remember, just because YouTube is full of amazing tutorials that can teach anything from how to build your website, make a rainbow cake or a unicorn pinata doesn’t mean that you should be doing it yourself! (Unless you’re a web designer or throwing a great party but I digress!) If you can, hand on heart, say that you’re run off your feet and are not procrastinating then read on …
Perhaps it’s time to grow your business and outsource?
If you feel like you’re spending more of your time doing tasks that take you away from what you really need to do then it’s probably time to ask for help!
Maybe you’re not ready to take on someone full time to help you out, maybe you aren’t sure exactly what you really need help with, either way, outsourcing certain aspects of your business could help save you a lot of time and money.
But! Are you ready to outsource?
Just to be clear, outsourcing is contracting a third party to do certain tasks for your business.
Deciding to outsource certain tasks can be for a number of reasons:
- To give you time to focus on your superpowers (core strengths) or to market your business
- Bring in talent for specific projects without the burden of full time employment
- Get things done that you have no clue about (and that the YouTube tutorial didn’t help with either)
- Reduce overheads – double edged sword here, but if you’re wasting less time doing tasks you shouldn’t be doing then you’ll probably generate more income!
- Just give you time to breathe, sleep, dream …
Outsourcing can be scary when it comes to your business and there are, like almost everything in life, reasons to avoid it:
- Managerial Control – when you hand over tasks to a third party you’re also handing over the control over how a task is managed (micro-managing would be counter-productive) so you’re going to have to turn a blind eye to project management styles, assuming the tasks are being done correctly! You’ve handed over the baton for an aspect of your business and you can only hope (not expect) that they share your passion for your business.
- Quality Control – this applies to services and products. Once you outsource you have less control over the quality of the materials or service delivered. However, though thorough checking, training and follow ups this risk can be reduced fairly easily.
- Security and Confidentiality – this is apparently a big reason why people don’t outsource, yes, you’ll have to give the person you’re outsourcing to the information they need to do their job and that could be trade secrets – it’s the same risk as hiring someone … and why contracts and non-disclosure agreements exist!
You are not ready to outsource IF:
- You don’t have the budget – if you’re overstretched and you don’t have the money to invest in that website/piece of equipment/strategy etc you so desperately needed, yesterday, you should not outsource. All too often the over-stretched entrepreneur puts off getting help and the situation worsens, or they make their decisions based on price vs. quality.
(Going on price vs. quality never ends well darling! And squeezing that rock star you want to work with is just going to piss them off, promise.)
- You have to micro-manage and are basically a control freak. Ok, maybe that sounds a bit harsh but it’s true – there is NO point outsourcing if you are going to stand behind the person 24/7 – you’re going to have to be able to let go and get on with what you really need to be doing!
- You can’t communicate clearly or in a timely manner. This might seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many people struggle to clearly communicate what they want or just simply vanish and stop communicating completely! You will need to be able to clearly state what you need doing and be available, within reason, to answer questions and give feedback at certain milestones to ensure the success of the mission.
- You don’t have time to invest at the start of the outsourcing relationship to ensure the person/company has the right information to carry out their mission in the best way possible. Training the person you are outsourcing to IS time consuming and you do need to teach them all the ins and outs to be able to their job. Remember, you’re outsourcing to them because they possess a skill set you need, that doesn’t mean they know your business like you do, nor are they telepathic!
- You don’t have realistic expectations – making sure that expectations are managing from the very start of the outsourcing relationship will help keep everyone honest and on track (and hopefully avoid any diva tantrums!)
Outsourcing is an investment and should be treated as such. You need to have the time and money to give it the importance it deserves to ensure success all round. Getting the right team together can change the way you do business and can take your business to the next level faster than you even anticipated.
Here are some quick tips to consider when choosing the right person/company you’re going to outsource to:
- Talent – don’t skimp on this. Make sure you get the best person you can afford for the job.
- Don’t be cheap – be honest with what you can afford/invest or risk spending more than double fixing that mess (and it’ll be your fault)
- Consider time zones – if you’re outsourcing because you want more family time then don’t start working with someone whose work day starts as you’re wrapping up dinner!
- Make sure you speak the same language – this is crucial especially if you are outsourcing internationally but also in terms of understanding – if you have something specific you need to communicate make sure you choose someone who “gets it”.
Outsourcing is often a great solution for many businesses but it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly!
For the skim readers … outsourcing to the right person/company can:
- Save you time AND money!
- Help you be productive vs. “busy”
- Expand your businesses skill set and offerings with new talent
- Take your business to the next level as you have time to work on other things
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