It’s a common problem that all business owners face at some point – how to get everything done in a limited amount of time without sacrificing their own quality of life. When your business is growing and you have more to do, but not necessarily more team members to help to do the work, it can be easy to become overwhelmed.
The answer to this problem is simple. As soon as your attention is being consumed away from sales and customer service, pause and think about where YOUR time is most valuable. For any business owner, that time is best spent on growing your customer base and nurturing leads. Any tasks that distract you from that focus are prime targets for outsourcing.
Outsourcing also allows business owners to manage growth in a scalable and cost effective manner. When a task – say bookkeeping – is taking your time away from more valuable tasks, but you don’t have the need for a permanent internal resource, outsourcing is the perfect interim solution to mana
ge this in-between period of business growth. After all, the cost of an employee is more than just their salary – you also need to factor in additional costs like insurance, superannuation, office space and IT infrastructure. Suddenly a contractor’s hourly rate can become a lot more reasonable! Then once your business has grown further, there may be a tipping point when it makes sense to create a dedicated internal role. Outsourcing allows you to dial this capacity up and down in a scalable way that meets the unique needs of your business.
What to outsource
Essentially, you should consider outsourcing any function that distracts your attention from sales and growing your business. Here’s a list of a few ideas to get you started:
– Graphic design
– Data entry
– Rostering and payroll
– Email and calendar management
– Social media management
Depending on the skill set required, you can find excellent outsourcing solutions both within Australia and internationally. There are a number of websites, such as Upwork, that can connect you with a range of freelancers with different skills, as well as companies that specialise in managing these relationships for businesses. As well as searching online, don’t forget to ask your network for any recommendations and referrals.
10 tips to successfully manage outsourcing relationships
1. Define what you want to achieve and the required skills and resources
2. Know your desired results
3. Complete due diligence: ask to see portfolios and samples, check references and so forth
4. Know your budget, but don’t select only on price
5. Clearly communicate expectations – use written contracts to document scope of work and expected standards
6. Set realistic timeframes
7. Regularly monitor performance and set agreed performance milestones
8. Ensure copyright for any original work, such as design work, writing, computer code and so forth, is passed on to your business upon payment
9. Get legal advice to protect your business from any wrong doing by contractors
10. Start with small projects and increase the scope when your outsourcing partners have proven they can satisfactorily deliver
Have you used contractors to outsource non-core business functions? What benefits have you experienced as a result? If you are reluctant to outsource, what are the concerns that are stopping you? We’d love to speak about how we could help your business to improve its performance. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.