are you sure?

Lots of small business owners seem shocked that anyone would suggest they outsource any of their work.  “I don’t outsource”, “I don’t need to outsource” are just some of the responses (the polite ones anyway!).

But were you to look at your every day circumstances I am sure you would be surprised to know that you do outsource already.

So what is outsourcing?

I perceive outsourcing to be: a system where you pass on to someone else work, projects or tasks that you are unskilled for, doing tasks that don’t move your company forward or bring in more money.

Are you outsourcing?

Have you ever ordered your grocery shopping online? Given someone else your ironing to do? Gone to the dentist for a filling? Paid a hairdresser? Used a cleaner?  These are all examples of outsourcing.

I practice what I preach; I do my weekly shop online. It saves me an awful lot of time and it saves me money, no more temptations from those ends of aisle offers. I also use an ironing lady, she does a better job than I would, in less time than I would, and I make more money using my time elsewhere than the cost of the ironing. It just makes sense to me. It also saves me the stress of performing a task I abhor.

Value yourself and your time

What value is there in you doing the task yourself?  Because you feel you have to, because you feel you can’t afford not to, or because you don’t like to let go.  Look at things a different way.  If you concentrate on your core business how much can you earn in an hour?  If you do certain tasks yourself is that common sense?  Should you do your own admin or accounts?  If bookkeeping takes you an hour then it has cost you your hourly rate.  However, should you outsource, it could cost you a lot less, it could take a lot less time than it would have taken you, and in that time you could have won a new contract or client.

Buying expertise

There are many experts out there who can make a huge difference to your business, you can outsource your bookkeeping, admin, website design and management, SEO, social media marketing, telemarketing, IT management and even personal tasks such as managing your diary or email, answering your calls, doing your shopping, or even walking your dog.  Remember, it’s all about outsourcing tasks that someone else can do in less time, to a higher level or just tasks you don’t enjoy or have the time for.  It could also enable you to move your business forward.  Working as one man you can only ever achieve a certain amount of work.  By working with an outsourced team or individual you can accomplish so much more.

Leverage

Maximise your potential, by leveraging time and opportunity.

Open yourself up to the possibilities of outsourcing, and move your business on to the next level.

 

 

Guest author:   Helen Stothard is a valuable Twitterbuddy of mine who is successfully growing her outsourcing business while raising a family.

For more information about the services offered by Helen and her team please visit HLS Business Solutions

Multi-millionaire and CEO of ActionCoach  Bradley J Sugarssays  

“STOP IT … stop doing things like cleaning the house, washing the car, mowing the lawn … pay someone to do it and put that time into planning your business … remember, poor people spend time to save money, rich people spend money to save time …”

A relevant blog post from the one and only, Jim Connolly :  4 Secrets of the world’s most successful businesses!

This post from the reverent Ann Hawkins made me smile (keep shouting Ann!)

11 Comments

  1. Max says:

    Absolutely Helen!! You have hit the nail on the head with the “opportunity cost” for me. Take telemarketing… something that some owners view as a necessary evil if it is part of their marketing mix and will probably do it slowly and unprofessionally. A professional telemarketer will probably generate x10 the amount of success per hour plus the opportunity cost per hour of what the owner should be spending their time doing! 🙂

    You may find it interesting to know that approx 34% of any of our call attempts are met with very boring and unhelpful answering machines… why businesses put so much effort into marketing only to not answer the phones is beyond me!

    Good luck and thanks for sharing
    Max
    🙂

  2. Tim Stacey says:

    Helen is right, one key area however, particularly in IT outsourcing is getting the service right day 1.

    This can of course apply in many sectors where if you ask an outsourcer to provide a service to do some ironing (to use your example). You might get only your shirts ironed and not all the laundry you sent them, if the service has been poorly defined in the first place this may be right in the eyes of the supplier. In IT, this can lead to more serious issues as many businesses are very much relient on IT services.

    So, when looking at outsourcing take the ‘look before you leap’ or ‘measure twice, cut once’ analogy to ensure you get what you really want. Once you have done this make sure you continue to get what you bought by governing your supplier.

    Regards
    Tim

  3. Nicola Wilson says:

    “Value Yourself and Your Time”

    I believe this is where many of us struggle to come to terms with outsourcing. It is easy to think that doing it yourself is the cheapest option. After all it is only our time.

    Unfortunately, none of us have an endless source of time, it is a very precious commodity. If we truly value ourselves we will value our time.

    If someone else can do it better, then make full use of their unique skills and get them to do it. Your business will instantly be more professional. You will be happier with that chore lifted from your shoulders. You will have space to use your own unique skills to their capacity or simply spend quality time with your family or on yourself.

    Outsourcing will repay you many times over. Choose who and what you outsource with care and attention and it will be a win-win situation.

  4. Matt Chatterley says:

    I will admit that I’m biased – since we provide outsourced technical services – however, we do run into the “Must DIY” attitute quite a lot.

    Sometimes it’s rooted in trust issues (people who have been burned by poor service in the past) and sometimes it’s simply the case that the prospect or client hadn’t thought they would be able to outsource that area of their business!

    We have an accountant so that we don’t have to do the books. We use various cloud-based applications so that we don’t have to maintain them (and so that support is available) – not the same thing but similar, and so forth – elements of our business which our vital but not truly within our field.

    That doesn’t mean you don’t need to think about them at all – we are still aware of the detail in the accounts, for instance – and nor does it mean you are sacrificing precious control, but you can’t realistically expect to do everything all on your own.

    Great post, Helen!

  5. Ann Hawkins says:

    In our MasterMind Groups, there are two things that stop people from growing their business. One is undercharging and the other is the refusal to outsource.
    Without fail, getting these two things sorted makes it much easier to grow a profitable business.
    Well done Toni – keep preaching the message!
    Ann Hawkins recently posted..How to be Unique in Business

  6. Mike Seddon says:

    Great post Helen and very timely for people considering a fresh approach for 2011.

    I have to take issue with you about outsourcing the ironing.

    I do some of my best thinking when I’m ironing 🙂

    Cheers
    Mike

  7. Helen says:

    I totally agree with both of Ann’s comments but have to disagree with Mike, I am way more productive when I am NOT doing the ironing lol, however, he is right, now is a perfect time for people to reconsider their approach in 2011.

    Some great comments and feedback here.

  8. Larry says:

    Great post Helen. I agree about your articles in IT Outsourcing…For more information about outsourcing you may refer to It Outsourcing.

    Thanks for sharing and Good luck,
    Larry

  9. sharon outlaw says:

    Hi I am Sharon
    I run my own Ironing Business in the St Ives area and is looking to advertise my business if possible i am looking to grow my business more to i am not quite how it works on here if wouldn’t mind give me so help i would appreciated many thanks

    kind regards

    Sharon Outlaw (owner of ‘All Above Board’ Ironing

  10. Toni says:

    Happy to help Sharon. Next time we meet, I’ll make sure I have my “accountant” hat on.

  11. Steve says:

    Interesting article. I outsource anything that I can, especially those tasks I don’t enjoy or that take too much time. It started a long time ago when I discovered how far more efficient it was to get a painter and decorator in rather than spending all my weekends doing a job that a pro could do in 2/3 days

    However I think using dentists and hair-dressers as examples is wrong as these are not tasks you can really do yourself.

    Steve

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