Being an entrepreneur is no easy business. You’re responsible for an entire company and everything that comes with it. Every task, every phone call, and every penny that leaves the pot is your responsibility. The straightforward solution here would be to hire people to help you handle various aspects of your business. However, hiring in-house can be costly and can give you the added responsibility of managing people, their workloads, and their productivity.
So, what other option is available to busy entrepreneurs? Outsourcing.
Outsourcing means having other people, teams, or companies tackle certain tasks or functions within your business on your behalf. Outsourcing is usually a lot more cost-effective than hiring a permanent, on-site employee. And, because they are 100% virtual, outsourcing means reducing your carbon footprint.
Now that we’ve made outsourcing sound so appealing, you might want to know how to make this tool work for you and your business, particularly if you’ve never outsourced before. Here’s how to get it right.
Analyse your own productivity
The first step to making outsourcing work for you must be carried out before you even start searching for a person or firm to outsource to. You need to analyse your own work first.
Spend a week or two recording everything that you do in a day for your business. Whether it’s navigating taxes, handling sales calls, chasing leads, developing marketing material, or making travel arrangements, jot it down on a notepad or make a digital list.
Next, pick apart your list. Start taking cognisance of the tasks that are simply taking up too much of your time and could be easily handled by someone else with the right skill set and training. These are the tasks you can outsource.
Choose who to outsource to
Now that you’ve arrived at your list of tasks or responsibilities that you’d like to outsource, it’s time to decide how you’re going to do it. You might be interested in hiring a virtual assistant or remote employee to handle your business admin. Or you might want to outsource your call centre to a firm in another country. Either way, here are some things to consider when hiring a person or company to outsource to:
- Start within your network. Find out from your contacts who they’re outsourcing to. You’re going to want a reliable resource.
- Ask for case studies, reviews, and proof that they know what they’re doing. Any outsourcing company worth their weight in gold will be able to provide you with evidence that they are the right option for you.
- Ensure you ask questions about the type of setup and software the outsourced employee or company works with to ensure it can be integrated into the platforms you currently use.
- Ask to interview the people or person you will be working with.
- Start with open and clear conversations about what you expect and how you want things done.
Understand that people need time to learn
Once you’ve secured the person or company you’re going to outsource to, you need to think realistically about when they can start to provide real value. You won’t see all the benefits of outsourcing immediately as it will take time for your outsourced employee or team to onboard, learn the ropes, and understand what is required of them.
Outsourcing isn’t an immediate solution; it will take time before things kick into high gear and you have more time on your hands to focus on what you’re good at.
Often, as entrepreneurs, we’re tempted to have a finger in every pie. We want to know what’s going on in every aspect of the business and we want to provide guidance and input at every turn. Effective outsourcing only happens when you allow the person or people who you’re outsourcing to do what you’ve hired them to do.
Step back, relinquish control, and allow your new virtual employee or remote team to do their thing. In doing this, you show your outsourced resource that you trust in them and their expertise. Giving them the reins and letting them spearhead their responsibilities will only empower them to do a better job, and free up your time to focus on more important things.
Now that you know how to make outsourcing work for your business, why not check out our virtual assistant and remote employee services? Visit our website to find out more about how you can find the perfect person or team to outsource to, at a fraction of what an in-house employee would cost you.