How Do You Know When the Time is Right to Outsource?

| May 20, 2014 | 1 Comment

When running a start-up, it can feel like you’re having to be all things all of the time. This is normal, and a necessity in the early days when budgets are tight and you haven’t yet built up a reliable network to tap into. As your business grows, you may want to consider outsourcing.

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Outsourcing makes a lot of sense. In fact, at odds with the notion that outsourcing increases your costs, paying someone else to take care of specific aspects of your business can actually boost your profits and help your business to grow. There will come a time when you will need to outsource certain business functions, but how do you know when this time has arrived?

You should think about outsourcing when…..

Something is taking up too much of your time.

When you spend a lot of time doing something, such as cold-calling, or chasing up late invoices, or replying to emails, then you need to outsource. Your time is best spent carrying out the work that brings in the money. Chasing up payments is important, but anyone can do that to an extent. Only you can do what you do best, whether it’s creating unique art products, or doing business consultation.

Something is taking up too much space

Paying for your own office or warehouse space may seem like an expensive luxury in the early days, but soon your stock and equipment will start to encroach on your home life. For physical stock, not only can storage be outsourced, but also fulfillment. Why pay for warehouse space when you can pay someone to manage your stock for you, and also carry out order fulfillment? By outsourcing the process from storage to delivery, you can concentrate on the buying, production, and marketing.

If it’s your office space that’s getting a bit unruly, then instead of spending time trying to keep on top of your paperwork, outsource your admin to a virtual assistant. They look after their own office space, and you pay them for the time you use, which will save you money not only on having to rent dedicated (or shared) office space, but save you having to go to the hassle of directly employing someone too.

Something is beyond your capabilities

When you spend too much time doing something that could be a very quick job to someone else, you know it’s time to pay for expertise. Some things look easy until you have to sit and do them. Whether it’s book-keeping and filing year-end accounts, building a website, or social media marketing, there is someone out there who knows these things way better than you do. Yes, their hourly rate may sound expensive, but their expertise will mean things get done a lot quicker and with less chance of costly mistakes. Very few successful business people can do everything themselves. It’s the more successful ones who recognise what’s best left to the experts.

Outsourcing makes sense

When your business starts to grow, and your time starts to get reduced, then outsourcing the right tasks to the right people makes business sense. Yes, it will initially increase your costs, but will free up the time you need to focus your personal efforts on your core activities, while reducing mistakes and growing your capacity.

In time, you may want to replace outsourcing with your very own employees, or you may decide that continuing to outsource is the best way forward. Either way, if you want to grow your business, you’ll certainly need to look beyond your own personal resources.

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