Part IV of our Gain Freedom in Business series of blog posts is all about gaining more freedom for yourself by outsourcing. This is a slightly different concept than what we have explored in previous posts. In our previous blogs we have focused on tips, techniques, and methods of working that make it easier for you to run and build your business – developing a proactive business strategy, establishing routines and a marketing plan, etc.
Outsourcing is slightly different because, while it does benefit the business, it also benefits you personally. There are many different reasons why entrepreneurs turn to outsourcing.
- Increased Work Demands. Some of them use outsourced talent to simply meet increased work demands. Business is growing. Customers hare increasing. There is simply more work to be done and more hands equals less work for everyone.
- Growing the Business. Entrepreneurs who want to grow their business outsource certain functions so the business owner can focus on growth and ways to generating income. Delegating day-to-day tasks allows the business owner to focus on the bigger picture.
- Need For Special Skills. Others need help from people who have a certain skill set. Maybe you have great people skills but lack financial skills and decide to outsource payroll or the financial aspects of running a business. We work with clients all the time who need help with writing and marketing because they either don’t have the time or the skills to do it themselves.
- Giving Themselves a Break. Still others prefer to outsource in order to give themselves a breather. Maybe they could handle everything that needs to be done, but it’s coming at the expense of their free time. These entrepreneurs have reached the point where they realize they don’t have to do it all alone. It’s incredibly freeing to reach this point in your business!
Now, you may be thinking, “Outsourcing? My business is too new and small to outsource!” But outsourcing is good for businesses of any size and can be particularly beneficial for smaller businesses that lack the resources to increase their employee numbers, but need the help the outsourced professionals can provide.
Is It Time To Outsource?
The first step in outsourcing is recognizing when the time has come. It’s different for every company. Some entrepreneurs want to outsource the day-to-day work; others need help taking on new projects or more clients. The best indicator that the time has come to consider outsourcing is this: you and your staff can’t manage the day-to-day functions of the business and continue to grow to your satisfaction.
This is one of the most troublesome parts of being in business for yourself. On the one hand you’re doing well because you’re so busy every day. The flip side is that being so busy gives you no time at the end of the day to grow the business.
Deciding What Gets Outsourced
The simplest way to determine what gets outsourced in your business is to think about what you do well and where you struggle. Get started by asking yourself these questions:
- What do I do well?
- What do I really enjoy?
- What skills do I lack?
- What need can be filled by outsourcing?
- What do I need to be involved in and what can I delegate?
Even brand-new businesses can benefit from outsourcing. A bookkeeper and a virtual assistant will free up hours of your week that can now be devoted to product creation, marketing, and customer service. The list below covers some of the most commonly outsourced roles, but definitely tweak it to accommodate your own strengths and weaknesses:
- Executive Assistant
- Project Manager
- Web and/or Graphic Design
One thing you don’t want to do is outsource your core competencies. In other words, don’t outsource what makes your business unique. This is what makes you stand out from the competition; you’ll want to keep it close to you.
How Will You Gain Freedom In Business?
As you think about how to best run and grow your business, we hope you take into account the advice we’ve shared this past month. Establishing routines, making plans, adopting a forward-thinking approach, and knowing when and how to ask for help will all benefit the business and you personally. Being an entrepreneur is hard. Make it easier on yourself by using every resource at your disposal to build success!
If you need help developing a business strategy or marketing plan, contact The Marketing Shop. We love helping other entrepreneurs make their dreams come true!
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