Outsourcing: why send your work elsewhere?

by Jasmine Ruscoe, Bizwize Business Solutions ~ WizeOwl

The question of outsourcing can be a difficult one, especially for small business owners. Putting parts of your business into someone else’s hands is a daunting thought, and the loss of hands-on oversight and control can be stressful. However, if done right, outsourcing tasks that are beyond your capacity can bring huge benefits to your business.

1. You are not alone.

Many small business owners feel that the world rests on their shoulders. With this kind of pressure, the need to outsource can feel like a sign of failure, when in fact, it provides opportunities to succeed and grow. At home, if your tree needed trimming, or your car broke down, or your nice expensive dress tore, how many of these things would you expect to repair on your own? Chances are, none of them. This is because, in our daily lives and in our economy, we rely on the sharing of specialised skills. While outsourcing parts, or processes like bookkeeping, is a bit of a step up from hiring the kid next door to mow the lawn, it’s still a perfectly normal and valid, if not essential, way to operate.

2. “Any job worth doing is worth doing right.”
– Hunter S Thompson.

Not only is outsourcing more common than it seems, it is also more efficient. Some people find that it complicates administration, and indeed this is a possibility to watch, but the reality is that nobody knows everything. Trying to do so takes a lot of time, resources, and skills that you might not have. Because of this, it is far less efficient to generalise than to invest in a specialist. Finding someone who knows what they are doing – whether that’s a plumber, mechanic, marketing manager, etc. – means that you’re getting the benefits of someone else’s dedicated training and practice that you would otherwise spend thousands of dollars and years of time chasing. Instead, thanks to outsourcing, all this can be yours with a little desktop research and a quick email or phone call.

Outsourcing can also save you time otherwise lost to error: to repeatedly troubleshooting the same problems, pursuing fruitless marketing strategies, buying the wrong parts, and searching through or even refiling poorly managed documents. All these things take longer or must be repeated due to a lack of expertise, which hiring a specialist in IT, marketing or administration, for example, could easily avoid. As an added bonus when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting services: keeping an eye on your money, and on what the law says you can do with it, can save you at tax time as well.

3. “Priority management is the answer to maximising the time you have.” – John Maxwell.

Or if you prefer the wisdom of NBC’s Ron Swanson: “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” At the crux of outsourcing is understanding what your priorities are. When you’re running your own business, that is a question you need to ask every day. What is the point of your business? Why does it exist, and what needs doing right now, or today, or this week, to fulfill that existence? There are thousands of businesses like ours whose goal is to help your business thrive, and chances are that your business is helping someone else in turn. Embrace that and do more of what really needs doing, and what you can do best, with your time.

And finally:

4. Hire local

Many people look overseas for their outsourcing needs, but we find it’s better to stick close to home. Lower labour costs and sometimes more “business-friendly” tax environments can be extremely tempting for businesses looking to save time and money, but if it’s complexity you wanted to avoid, looking local is the way to go. For starters, money changes hands, currencies, and tax jurisdiction less frequently, which can save you a headache and a half, but there are plenty of other benefits to local outsourcing too. These include:

  • Similar business culture and expectations
  • Less barriers like language and time differences
  • Cheaper, faster, and easier communication potential, including face-to-face visits.

When outsourcing, it is crucial to make sure that everyone is on the same page, and the best way to do that is to speak the same language, be bound by the same laws, and be close enough to reach if something isn’t meeting your expectations. Your outsourcing partners will also benefit from a close relationship with you, to ensure that they have what they need to get your job done right. Plus, you’ll be building a local network that could help both your businesses in the long run!

With so many benefits at your fingertips, make sure you’re getting the most out of your time and money. Outsource those business functions that are outside your own capacity and watch your business become more efficient before your very eyes. As long as you do your research and stick close to home, you’ll have nothing to lose, and a whole lot of business, savings, and free time to gain.