Managing a business sometimes seems like it requires intimate knowledge of fifteen different jobs and about 15 people’s worth of time. It can be especially hard to pass along some of this work if your business is something you built from the ground up, it’s your baby, and you’re worried someone else won’t take as good of care of it as you would or that they won’t put in the time or that they’ll end up cutting corners.
Of course, as your business grows, it becomes more and more clear you need to start sharing the work. You’re only one person or one team, and you can’t do everything and be everywhere at once. Not only this, but you got into this work for a reason, and you likely have a specialty—something you’re way better at than anyone else in your field, and you need to be doing that more and more as your company expands.
The following will explore how to decide which functions you’re ready to outsource. Of course, every business is different, meaning you might have functions, not on this list that you need help with.
Identify Your Core Competencies
Your core competencies are the things that you’re really good at. Some business managers are fantastic at talking to their customers; some are genius at developing creative solutions to a time-sensitive problem; some are better left alone to write somewhere far away from where the rest of the action is. If something is outside your core competencies, you might want to outsource it as your valuable time is probably better spent doing what you’re great at. Outsource the things you’re not so great at to people whose sole focus and experience, and competency surrounds the task.
Figure Out What You Most Hate
No matter how much you love your job, there are inevitably going to be certain aspects of it that drive you nuts. Maybe paperwork makes you feel like your eyes are falling out of your skull. Maybe accounting gives you constant panic attacks because you are terrified of messing up and getting audited. Maybe troubleshooting technological errors and other computer problems hurts your mind. If an area of your business is causing you an insane amount of stress, look into outsourcing it. You might find your days get a whole lot smoother. If you’re having trouble finding the right person for the job, frontlineinc.com suggests finding someone who also consults in the field you need help with; this can help set you up for the appropriate scalability and help you foresee any typical problems that could arise. If you want longevity in your business, getting rid of the part of your job that causes you the most grief can help prevent burnout.
Are There Things You Don’t Need Full Time?
If there are business features you need only occasionally, let’s say as a big project is underway, and you only need the extra hands for this month, outsourcing might be a good solution. This way, you won’t have to hire someone for a short contract or hire someone part-time and worry that they’re not getting enough hours. Finding a freelance company that is comfortable working with short contracts and supporting themselves with multiple contracts at once can take away some of that discomfort that comes with working with someone for a short period of time. Many outsourcing companies are built around the idea of working in short spurts like this.
Does It Make Sense Financially?
Sometimes the money is what makes the outsourcing decision for you. Maybe hiring someone full-time for a certain task doesn’t make sense, but a company that takes on these sorts of tasks from multiple businesses might be able to offer a price that does make sense. It’s always a good idea to compare the cost of doing something in-house and the cost of outsourcing it. You might find some pretty shocking information once you start paying attention to the true cost of some of your work.
You Can’t Keep Up
Most businesses have a busy season. Sometimes trends hit us in a wonderful but challenging way, and we suddenly find ourselves unable to keep up. If sudden growth has you and your team in over your heads, consider outsourcing as an immediate solution to this problem. Once things calm for a second and you get your bearings, you can decide whether or not you want to work on hiring an in-house team to tackle this new work.
The above conversation starters should help you determine whether you’re ready or in need of outsourcing within your business. If there are multiple people involved in this decision-making process, be sure to bounce the idea of outsourcing off them early on.