When you start a business, it can be easy to believe that you need to do everything. Especially if it is a small business. This means that if you run a small coffee shop for example, you would be the barista, the cashier, the accountant, the administrator, the cleaner and the stock controller. On top of this you would be the person doing the marketing whether it be advertising in newspapers, social media, a website (that you would have to create and update). The list can go on and on! Outsourcing is something everybody naturally does in one way or another. It is simply another word for delegating. This may be to free up your time to focus on moving your business forward, as you absolutely cannot do everything.
This doesn’t just apply to business, you most likely already outsource tasks in your personal life. Consider the following situations:
You come home late from work, so decide to order a pizza for dinner
When travelling, you decide to take the train instead of driving
Instead of grocery shopping, you order your shopping to be delivered to your door the next day
When your water isn’t working, you call a plumber to look at the problem
These are all examples of outsourcing. It is something that you naturally do to get a task done more efficiently.
Reasons to Outsource
The end goal of outsourcing is to get the task done by something or someone other than you. This can be because one or more of the following applies:
You do not have the knowledge or tools or experience
When you call a plumber in the example above, it’s because you make a decision that they would be able to fix the problem better than you could. In fact, they could probably fix it better than you AND in less time! This brings me to my next reason.
You would not do the task as quickly or efficiently
It is important to consider your time as a cost. It may be a good idea to give yourself an hourly rate in order to make a decision to outsource. Of course you could do your own grocery shopping, but it may take an hour or so of you driving there and going around the shop, rather than just automatically ordering your shopping from your previous orders and having it delivered for a few pounds.
Or take the example of using the train instead of driving. I live in Birmingham, and can get a train to London that takes as little as 1 hour 15 minutes. However, driving can take around 2 and a half hours! Of course you need to factor in that the train travel isn’t door to door, but even so, this can be a much quicker option. On top of this, you can multitask on the train and do some work. The same cannot be said for driving.
Why Outsource in Business
As I said previously, your time is a cost. If you are spending your valuable and expensive time on tasks that could be outsourced, you are not giving the business the value of your time. Only you can drive your business forward and grow it. Take a look at your weekly planner or diary for the next six weeks and see what you can delegate elsewhere. Social Media Marketing, Accounting, Cleaning, Payroll, Administration, Cold-Calling, Blog Writing and Telephone Answering are just some examples. I can almost guarantee there are more tasks that can be outsourced than you think. Of course there will be a cost for this, which can be difficult if you are just a small business, but the cost of you not outsourcing is a lot higher than you may think.
Do what you do best and outsource the rest! Your business needs you!
I’d love to know how you get on with this.