Are you curious about outsourcing parts of yours business, but have reservations?
A few weeks ago I wrote a guest blog post for Mel Daniels at Meld Business Services – and she has very kindly returned the favour!
Mel provides tailored solutions to help you build and love your business again. There’s more on that at the bottom of the blog post, but right now she’s here to dispel misconceptions on outsourcing your business.
Over to Mel…
There are many reasons why small businesses are reluctant to outsource. Some of these concerns are plausible, but today I’m going to dispel five myths that are just not valid! I’m sure that you’ve said or heard many of these statements before, so hopefully I can convince you that outsourcing is the best thing you can do to help build your business.
1. “It’s cheaper to do it myself”
Let’s bust the biggest myth up front. It is not cheaper to do the task yourself, especially if it is not your area of expertise, not part of your core business, or is a task that you dislike doing. It is a matter of simple maths. Let’s take the example of the creation of my logo.
Like all startups, cash flow was lean. And by lean, I mean non-existent. I started trying to design something mildly professional looking and was failing. Then I had a lightbulb moment. The time that I was spending trying to design a logo could be better spent on other things like building social media, creating a business plan and writing – all things that I love to do!
If I value my time at $40 per hour and the process of designing something would have taken me more than 20 hours, that’s at least $800 worth of my time. My logo package cost $500. Not only did I end up with a product that was far superior to anything that I could have designed, it took less time and in the meantime I was busy working on other income producing tasks.
So I saved myself $800, paid out $500 which resulted in a net saving of $300. Saving myself that much was a huge win!
2. “It’s easier and quicker to do it myself”
Nope, not true. If the task requires you to spend your precious time researching, learning, watching webinars or searching YouTube then it probably requires a level of expertise slightly higher than your own. I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t upskill or learn new things, it’s just a balancing act to determine when it’s taking up too much of your precious time.
Like Zoë says “Marketing might not be your cup of tea, but it is mine.” If it’s not your area of expertise get someone else to do it. Zoë loves marketing and she’s good at it! (Why, thank you! – Zoë) She will do a better job than what you can, and will love doing it in the process.
3. “It’s too risky to outsource”
You may be a little concerned at sharing sensitive or confidential information with a third party. The obvious way to get around this is through legal means. Have a signed contract or ensure their terms and conditions address confidentiality issues. Certainly, outsourcing to unknown overseas contractors can have its risks.
However, my main argument to this myth is that genuine relationships can be formed with your outsourcing partners. If you have met them (physically or virtually), built a relationship over time and genuinely have the same values and goals then you can’t go wrong. I know I have met plenty of entrepreneurs who I would gladly partner with given the right opportunity.
4. “I can’t control the quality as it’s not me doing the work”
Yes, well this is human nature at its finest. “No-one can do it as good as me”. I hear this argument a lot. It’s hard to believe, but there are people out there that can do it better than you.
In an outsourced situation, you have more control over the quality of the delivery of the product or service, as you have a written agreement or a contract outlining exactly what the finished project should look like.
You can also put in place checks and balances along the way to ensure that the task is on track. For example, when you work with me I call or email on a regular basis to let you know of my progress, any changes to timeframes or any other information pertinent to the project.
Another alternative is to consider a workflow app like Asana that you can both have access to post updates, progress and queries. You may not be doing the project, but you can still have as much control of the output as you need.
5. “It takes too long to explain the task so I might as well do it myself”
The first time you work together it may take time to communicate, ensure that the brief is tight and succinct, that the task or project is understood by all parties and that expectations are fully explained. However, over time the need to invest this time significantly diminishes. If you have found the right outsourcing partner, they get to know you and your business better. If they share the same values as you then you will find that both become intuitive to what the other needs. This is what a true outsourcing partnership should look like. It’s a mutually beneficial experience.
Outsourcing can be an extremely positive and rewarding experience. You just need to find the right partner in your journey.
If you need help in identifying tasks in your business that you could outsource, download a copy of Mel’s “My Outsource Workbook”on her website. This resource takes you through five questions to help you identify and prioritise parts of your business that could benefit from outsourcing.
Mel Daniels provides tailored solutions to help you build and love your business again. Her love – Meld Business Services – delivers specialised virtual assistant services. To find out more, connect with Meld Business Services on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.