The dilemma of most small business entrepreneurs, especially the newbies, is if it is really wise to outsource. If so, when should they start outsourcing?
Best Time to Outsource
There is no right time to outsource. However, for small businesses, it is better to outsource from the start which is the critical time for you to lay down the foundation of the business and begin tracking its development.
By knowing what tasks to outsource, you can estimate immediately how much to spend for your manpower, a vital part of almost all business ventures, and budget it accordingly. Note also that by outsourcing, you can limit the number of your worker and avoid buying or renting an outsize office space to accommodate them. This is a considerable reduction of your overhead problem. Delaying your decision to seek outside help may, otherwise, leave you guessing your expenses in hiring people later. This may upset your finances. As much as possible, eliminate all the “unknowns” in your business plan as early as possible.
Multi-tasking To Save Money
Many new entrepreneurs are very much fired up at the start of their business ventures. Fanned by their enthusiasm, they feel so energetic that they think they could handle all the phases of the business almost alone. They think that the tasks at the beginning may not be that very demanding yet so they try to do things themselves in order to save.
Unfortunately, multitasking almost always gets the opposite results. Instead of saving, you may end up spending more, and not surprisingly so. Imagine running around doing a mixture of different tasks from the important roles like bookkeeping, scouting for manpower, attending to business permits, etc to trivial tasks such as answering calls, checking and replying to e-mails, shopping for supplies, etc.
The obvious downside of doing all these things alone is to get physically exhausted and to feel mentally and emotionally stressed at the end of the day. Under this condition, wrong judgments are made, errors multiply, and more crucial matters are neglected. These inevitably result to considerable loss of money and waste of time that may make you abandon your project prematurely. No wonder very few new business ventures fail at the start or just after a few months of operation.
What to Outsource
Maybe you do not have to outsource everything so be selective. Outsource only tasks you do not have the time nor the talent to handle. Hiring employees to do some of this work would be costly and impractical.
Among the common tasks that small businesses may outsource are the following:
- Repetitive tasks: Data entry, for example, is a highly repetitive task. Although this is an important task, it is advisable to outsource this and use your regular staff for more useful work.
- Specialized tasks: IT support is among this type of tasks. You may need IT support for your network, but it is not necessary to assign a full-time employee to do it. Hiring a contractual VA may be ideal for this specialized work.
- Expert tasks: Experts like a financial analyst, although you require a high level of expertise for the task, can still be outsourced easily. Also, a small business may not afford yet to pay for highly-skilled executives so hiring a financial analyst on a contractual is more practical.
How to Outsource
Do some research work. You will be on the safer side if you go to legitimate and dedicated outsourcing companies. Your business associates who are experienced in hiring contractual workers may recommend some, like Mr. Outsource Company (www.mroutsource.com) who is among the more popular ones in this field.
To ensure a smooth business relations with the outsourcing company you choose, be clear at the onset of your dealing with them of your requirements and a commitment from them that these can be met satisfactorily. Draw a clear and firm contract between you and the contracting company. Do not leave anything to assumptions. Establish a clear communication between you and the contracting company to avoid future misunderstandings.
Leave some allowance for the outsourcing company for adjustment to your work procedure if needed to avoid unnecessary strain in your operation.
Avoid micromanagement that may hinder your outsourcing efforts. Remember, the whole idea of your outsourcing is to save you time —stay focused on the core aspects of your business.
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