Outsourcing can give you back your life, increase the quality of the services you offer and make your clients fall in love with you over and over and over.
Outsourcing, really? Yes! Really. Small business owners (SBOs) think outsourcing is for the big guys. In fact, SBOs carry a lot of baggage with this term. It evokes anger and resentment of themselves or someone they care about being let go from a large corporation in favor of cheaper labor overseas. It reminds them of poor quality and for many it is part of their sales strategy to NOT outsource.
American Made. We offer [blank] in-house. Ring a bell?
Redefining What Outsourcing REALLY Means
If you think outsourcing means hiring someone from India or China, think again. If you think outsourcing is expensive, yields less control and bad for America and bad for business – keep reading.
Come on, am I really expecting you to start interviewing foreign firms for outsourced talent? Of course not.
I am talking about the new outsourcing. It’s time to bring outsourcing to a more personal level. Here is how I am defining “outsourcing:”
outsourcing n. – The act of delegating a task to someone else, preferably an expert who can consistently perform said process better and/or faster that can you do it.
Said another way, outsourcing removes items from your inbox, task list or desktop (your actual desk). Think of why you started your business for a moment. It’s because you wanted to bring your world better interior design, better pizza, better trucking, better eyecare, better roofing, better plumbing or better medical care. But as you started your business you had tasks A – M get dropped in your lap for your attention. To name a few:
- File your payroll taxes.
- Generate new business.
- Layout a new postcard mailer.
- Learn mail-merge in Word.
- Create a logo.
- Register with the state.
- Start Twittering.
- Get a P.O. Box.
- Review an employee’s performance.
- Enter stuff into Quickbooks all the time.
- Meet with your CPA to go over your return.
And on and on and on and on and on. Sound familiar? And last on the list? Or better, lost on the list? You guessed it: the good stuff like eyecare, patient care or making pizza, decorating a new bath, laying the perfect floor or installing a new kitchen faucet.
It’s Time to Try Outsourcing
So why do we let the mundane get in the way of our success and happiness? It’s time to outsource. How? It’s easier than you thought.
- Have someone handle Quickbooks for you for three or four hours a week. Check!
- Hire a service to handle payroll every other week for a couple hundred bucks. Check!
- Meet with a graphic designer to handle the new postcard. Check!
- Sign a power of attorney with your CPA to handle that IRS call back. Check!
- Opt out of some “daily specials” online. Check!
- Join a referral network to get new business in the door. It works! Check! Check (the depositable kid)!
- Call a support company and have them upgrade or explain Office for you – or try Google Docs. Check!
- Hire a nerd from craigslist to automate your daily/weekly backups. Check (every week).
- Identify any other processes that can be totally automated and get someone to set it up. Check.
- Have a professional executive assistant like Lettiann Betts help you. Check out her company, My Bella Zia, for that one perfect thing she can help you with! Check!
- Partner with a local business or 2 to “share” a Quickbooks person. Check.
- Take an afternoon off and have lunch with your child at their school, then take a drive/golf/read/get a massage…set your out-of-office email. Check.
All of these are outsourcing. Stop sweating every little detail on the list and surround yourself with experts who love to do what you ask them.
The effects are amazing and cumulative! What took you 2 hours every week to handle quickbooks will take a QB guru 25 minutes. If you start small and make a commitment to reduce the mundane, you will free up your time to provide those services that make you more profitable, more productive and truly happy.
You will notice. Your clients will notice. Your family will notice.