Making a Case for Outsourcing – The Advanced Guide to What to Outsource

The Advance Guide to What to Outsource

 

Welcome to the first chapter – the Introduction – to my guide to What to Outsource.

In this section, you’re going to learn about the Evolution of Work in a Small Business and discover the importance of determining What to Outsource as the first step in putting together an Outsourcing Strategy.before outsourcing strategy - doing it all yourself

After reading this chapter, you’ll appreciate the fact that you’re not alone in your small business.  You’ll be prepared to begin the work of deciding what you should (and shouldn’t) outsource.

In the beginning….

When you first started your business, I’ll bet that you were doing it all yourself, weren’t you?  Whether it was providing the service (that actually produces the revenue), bookkeeping, or marketing, you were likely able to keep up with all of it, and still enjoy some semblance of sanity.

Remember those days?

 

Bubefore outsourcing - crazy busyt you’re just too good

Word then spread about the quality of your service, and the speed of business accelerated to the point that I call “crazy busy.”  Who could predict the sheer volume of the day-to-day administrative duties that come with managing people, tasks, resources, and timelines???  Somehow – often through sheer determination and a passion for your business, you still managed to get it all done.  But there came a point where there simply were not enough hours in the day to get it all done.  Enter overwhelm (and a family that no longer recognizes you).

 

If you think hiring a professional is expensive…

After several months (years?) of overwhelm, you recognized that you needed help.  Badly.  Hiring your first employee is the next natural step in business, right?  So perhaps you hired someone local for minimum wage to answer phones, file, respond to customer service, and handle a number of other things that require attention.  Or maybe you asked your spouse to pitch in and help with the business.  Or you may have even hired a
virtual assistant.

Did you hire your first employee?  When you’re moving as fast as you are, you need knowledge and skills that usually aren’t available for minimum wage.  Maybe you found yourself frustrated because you were spending so much time explaining (again) what needed to be done.  Maybe you were disappointed with the work product.  Maybe you were surprised by the lack of dependability and professionalisbefore outsourcing - hire an amateurm.    The bottom line was that you didn’t see a return on your investment and your first employee really wasn’t working out as you had hoped.

Did you ask your spouse for help?  Been there, done that – years ago, for my husband’s growing IT business.  We didn’t have kids then, but after working a long day at my job, the last thing I wanted to do was more business management at home.  I know that there are some couples that work quite well together in the family business, but for us, it caused a lot of unnecessary pressure.

Did you hire a virtual assistant?  Frustrated with how to collaborate virtually?  Many times, it’s difficult to determine what you can delegate to a virtual assistant if you don’t have a plan, and if the VA isn’t good at coaching you through that, you end up disappointed. Again.  Maybe the virtual assistant was new to the industry.  Maybe the VA wasn’t ethical or available when you needed them.  Whatever the problem might have been, you were again disappointed by the return on your investment.

 

Help is here!

The great news is that in each of the three scenarios above, being clear about what you need to delegate will increase the quality of your results exponentially.  Whether hiring an employee, working with your spouse, or contracting with a freelancer, your clarity around what to outsource will automatically increase your chance of success!

 

Org Chart – your current reality

Small Business Organizational Chart without OutsourcingMy bet is that if you are just starting to consider outsourcing for your small business, your company org chart looks a lot like this one.

It’s one box.  It’s you.  The buck stops (and starts) here.  Not only are you handling the Marketing, the Management, and the Money, but you’re also in charge of the Vision and Strategy for your business, the networking AND the revenue production.  You’re taking care of customer service and delivery.  You’re keeping track of standard operating procedures, bookkeeping, budgeting, email marketing, and your website.  I’m overwhelmed just reading about it…

Would you feel better if I told you that you’re in good company?  It’s natural for you to fill all of those roles.  You’re bootstrapping and you’re getting it all done – mostly…  But your business has grown and has a momentum of its own…  It’s hard to continue to do everything by yourself and do it well.

 

Ideal Org Chart

After six years as an Online Business Manager (and more than 15 years prior to that working in the back office end of bricks and mortar Ideal Small Business Organizational Chartbusinesses), I’ve settled on this as the ideal org chart for small business.  It seems to apply across almost any industry, and it scales well (which means, when you’re ready to hire your COO, CMO and CFO, you’ll have everything in place).

Your primary job as Chief is to flesh out the vision and strategy for your business.  No one else can do that for you.  No one sees what you see, and no one is as invested in the long-term success of your business as you.  In addition, networking and the oversight of revenue production fall on your shoulders.

Of course, there are certain aspects Marketing, Management, and Money that you will continue to do, but there is a tremendous amount of work in each of these areas that can (and should) be automated or outsourced.  Your outsourcing strategy will help you define what those are.

 

start your outsourcing strategyLet’s Get Started…

It’s time to get strategic about what you outsource, about who you outsource to, and about how you outsource.  One size does NOT fit all.  The first step of putting together that strategy is determining what to outsource.

You  made it through Chapter 1 (this one was easy)…  Are you ready for Chapter 2:  An Initial Outsourcing Consult?