Outsourcing

Outsourcing

As SME’s we often find that we wear all the hats. Sales, service, marketing, client contact, finance just to name a few. When you reach the point of being so busy, sleep is being swapped out for tasks to keep going, it’s time to outsource! Or if you don’t have time for another client because you have too much admin to do…yeah that’s not cool!

Then we start the mental tug-a-war with terms like “that’s a cost I could avoid” “if I do it myself, I save that money”

But what we often forget, what takes us half a day in our business, takes a professional 30mins to 1 hour, depending on the task.

So, what is your worth?

What can you be doing instead of that half day task, more often than not, you can be making more money in your business! Which essentially can pay for those services anyway!

Don’t forget, we started our business to be great at what we do, and sometimes this means being humble and admitting that something like the bookkeeping or the marketing is not our forte.

Its again tough, the other voice in your head says “but I do it the best” “how is someone else going to understand how I want it” oh and the best one by far “by the time I tell them to do it, I could have done it myself”, classic!

But we are wrong, just dead wrong!!! This deserves this many exclamation marks.

Tradesmen, prime example; they work during all the day, sometimes after hours. They already have to do up quotes and make calls to clients, how do you think their tax time goes. Walking into an accountant with a shoebox, just doesn’t exist. Not literally, as it sadly does exist, but how much does that cost compared to getting a bookkeeper to help you once a month. How many of you pay the accountant to do your BAS, and few hundred dollars later?

Another good example is websites and social media. Who started their business and knew what meta data was? Who knows that the image size for posts on Facebook is different to the ones needed for Instagram? Who understands what plugin will work on a WordPress website for a specific task?

We need help and we need to engage another SME’s for this. Even things like the old-fashioned barter system should not be dismissed.

Why outsource?

So back to your worth again. What is your hourly rate to your clients? How much time do you loose trying to do something that is not flowing through your veins? Do you put these tasks off to the point of absolute stress and that “monkey on your back” feeling that you end up doing it the day before the BAS is due, or worse, overdue and cope a fine from the ATO?

Are you not reaching your audience potential because you just don’t know why different social platforms have to tell a different story?

If you have time to learn and want to learn, that’s a different story. But to become an expert, this is unlikely without neglecting your own business.

Sometimes, we can get so far and have a better understanding, this is never a bad thing. Nothing I hate more than having a meeting with someone regarding a particular task and they say something and I can only assume they are the expert and I should trust, but should I?

Who to partner with?

Making connections with the right people for outsourcing is super critical also. If someone meets you and just wants to baffle you with technical jargon and make you feel stupid, chances are they are not who you should be looking to partner with.

If they are happy to explain, be human and transparent, this is a really good sign.

Of course, many factors come into play. The people connection is always what I have looked for. Real people providing real services just like I do for my clients. Not someone sitting there with a stop watch and sending you and invoice for a 4.5-minute phone conversation.

It’s got to be give and take. If you are high maintenance and needs more support than others work out a monthly structure of service with the business you are working with.

Consider reaching out to more than one company and ensure you get a full scope of works quotation. But go with your gut feeling, more often than not your base instinct has the answer.

Sometimes it means spending more, but knowing you get the outcome you are after is super important.

Review your outsourced team

I highly recommend this. For many remote services it might pay to schedule face to face meetings annual or bi-annual. Keep the expectations honest and if things are not working, be open about it and work together for a solution. If they are defensive of this, then its time to move on.

Always remember, some business owners become complacent. Sometimes they can take the clients for granted and start dropping the ball.

Slower responses, missing task deadlines – Not good signs unless they have already advised this could be happening for a reason. If your partner is going away on holiday or making a change on their side, you should know about it, always.

Essentially, they are like an employee, but better, you don’t have to stress if you want to change to someone else. You also can cut the cord should the finances have a dry patch. Most of all, it’s a great team feeling with the right people, that’s hard to find.

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