It's true. We all need help. Whether it's seasonal sales cycles, end of year accounting or a full time staff position... there's always more to do that hours in the day. How do you decide what help you need, how to prioritize getting it and finally who you gonna call? In this episode our focus will be on outsourcing work without adding a permanent position at your company.
- What is outsourcing?
- How does it apply in a small business situation?
- What should I outsource?
- Where do I start?
In Episode 01 for 2017 we look at each of these questions. There's a worksheet you can download below to help you put some structure to the process of outsourcing that fits your business and situation.
Listen & Download
Google Docs Version
You can copy this to your own Google Drive to edit online. This is the first time I've used this so let me know what you think in the comments below!
If you're not a Google user here's the PDF version.
What is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is simply finding someone outside your own company to do work for you either for a specific short term project (i.e. installing a piece of equipment) or continuously for a long period of time (i.e. recurring accounting support on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis).
The term 'outsourcing' sometimes evokes negative images of empty factories in our home countries; poorly treated workers or environmental concerns. For small business's outsourcing can often be kept local (creating jobs not killing them) and done well, is a win/win between you and your partner business.
Admitting you need help...
Why outsource...? The bottom line is because we simply can't do it all ourselves and sometimes (often) it can make more sense to bring in an outside expert on a contract basis rather than adding to your permanent payroll.
By going through three easy action steps outlined in the podcast and documented on the downloadable worksheet you'll be able to quickly:
- Identify good candidates for outsourcing
- Prioritize them (I would recommend outsourcing only one or two things at a time)
- Find resources to help you discover the right fit for your needs
Outsourcing Resource Options
Where possible automation may be the best choice!
Find other professionals and business owners that are achieving the success you want with an outside resource and get a referral.
For projects with very definable characteristics where expectations can be made very clear up front there are online resources such as:
Finally, you may need to dig a little deeper. I would still begin with your professional network and see if they can point you in a good starting direction. Some considerations:
- it's okay to tap your network for pointers
- stay local if possible
- visit the vendor if appropriate
- interview more than one vendor
- stay in the loop by having scheduled updates
Do you have an outsourcing resource you'd like to share? Add it to the comments below and help make another small business owner's day a little brighter!