As a business owner, you typically want to spend the most time on activities that add to your bottom line. This should be true no matter what stage of business you’re in. However, this is not necessarily the reality of many small business owners.
Are you outsourcing work yet?
There will come a time when you feel the pinch of not having enough time in the day. You may be busy, but time spent on productive activities may be slipping away from. At this point, if you want to maximize your output and thus increase your profit, then there are two ways to go about it.
One way is to take on more work, and to put yourself or your business under an increasing amount of strain.
The other is by outsourcing work. There are aspects of your business model you can certainly outsource, and thereby start generating more profit and completing more work, without causing yourself to have a nervous breakdown.
Guess which one is preferable?
Simply stated, you cannot build a company by yourself. If you already have an assistant or two, and they are fully committed as well, it may be time to expand your team.
While outsourcing work is a necessary move, it can also result in problems if you aren’t careful. Here are some mistakes to avoid as you grow your business.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Outsourcing Work
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Whether you’re outsourcing to an individual or a company, the method of communication is paramount. If you’re communicating only by email, then this can make it all too easy for there to be a miscommunication resulting in you getting the wrong work. This also becomes especially likely if the person or company you are using doesn’t speak English as a first language.
You can avoid a simple misinterpretation by scheduling a phone call or a Skype session to have a conversation at the beginning of a project. Yes, you need a kickoff meeting. As the business owner, you’ll want to be confident in the work getting done to your standards, on time and on budget.
2. Not Checking
While 99% of the internet population might be conscientious and moral, there will always be those that try to scam you out of money. That’s why you should always check that the work you’ve received is original and high quality.
3. Not Continuing to Check
Sometimes a service you use will offer incredibly high quality work for the first week but then slowly deteriorate. This may be because they are outsourcing work as well, in order to take on more clients. So in essence, you are outsourcing to someone who is outsourcing.
Now think about this scenario, about the degrees of separation between YOU and the real person DOING the work. The more degrees of separation you have, the more likely you there will be errors and miscommunication. That is, if you do not keep checking the work and communicating your expectations. Either way, you need to make sure that the high quality you are receiving at the start of your business relationship stays high quality.
4. Not Outsourcing Enough
One of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs and start-up owners will often make is not outsourcing enough. Many business owners are ‘control freaks’ by nature and believe they need to handle everything personally in order for it to be good. Hogwash! This means they end up spread out too thin and burned out, when the reality is that outsourcing work would likely result in a more professional job that ultimately provides great return for the investment.
Perhaps you have hired an intern or one virtual assistant, but this person doesn’t have the level of expertise needed to take enough work off your plate. This is also a biggie with entrepreneurs. You may need a deeper skill set to really see an impact on your productivity. Do either of these describe your situation? Remember, the first step is admitting you have a problem.
5. Letting the Good Ones Go
Another big mistake when outsourcing work is to let good people go. Whether this is because you don’t pay them on time or it’s because you try to see if you can find a cheaper service elsewhere. The point is that a good working relationship is something that you should value highly and that isn’t easy to come by. If you find a great worker you enjoy doing business with – do everything you can to maintain that relationship!
Number five is critical. I can’t tell you how any times I’ve had a person love my work and it is exactly what they’ve been looking for, inquire about services, and when it’s time to whip out a credit card they can’t afford it and want to shop around for cheap hacks.
This is a huge mistake and detrimental to the growth of your business. That is, if you want to grow. You get what you pay for. Cliche yes, true yes. Do not let a price determine who you hire – hire based on expertise you need, not cheap prices.
When you know you need to outsource work, and you finally do so, you are freeing up time to focus on your core strengths. This is not the time to slack off. Finding people who do good work can make or break your business, so when you find good people, keep them!