Entrepreneurs wear lots of hats. That’s a given. But there comes a time when an entrepreneur has to weigh the pros and cons of wearing all the hats versus outsourcing.
The pros and cons of outsourcing are simple.
PRO: You free your time to work on higher priority tasks.
CON: Outsourcing costs money.
So when is the best time to outsource?
As soon as possible.
Your business won’t survive, let alone thrive if you’re spending your time doing tasks that don’t really grow the business. Plus, there’s a very good chance that many of the tasks you’re undertaking are not your expertise, so they take longer, are more frustrating and subsequently cost you more.
- First, outsource operational and business management tasks; namely bookkeeping and accounting. Very few people are experts in these things, they’re time consuming but very important. Your business needs a good foundation, and part of that is a smooth running machine – so outsource bookkeeping and accounting as quickly as possible.
- Next, outsource website/blog design (unless that’s your business!) This will usually be a 1-time fee (unless you’re updating the site constantly), so bite the bullet and pay someone. Get it done right, and stand out from the crowd of standard looks and themes.
- Simple tasks should be outsourced next, even if they’re core to your business. For example, you might run a small ad agency. Part of your job might be tracking the metrics of the ads you’ve placed for clients. You’re also doing all the work, including the most basic ad designs. If you can hire a college/university student to replace yourself, do it. They might even work for free in exchange for a nice bullet point on their resume.
- Finally, outsource tasks that will take you eons to handle but will take an expert 5 minutes. Even if you’re a reasonable skilled plumber, your title is more valuable doing something else. Actually, that’s why plumbers can charge so much (but that’s another story…) The point is to avoid getting bogged down in tasks that will waste your time; bring in an expert, let ’em do it quickly, build that relationship and pay them.
If you run a small business or you’re starting a new company there’s one thing you should be focused on: sales. Everything else is secondary.
Outsourcing costs money. So there’s risk associated with it. If you spend money you have to make money to pay those bills. But not outsourcing is a bigger risk. Find a way to do it. Spend the money. Barter. Beg. (Don’t steal, it’s bad.)
Outsource as quickly as you can. It’ll help your business succeed.