The other day a client asked if they should be outsourcing more – and if so, what should they look to delegate. GOOD QUESTION!
Most business owners do too much themselves – it’s a big (and exciting) decision when you realise you can start offloading some of your to-do list. But knowing just what to delegate needs a bit of consideration when you first start. With all businesses (but especially start-ups) you want to make sure that if you’re increasing your operating costs by outsourcing, you need to be spending that on the right things…
The client asking the question was a start-up business – they’re operating but still need to be mindful of cash. Here’s what I told them:
What you outsource will come down to 2 things…
Firstly, do you have something more important to put your time into right here, right now vs doing whatever it is you need to do?
As a start-up, it’s nice to save money but not if it means that you’re so busy that you never get to do those important things that will make the most difference to your business in 3, 6, 9, 18 months’ time. Is doing everything making you neglect doing the things that will contribute to your business still be around in a few years?
If you are doing everything you can to make your business more successful tomorrow and in the medium term and still have plenty of time, then by all means, do more stuff yourself – at least in the short-term. But be VERY sure that you’re doing all that you can with regards to business-changing stuff before you get swamped in the little every-day chores which won’t ultimately help your business progress. It can be very easy to keep yourself busy with the things that you love doing rather than the things that make a real difference…
What could you do to help your business if you had more time? Is it worth outsourcing to buy yourself this time?
Secondly, ask yourself: could someone do this better than me? Will it mean my business will progress faster with me out of the way?
If someone else is better than you and will make that important area of your business fly, which results in your business being more successful tomorrow, then consider outsourcing. Just check your cashflow first, to ensure you can afford to make this happen at this stage of your business.
Of course, if you free up your time, you need to make sure you are disciplined to put it into that million-dollar stuff and not waste it on lower value things.
As far as things to consider outsourcing, I’d suggest accounts is a valuable one to delegate early. And marketing – if you’re not strong on marketing and you either put it off or do it badly, consider outsourcing to get your product/service out there and selling. Look to your home life too – do you spend too long on housework, when you could use it to further your business? Get a cleaner. Grocery-shopping eats up precious time? Do it online – or look at Hello Fresh or My Food Bag for a double-whammy in grocery shopping and meal planning.
If you want to read a bit more of my thoughts on how outsourcing can help your business if you do it right, check out an article I wrote for the Sunday Star Times here: https://www.businesschanging.com/businesschanging-do-what-you-do-best-and-outsource-the-rest/