Most business owners experienced being a member of the All Me department when they were just starting out. Do you remember the time when you did everything by yourself such as accounting tasks, customer support, social media, coding, graphics, chasing customers, delivery, and everything else?
But its thanks to your tenacity and hard work that you were able to scale up your business. However, the demands of a growing business are not really that easy to meet. Can your All Me department keep up? Definitely not.
Nevertheless, you still continue doing everything almost by yourself and you never hire new staff thinking of the costs that might incur to your business. However, in exchange for your being too frugal, what lies ahead for you is an unsatisfying work-life balance.
You put up your own business because you want more freedom, right? But what happened to you is the exact opposite. Whether you are in your office or at home, all you think and do is business.
While it may be true that successful people do not have holidays, I believe that real successful people know how to find free time for themselves.
So how can you maintain a satisfying work-life balance? Outsourcing some of your business tasks and functions might be of help.
Outsourcing and its benefits
Outsourcing simply means contracting work to a third party which could be an individual freelancer, a team of freelancers, or a company within your country or to a different country.
If you are a worry wart about costs and want the work done yet lack the manpower to do so, outsourcing might be the best conducive solution.
- You can control your operating costs.
Usually, companies outsource some of their business tasks and functions offshore or outside of the country. Among the five top rated outsourcing countries are India, Indonesia, China, Bulgaria and Philippines. (Source: Statistic Brain)
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When you outsource to these countries, business processes are done at a much cheaper rate because they have cheaper labor costs.
- You can still get access to quality work.
Though you are paying more affordable labor cost rates, it doesn’t mean that the work done will only be subpar. I have my own share of experiences when it comes to outsourcing especially in the field of marketing and web development. So far, my offshore staff are doing great and exceeding my expectations.
- You can gain access to tools and resources not available internally.
If your business is just new on gaining a stable financial footing, you may not yet have the capacity to afford new technology. But if you outsource, there’s no need to rush to buy that new equipment or upgrade to a new technology, since they are already available externally.
For freelancers or outsourcing companies to operate their own business smoothly, they have already invested in the technology that their clients might need.
- You can get work done even while you sleep.
If you outsource some of your business tasks to the other side of the world, you can still get more work done even while you sleep. Freelancers and outsourcing firms work even on night shifts just to meet their clients’ needs.
- You can have more freedom.
Of course, when you delegate minor tasks to a third party, you can lessen the workload on your shoulders. You will gain the freedom and have more time to focus on your core business or the more important things you need to do.
Though there are a lot more advantages outsourcing can provide, these are some of the most basic things on why you should consider outsourcing for your business.
Tasks you should outsource
According to Chris Ducker, there are 101 tasks that you can delegate to your virtual staff. But to sum it up, here are the tasks that you should outsource:
- Email and schedule management tasks
- File storage and organization tasks
- Administrative and blogging tasks
- Email marketing
- Audio and video production
- Content writing
- Search engine optimization and web marketing
- Graphic and web designing
- Web developing
Aside from these, you can also outsource tasks related to:
- Customer support
- Desktop publishing
- Financial services
- Legal services
- Social media management
And many more! The tasks you can outsource are actually endless. But there are also some things that you shouldn’t outsource.
Find out the tasks that you shouldn’t outsource. Download the list here.
Cons of outsourcing
While there are outstanding benefits of outsourcing, there are also cons. I’ve heard stories from some of my friends that they had a bad experience with outsourcing relating to the quality of work, response times, turnaround time, etc. Or if you are working with freelancers, some of them just disappear without notice.
But you can escape from these blunders if you are more vigilant and do your research especially if you are a first time outsourcer.
How to prevent first time outsourcing blunders
We have asked Kelly O’Donnell, a copywriter who works with small businesses and someone who has experience with outsourcing, some tips if people would be outsourcing for the first time.
Here is her response:
You can check out Kelly’s article on outsourcing here: 3 Ways Outsourcing Can Help Your Business
According to Kelly, if you are a first-time outsourcer, you can ask recommendations from others on who to outsource to. So if you personally know someone who has experience outsourcing, you can ask them if they could share with you where they have gotten their excellent offshore staff.
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Also, I agree with Kelly’s second point. If you would be outsourcing, you should be specific on what you’re after. Sometimes, the problem lies with you. You don’t know what you want and you just give vague instructions to the freelancer or outsourcing company, saying that it’s all up to them.
And when the turnaround time comes, you actually want something to be done which is not done by the outsourcing company – which links to Kelly’s third point about understanding what you’re getting at and what’s included in the price.
Lastly, you should give extra time to the outsourcing company or freelancer for the work to be done. You should always remember that you are not their sole client. Just as you are giving ample time to your in-house employees to finish their tasks, you should also provide the same to the outsourcing company so as not to have issues on quality.
You don’t have to fear outsourcing when you have played your cards right. Outsourcing is a fairly useful method to scale up your business without sacrificing your work-life balance.
Who else here tried outsourcing before? What are your tips for business owners who want to try outsourcing for the first time? Let us know your thoughts on the comment box below.