Building a better trade business with outsourcing
Trade business owners have many great talents, and often they think they can do it all. Trying to do everything can really stall the growth of your small business. It’s for this reason, you need to consider outsourcing to build a better business. Businesses of all sizes can use technology to work with anyone, anywhere in the world. So why try and do it yourself?
Your small business has access to virtual executive assistants, marketing directors, graphic designers, transcriptionists, paralegals, web designers, HR consultants, bookkeepers, PR directors, IT specialists, and the list goes on. All at the click of the mouse!
Take the first steps toward outsourcing and you’ll soon realise the increased efficiencies and its unstoppable power.
When to outsource
For every small business, the right time to outsource is different. You can, and should, outsource from the very beginning – perhaps start out with a bookkeeper and a virtual assistant, and grow the team from there.
Or, you may already have staff to handle the daily activities, but may need additional help for projects that don’t warrant a new employee. Even the after hours’ phones could be outsourced to save you and your team always having the phones.
The right time may simply be when you want your business to grow.
What to outsource
The types of tasks best outsourced fall into three general categories:
1. Highly skilled expertise
For example, you may not need to pay a CFO’s salary, but you could have a CFO-level person to come in a few times each month to provide financial analysis and ensure that the bookkeeper is handling the books well.
2. Highly repetitive tasks
Accounts payable, data entry, inventory etc could fall into this category.
3. Specialised knowledge
An IT support person, web expert etc. it’s easy to change to an outsourced provider with the right skills set as your needs change and grow.
These days, almost any task can be outsourced. But, just because you can outsource a task doesn’t mean you should.
You should never outsource something, just because you don’t want to do it yourself. There are things that you might not want to do, but are very important to the core of your business.
Finding the right contractors
Start within your own networks and ask for recommendations. Some outsourcing providers focus on speed at the expense of quality or vice versa.
Either can work fine as long as there is a good match between what you want for your small business, and what the provider specialises in. There can be huge differences among outsourcing providers – an open and clear conversation regarding your key performance metrics is definitely essential.
Making it work
After you’ve found a virtual assistant, your work isn’t over yet. Even after you’ve checked references, don’t be afraid to put a little extra time creating a specific contract that outlines exactly what performance is expected. Use incentives to motivate the outsourcer to focus on what is most important to you rather than their own preferences or their assumptions about what you want.
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