If you’ve ever eaten at McD’s (I blush to admit I love their fries), you know they’ll ask if you want to super size your meal. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could go into the Small Biz Store and super size your profits?
While it may seem counter intuitive at first, paying someone else to do certain things can actually improve your bottom line. The trick is to know when and what to outsource.
Now our villainous Number Muncher would love for you to think all outsourcing is bad, or convince you to to outsource the wrong things. Luckily I’m on to his villainous plot, and with the help of a few friends, will help you outwit his dastardly designs.
Time to Upsize Your Bottom Line!
Ready to get started? Great, let’s begin with which activities are candidates to be outsourced.
What should your small business outsource?
The first rule of
Fight Club outsourcing – never outsource anything that is critical to your identity or brand. It takes years to build a reputation and seconds to destroy it. While I love to have guest bloggers, my unique sense of humor (and the laugh, don’t forget the laugh) are integral to my brand. Having someone else write all my posts would actually undermine my business.
Take a few minutes and brainstorm all the activities you do in your business. Pay particular attention to repetitive tasks, even if they only take 5 minutes at a time. Consider if you could save 5 minutes a day for a year, that would be over 20 hours a year! (5 minutes * 5 days a week * 50 work weeks = 1,250 minutes or 20.83 hours). Who couldn’t use an extra 20 hours a year?
Need some help assessing your list? Fluffy the Finance Feline is here to help!
- Is the task something that you could easily document and / or train another person to do?
- Does the task involve a skill set that is NOT your core competency. For example, I can’t draw, so I pay someone else to illustrate my cast of characters.
- Is the cost to outsource less than you could earn if you were working with a client?
If you answered yes to to these three questions the activity or task is a candidate for outsourcing. Of course you still need to use common sense. Putting gas in my car would qualify according to these three questions, but is that really practical?
When should your small business outsource?
When it’s a matter of expertise I generally recommend using an outside resource. Going back to drawing for a minute, have you ever seen the original Fluffy? No? Here he is. Now you can see why I paid someone else to draw him!
The second thing to consider is what will you do with the time you free up?
Can you spend it on other, revenue generating activities? If yes, and you can earn more than you are paying to outsource the time is right!
What if you are still building your business, and you have more time than money? I’d suggest holding off outsourcing the repetitive tasks. Document them, be prepared to hand them off, and then when your business revenue grows you can gradually offload to a third party.
You may also want the time for your personal life. Maybe you are working 60 hours a week now, and this would let you get down to 45. While I love my business, I also want to have enough time to enjoy my success with my friends and family.
Do you outsource anything right now? If so, what? Has it paid off for you? If you haven’t outsourced yet, will you consider it now? Sound off below!
This post is part of the April Word Carnival — a monthly group blogging event specifically for small business owners. (It’s the most fun you’ll have all month!) Check out the rest of the fabulous carney work here.
© 2012 Small Business Finance Forum LLC | All rights reserved.