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What is outsourcing and why do it?

In business, there are many tasks to undertake each day, irrespective of the industry, line of work, or number of people involved.

All industries attract some or significant amounts of administration. For example, new starters often go through a documented process, and financial matters must be kept in order. These parcels of work are often delegated to an individual or perhaps a team to ensure they are undertaken, documented and completed. Delegating such tasks ensures things get done in a timely fashion whilst you get on with your work.

Outsourcing is merely the same as delegating. When starting out in business, one usually has a budget, which may be allocated for initial start-up work; branding, websites, business cards and other print, marketing and social media promotion. It may also involve work space. There are also essential items such as insurance, travel and subsistence, IT equipment and phones. Unsurprisingly, hiring or outsourcing other tasks is often identified as a goal to be achieved further down the line, ‘when I reach X I will get a PA / bookkeeper / call handler / social media manager / events support’.

DIY may often be the quickest and easiest route when starting out. For many, it is the chance to start the business they’ve always wanted rather than manage one they’ve inherited. Yet many business owners have left a corporate world where they worked as part of a team, big or small, and share the day to day work of the business. Many consultants had a PA or secretary to oversee diary and territory management, document management and preparation, capture expenses, vet calls and take messages, perhaps even deal with some of the work that arises. Yet many choose to truly go-it-alone when starting out.
Frequently cited advantages of outsourcing any work include saving time and money through seeking expert help. For example, we recently rebranded and to achieve a quality rebrand, we sought the help of an expert who worked solely in rebranding. He could demonstrate his work and capability, we had a contract and a number of meetings to review progress, and he focused purely on our rebrand. He gave advice based on the areas surrounding branding and we listened. We did not have time or the design skills to undertake this work ourselves and would not have achieved the desired results without him.

Yet, I think it is still unclear what the true benefits can be. Delegating work saves time simply by the fact that you are not doing it. Our clients know this, and they knew it long before they came to us as they are experienced professionals. But we did not promise to save them time, money or both. We certainly do not promise to give time back! What we promise is to undertake the work in a professional, timely manner and report back once done or ask for clarity when needed. Our clients understand this saves their time. With regards to money, we want to ensure our clients are working at their maximum billable rate at all times, so undertaking unnecessary work that really should be delegated, achieves this saving. All businesses attract some costs, that is inevitable, but factoring in realistic costs saves time and money further down the line for all concerned. Building a good network and team around you helps to achieve the business goals you have so they do not become a cost.

If you would like to talk about your business activities and tasks and how we can help you achieve the business you want, contact us for a free, informal, and completely confidential chat.