In Short: Outsourcing amplifies but be careful about what you’re amplifying.
People make outsourcing seem easy and they’re lying. Some simple tasks do take more time to outsource than to do yourself. Some tasks present an over-sized risk to your company if the freelancer or contractor has bad intentions. If you can’t train, you might not be able to outsource. You can waste so much time hiring, training and in new meetings that could have been avoided. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t outsource, it just means that you need to take it slow and cover your bases. Some things to note before outsourcing:
- Referrals from friends are gold. If they outsource to a company they love, get the contact details of the company and give your friend a hug.
- Outsourcing amplifies. If you’ve got solid processes, you get more done. If you’ve got chaos, you’re about to light a fuse.
- Think software first. Outsourcing is more expensive than software and is less reliable because we’re all human. Get advice on whether software exists to automate the process before hiring someone to do the task.
- Think automation second. You can set up simple automations to make your life easier e.g. posting to your blog triggers posting to social or moving a client to a stage in your CRM triggers an email asking them to leave a review.
- Start with hiring for a task. Hiring a writer for your blog has limited variables and set deliverables. You want two blog posts per week with that content distilled down into 8 social media posts (with images). You want the posts to work for your simple SEO strategy and want to quickly see visually if the content meets your strategy. Set turnaround time, set task and a set price lead to more certainty.
- Set appropriate software permissions. Most software allows for you to set people up as users rather than admins with limited access. If you need to make someone an admin for a specific task, give them co-admin access and set yourself a task to downgrade their access later.
- Use a password manager. It’s painful to spend the few hours to set it up and then the first week or so to get used to adding in your master password but you will sleep 1% better at night knowing you can revoke access whenever you want.
- Create a human-centred, simple way to document processes. It makes things clear, helps if a team member leaves and adds value to your business if you wanted to sell one day.
These are just some basics to get started and each situation is unique. Get in touch if you want to discuss how you can dip your toes in the water of outsourcing.