Small business owners with a limited number of resources and /or solopreneurs who wear many hats while they run their business eventually reach a point where they have to think about expanding their headcount or outsourcing some of their functions. If you’re growing, eventually you can’t do it all on your own. Conversely, if you continue to do it all on your own, your chances of growth are slim and burnout is a certainty.
It can be difficult to tell when it’s truly right to start outsourcing stuff or hiring staff — after all, you have to justify the price of paying someone else to do things, right? Here’s some food for thought:
How Much Could You be Earning?
When you’re at peak performance, how much could you earn? As a small business owner or entrepreneur this is subjective, of course, but it’s worth considering.
If it’ll cost you a bit of money to get paperwork done or to have someone clean the office instead of you taking an hour to do it, it could be worthwhile to outsource due to the money you could be earning while someone takes care of these tasks for you. If you could be earning hundreds or thousands of dollars doing something else, it’s certainly worthwhile to pay a small amount of money to get something done, right?
Certain things are worth your time and best effort. Certain things are not. But whether your clerical work is worth your time or not, it still needs to be done. If you get backlogged, it makes your life more difficult and your business could suffer due to the lack of organization. Why not start with outsourcing some admin elements that need to be done but that don’t have to be done by you specifically?
Know Your Expertise
There’s a common saying of ‘Jack of all trades, master of all none’. If you’re doing everything but you’re often outside your area of expertise, it’s worthwhile to consider the fact that your business could suffer due to that lack of expertise. If you’re doing your own website design, for example, but know next to nothing about it, your business could suffer due to that mediocre design. If you are trying to do sales and marketing when it’s something that you’re really not comfortable with, investing in outsourcing these functions could free you up to do what you’re good at and could help you build your business through hiring experts who can help you take things to the next level of success.
Consider Commission Based Services
If you’re great at account management but not so great at cold calling, you might want to hire some commission-based sales people. They only get paid for performance so it could be worthwhile (Here’s a post to help you as you carefully consider the right sales compensation plan for your business).
If you are great at closing deals but don’t have time to juggle multiple accounts on a day to day basis, maybe it’s time to hire some account management people.
Look at Tools, Too
Some processes don’t need an extra person but could, instead, use a better process that helps you automate tasks and save time without spending a lot of money paying for someone else to do it. Consider the technology and the tools you use today and consider upgrading some. This could be a small investment that yields big results for your time management and for streamlining your business.
Consider Work / Life Balance
If you strategically outsource some functions in your business you could also benefit from better work / life balance. Many small business owners and entrepreneurs struggle to achieve the right balance between work and personal life and being exhausted isn’t conducive to creativity and typically doesn’t yield those “light bulb moments” that can help propel a business forward. Having more time to focus on what you enjoy and are good at and time to focus on growing your business as well as being able to take time to smell the roses once in a while could increase your earning potential (and your well-being) substantially.
Why not make a list of some of the things you have to do that keep you from growing your business and do some research on ways to optimize things and / or delegate or outsource them?