As small business owners, we see ourselves as jacks-of-all-trades. We start out excited to do what we love and think we can do it all, but quickly discover that there are countless responsibilities that we had not initially planned on. On one hand doing everything ourselves gives us a chance to try new and often interesting tasks. On the other hand, many of these become boring routines that we eventually dread doing. Don’t worry, there is a great practical solution - outsource these activities to experts whose full time attention is dedicated to just such activities, rather than seeing them as a detraction from their core duties.
So when is it the right time to call in the cavalry – hire an expert? I see the following as the top three reasons to outsource:
- You don’t know how to do something, or as in most cases, you think you do but for “some reason” you are not being successful
- You don’t have the focus or the patience to do it, which results in procrastination i.e. not being done and looming over you like a daunting monster, keeping you awake at night
- You don’t have enough time in a day. You should and could be spending your time more efficiently
Most people will find the first reason intuitive - you know to call a plumber if there is a water leak because you don’t know how to fix it yourself.
The second reason can be harder to swallow, but no less valid. For example, there are hundreds of DIY programs, templates and tools for building websites, but the best result is often achieved when you hire a professional, who is not only well versed in website building tools, but also knows SEOs, SEMs, and has a creative eye.
The third reason is as intuitive as the first, but is rarely recognized. To illustrate this, many of us would gladly hire a cleaning service to do the decidedly unglamorous, but vitally important, job of keeping our work and living spaces clean, even though we all know how to use a mop and a duster. This is because we know cleaning is not the most efficient use of our time. So why are you still doing your own bookkeeping, payroll, marketing, website design, or office cleaning? While we may at first balk at having to pay for things that we can theoretically do ourselves, there are numerous benefits to outsourcing:
- Outsourcing frees up your time. You can run your business and service your customers while the professionals do the tasks better, faster and cheaper – yes, cheaper, when you factor the costs over the long run.
- Outsourcing is cost-effective, even if it may not appear so. While you will be paying a professional to do the outsourced tasks, they will take less time to do the work and save you money – your time is money, after all.
- Outsourcing gives you peace of mind in knowing things are done right. While there are tasks that you may be able to do yourself, you would benefit from getting someone with proper training and experience to do them for you. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Any way you look at it, outsourcing some of your business non-core activities provides a good alternative, which not only saves you time and money, but also gives you peace of mind. Why not reclaim your weekends and spend them with your family and friends, or you know what? Just relax guilt free - that’s priceless!
Inna Korenzvit is Founder and Principal Accountant at KORE Accounting Solutions, a future-focused management accounting firm specializing in providing legal professionals and business owners with the data and insights they need to stay compliant and run more profitable firms.