If you are a small business owner, I know that you are wearing different hats. After all, when you’re just starting out cash flow is at a minimum and so are your business resources. But there comes a point where you as the business owner can only do so much and it’s time to look at getting in extra help.
This help can be in the shape or form of additional employees, different systems to help with business processes or even an online agent like a converting website. Whatever shape or form the help may take, either way, you are going to need additional assistance. And perhaps you don’t have the in-house resources or skills for this. Isn’t it time then to look at outsourcing? So, let’s first address the elephant in the room.
What is outsourcing?
The simple definition is you pay another business to perform a specific task or service that could otherwise be done in-house.
How do you outsource?
The best way to outsource is to first ask around. Reach out to your fellow colleagues or Lionesses in the network, and find out from them who they are using for outsourcing and for what tasks. Get their take on the joys they experience from outsourcing certain functions and get referrals to their service providers.
Another way is to do a comprehensive online search. Know exactly what you want to outsource, who you would like to use, how long will you be outsourcing for and if necessary the geographic location of the service provider. The better armed you are with knowledge and your expectations, the more narrow your search can be and the better your online results will be. If you know what you want, the easier it is for your expectations to be met!
When should you outsource?
When is the right time to outsource? Take a look at where a gap needs to be filled within the business. For example, let’s say you’ve noticed of late that it takes you 2 days to respond to email enquiries. Or your accounting is a month behind. Or your sales pipeline hasn’t been filled in months. Well then my friend, you know it’s time to outsource!
Why would you outsource?
The long and the short of it is this, you are running a small business, you don’t necessarily have the resources or skills in the business currently, and outsourcing means handing over specific business functions to experts who know what they are doing at a much lower rate and higher quality than what you can provide right now.
In the weeks and articles to come, I’ll personally take you through how to successfully outsource your admin, marketing functions, sales activities and accounting.
Karen Wessels is the co-founder and COO of VA Connect, a South African virtual assistant platform that provides outsourced administrative support; and is also the co-founder of SnappSales, a company that generates quality sales leads for its clients. Prior to establishing both her companies, Karen spent over 10 years in different sales, marketing & admin support roles. This experience has equipped her with the invaluable skills required to run her two successful business ventures. Follow Karen on her Personal Website | Twitter | Facebook | Google+
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