If you’re running a small business, chances are your success doesn’t just depend on you and your immediate staff.
Almost all successful enterprises have a network of people they can turn to for professional help - accountants, marketers, web designers and lawyers to name a few. And while you may not always have a huge budget, it’s still crucial that you find quality people who are not only easy to work with, but will put in the hard yards to help your business prosper and grow.
“Whatever level people are in their business, they need to start with the end in mind,” says Fabrice Beillard, of Australia Business Coaching.
“If you start to manage it in that way it will start to be obvious you cannot do it all yourself.” So how do you know what’s worth outsourcing?
Identify where you’re at
Whatever stage you’re at, it’s likely you can at least delegate some of your business’ regular, long-term tasks.
Smaller companies – those under the six-figure mark – might benefit from a virtual assistant or someone to help with the different aspects of digital marketing.
Those in growth mode are probably most in need of outside help to help take their business to the next level. “If they don’t do that they’re going to be stuck running in circles all the time,” says Mr Beillard. He says it’s also become much more common for larger companies to outsource tasks such as accounting, or basic administration.
Map out your business tasks
Divide up the regular tasks that your business performs – for example under the areas of marketing, sales, compliance or accounting – and note who currently performs each task.
“You still want to know your numbers, but you don’t need to be the one that’s going to punch every receipt into the system,” he says.
Don’t focus purely on cost
Many businesses make the mistake of either wasting their own time, or choosing outside help based on the cheapest price, says Mr Beillard.
“People end up spending a lot of time doing trial and error, spending a lot of resources but not getting the right outcome.
“They’re generally looking at things mostly in terms of how much it’s going to cost them, but they end up having to get it redone.”
5 key questions you need to ask yourself
- Is this a regular, ongoing task?
- Could I pay someone else to do it, so I can direct more of my own time to more valuable task?
- Am I wasting time on something I’m no good at, or hate?
- Do I really need to be doing my own bookkeeping or updating the business’ Facebook page myself?
- Do I need a permanent staff member, freelancer, contractor or casual?
Check out Part Two to find out how to get clear on what you need and decide who will be a good fit for your business.