The Power of Outsourcing as a Solopreneur
Do you need a helping hand in your business? It can be so easy to miss the power of outsourcing as a Solopreneur.
Entrepreneurs often feel they need to do everything by themselves, and this can be for one of two reasons:
Why You’re Not Outsourcing
First, there is the financial basis to consider which is that many startups have to adopt a frugal approach where they wear many different hats because they don’t have the funds to pay for the human resources required to outsource tasks internally or externally.
Second, is the more psychological aspect of ‘perfectionism’ where entrepreneurs often feel they need to do it all themselves, as nobody else will put in the same level of skill or standard of care. They become almost overprotective of their business like a mother with a newborn child – assuming that nobody else could possibly take such good care of their baby as they will.
Why You Should be Outsourcing
In any event, whether it’s financial frugality or the paradigm of perfectionism, if you keep trying to do everything yourself then you are seriously limiting your growth potential and could be on the express route to burn out.
See, no man (or woman) is an island and if you struggle with doing everything yourself you’re robbing your business of the growth it deserves and there’s a strong chance you’re denying yourself of the lifestyle you desire, as people that work 60-80 hours per week on their business tend to find they have very little room left for a social life, as they are too tired to do anything other than relax.
Benefits of Outsourcing
This brings us onto the very popular topic of outsourcing, as a way to:
- lighten your load
- increase your productivity and ultimately
- increase your productivity.
The great thing about outsourcing to an external provider is that unlike employing a person, internally, you are not subject to the hefty administrative and financial burdens placed on employers who are responsible for their employees.
The benefit when you outsource tasks is that you don’t have any of the administrative hassles of employing people, plus you get to have your tasks completed by experts within their respective field.
For instance, if you are developing an app you could outsource it to experts rather than have your staff peruse a qa blog to piece together information; thus saving a lot of time in the process.
Indeed, outsourcing makes your business much more efficient due to the fact you are no longer limited by the hours you invest into the business – you are leveraging other organisations or people to complete tasks for you; many of whom can complete the task at a much faster pace with better results, as they are experts in their respective fields.
Would You Build Your Own House?
If we look at this using the analogy of trying to build your own house, as many entrepreneurs attempt with their business model, we can see that the digging out of the foundations isn’t a particularly challenging skill but it is something that will take a lot of work – hours that could be spent doing higher level activities.
Then, when it comes to laying bricks, the entrepreneur could quickly pick up the skills of bricklaying and build the walls of their home, yet, if they outsourced this task to a specialist team of bricklayers – the job would be done much quicker and might achieve a more reliable result.
As the development of the house progresses to the point electrics need to be installed, most entrepreneurs would consider this a task they need to get specialist help with, as trying to undertake the task themselves would either be dangerous or require so much additional training that it wasn’t worth their while.
In this aspect, we can see the key difference as to how the solo entrepreneur thinks about outsourcing; it’s something they will do when they feel there is an essential need – yet, if it’s an activity which takes up a lot of their time but is something they can do themselves, they will give it a go and waste a lot of time in the process.
Therefore, there needs to be a new paradigm when it comes to outsourcing; in that outsourcing isn’t something you should do when you have to – it’s something you should do when you can, as it will free up your time to work on higher-value tasks and create much more efficiency within your organisation.
There are a number of specialist companies you can outsource tasks to, or you could get a personal assistant… or even a virtual assistant. We have covered the main benefit of outsourcing tasks to a specialist company – so let’s now compare the pros and cons of virtual assistants versus in-person assistants.
Virtual Assistant vs Personal Assistant
The great thing about virtual assistants (VA’s) is that they often live on faraway shores where the price of living is much lower, thus offering you great value, and they can help with a wide variety of time-consuming tasks such as content marketing, social media management and business research.
The question is whether you should hire a virtual assistant or a local assistant that comes into the office in person. The answer will most likely come down to an equation of budgetary constraints, what you require the assistant to do, working hours, and your personal working style.
Working with a ‘virtual assistant’ is easy to set up. Essentially, you offer them the job and they are good to go. There’s no set-up cost in terms of supplying equipment and there is a sense of flexibility about the relationship, in that you can have it as on-demand service where you are only charged for the work undertaken each week; whereas with a physical assistant would most likely require a minimum term contract.
Communication can, of course, be much easier when dealing with someone face-to-face and there are social benefits in terms of the camaraderie and friendship that can come from having a personal assistant.
Then there is a sense of commitment from a personal assistant that you are unlikely to feel with a virtual assistant – due to the proximity – but that does not mean a virtual assistant cannot be equally committed to your business.
Are you outsourcing any aspects of your business? Or are you still stuck, going it solo?