When you hear or read the word “outsource” what do you think of first? Rightly or wrongly, top of the list for me would be those nuisance calls from your mobile phone or internet provider. Callers that you can barely hear due to the background noise of their umpteen colleagues doing exactly the same thing:
Hello Mr Way. We’re your mobile phone company. What’s your password?
We’re your phone company. Your contract’s up and we’ve got a great deal.
Have you? What’s my current deal?
Err I don’t have it on my screen. My system’s running very slow today.
You’re not my phone company are you?
Err no but they asked us to phone you….
We’ve all had them and always at the most inconvenient time. It’s like they know!!
All I ever seemed to find were negative vibes. It seemed to be a bad thing that Councils were outsourcing services to companies. In some cases it is but certainly not all.
In the last year or so I’ve seen it differently. Outsourcing is a form of delegation. I’ve spoken and listened to so many business owners about time. They’re not able to do everything they need to do. They’re so busy doing the necessary jobs they have to do that they give up time doing the things that they want to do. Time is very much a commodity.
Small business owners especially face the conundrum of what to do first with their time. I heard an example where a chap was so busy doing the work for his clients that he had no time to invoice any of them. He hadn’t invoiced for a couple of months, so despite working hard and doing a great job he had no money to show for it.
Outsourcing is not just for the big boys. It’s not just about Lloyds Bank outsourcing their IT to IBM. It can be a great thing for Small Businesses. It creates time for you and still gets all the background jobs done.
Most things can be outsourced. Off the top of my head: Accounts, marketing, invoicing, chasing invoice payments, follow up, social media, project work……. the list goes on. Outsourcing any of these tasks frees up time, for you, the entrepreneur to do what you do best and want to do most.
You can allocate your time to work on the money making tasks. For example, someone who’s a web designer (and is passionate about what they do) can concentrate and devote more time to getting paid for what they love. This should increase quality and quantity of work.
I can’t help but think that because of the often-negative vibe around the term outsourcing, small businesses are put off. But the more thought a business owner can give towards the use of their time would surely show that outsourcing is NOT a dirty word.