4 Tell-Tale Signs Your Business Needs To Get Serious About Outsourcing
Originally published by Pia Silva, Forbes, March 24, 2021
Outsourcing? Many solopreneurs and freelancers have a do-it-yourself attitude to life. If there’s a problem, you’re the one to fix it. After all, who can you trust better than yourself to get the job done right?
While this may be fine for some types of freelancing work or while you are operating your business on a small scale, most entrepreneurs will eventually reach the point where they need to start outsourcing.
As painful as it may sound, turning some of your work over to others can make a dramatic difference for your bottom line — particularly if you’re experiencing some key warning signs.
1. Your Stress Levels Are Starting To Impact Productivity
Do you find yourself getting short-tempered with team members? Or constantly thinking about work when you’re away from your desk and your family needs attention? If so, you’re likely stressed — and probably a little overwhelmed by how much your business is demanding of your time and energy.
A little stress is normal for any entrepreneur. But if you’re finding yourself stressed and exhausted day after day, you’re well on the road to burnout. When that happens, you’re going to become less productive and have trouble drudging up the motivation you need to get things done.
Unsurprisingly, outsourcing will help reduce this burden. When you’re less stressed and in a calm, clear emotional state, you will be better able to focus on your work and produce quality results for your clients.
2. Your Customer Service Is Taking A Turn For The Worse
No matter how you slice it, customer service is vital to the success of any business. Yes, even if your communications with clients consists of little more than periodic email updates, the idea of customer service matters.
If you’re swamped, giving customers the time and attention they deserve will likely take a backseat. Similarly, your ability to onboard new customers will plummet. When your clients don’t feel like you value their business, don’t be surprised to see them jump ship to a competitor who will treat them better. In a recent phone conversation, Evgenia Khimenko, CEO of Mindy Support explained, “Nowadays, customers are looking for stores or online marketplaces that offer them unique experiences. This is what will make you stand out from the crowd. If your customers are on hold for more than 30 seconds or your instant-messaging service isn’t exactly instant, your customers won’t hesitate to go someplace else. Outsourcing can help you provide your customers with a much more pleasant and enjoyable experience, while keeping costs down. This way you get the best of both worlds.”
3. You Can’t Stand Doing Certain Essential, Repetitive Tasks
Just about every business has a set of repetitive, mind-numbing tasks that feel as fun as pulling teeth. The problem? These aren’t activities you can just toss out. Many of the most repetitive tasks (like invoicing or scheduling) are essential for keeping your business running smoothly.
The thing is, you don’t go into entrepreneurship to do work you hate. That’s why you left your crummy 9 to 5 to start working for yourself. But if you keep doing work you hate, you’ll eventually come to hate the job you used to love.
Repetitive, low-level tasks should be number one on your list of things to outsource. If you don’t like doing a particular task, find someone else who can (competently) do it for you. By focusing your efforts on the tasks you love in your work, you’ll be able to maintain the energy and enthusiasm needed to be a successful entrepreneur.
4. Your Sales Have Flatlined
Truth be told, there are a lot of factors that could cause your sales to flatline — or worse yet, take a nosedive. More often than not, however, insufficient manpower or insufficient time management are going to play a sizable role in why you are no longer achieving the revenue you once did.
As one person, you only have so many hours you can dedicate to your clients each day. As your client list grows, that often means that you’ll either have to sacrifice the time you once devoted to making new sales, or spend less time working for your current clients. Either way, you’re likely to hurt your bottom line by neglecting either acquisition or retention efforts.
It’s no surprise, then, that outsourcing is the easy solution to resolving your manpower and time management problems. A crack sales team that can effectively communicate your services to clients will ensure continued growth for your business, while you can then give projects for current clients the care and attention they deserve. This also ensures that your service quality will live up to the promises made during those initial sales pitches.
Yes, Outsourcing Can Save Your Business…
It can be hard to let go of doing everything yourself and trusting others to do quality work on your behalf. But in reality, outsourcing so you can lighten your load is essential for the long-term health of your business (and your sanity). When you carefully vet freelancers, contractors or agencies and let them do their job, you’ll have more bandwidth for the high-level tasks where you can make the biggest difference. Getting serious about outsourcing ultimately means you’re getting serious about your business.
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