Outsourcing 101: When and How to Outsource

As a business owner, you know you eventually want to scale your business — but how? A big part of scaling is outsourcing some of your work! In this article, we’ll look at how you can know when to outsource instead of doing it yourself, how you can get started, and what some of the benefits are.

What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing is when a company hires another company to do work for them. The alternative is to handle this task internally. If you’re a newer business owner — especially a freelancer/commercial entrepreneur — you might outsource some of your work to another freelancer because it’s cost-effective.

For example, I own a blogging and SEO company. A few years ago, my bookkeeping and accounting became complicated enough that I could no longer manage it myself and do a good job. So I hired someone to do it for me.

When to Outsource: How Do You Know It’s the Right Time?

As a business owner, it’s very easy to fall into the mindset of, “Well, I can do it myself,” especially since that means you don’t have to spend money to have someone else do it.

But they exist absolutely times when it is smarter to invest in outsourcing!

Here’s the simplest scenario: If you’ve run out of hours in the day, then your choices are made:

  1. Stop growing your business because you have no more time or…
  2. Continue to grow by outsourcing and paying another person theirs year.

Now, what if you still technically have time in the day? Should you still outsource? Very likely. When I think about outsourcing, I ask myself two questions:

  1. Will this save me time, which means I’ll save — or make — money since I’ll have more time to focus on development?
  2. Is there someone who can do this task much better than me?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it might be the right time to outsource.

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Let’s talk about the first question. Let’s say, for example, that you have a social media management office. Maybe you spend five hours a week just editing video content for YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. That’s a lot of time for video editing! Imagine hiring a video editor and cleaning up those five hours. You just saved yourself a decent chunk of time. You can then use those five hours to find leads and reach out to potential customers. Now, you are in a place where you can I make, I do money, all thanks to the fact that you outsourced this time-consuming video editing.

Let’s move on to the second question next. Yes, you know your business better than anyone else. But let’s look at the video editing example again. There are professionals who focus exclusively in this capacity. So it’s safe to say they’re probably more capable than you (and they should be). So in this case, not only do you save time, but the work they produce will be of a higher quality, which means your clients will be happier, which means you might even be able to charge more for this content.

This is the magic of outsourcing!

when it should not do you outsource?

The simplest way to look at it is this: If outsourcing something isn’t going to get you any kind of return, then it’s probably not a wise idea.

That return can be time, which is incredibly valuable. Or, the return can be money.

So before you hire someone to help you, ask yourself, “Will outsourcing save me time or money, or make me money?” If the answer is no, rethink your strategy.

The benefits of outsourcing

We’ve already touched on these, but let’s do a quick recap!

  • Outsourcing can save you time and time is your most valuable asset. You can then use that free time to grow your business, be with your family, or prioritize self-care.
  • Outsourcing can improve the quality of your work. Hire people who are better at this job than you!
  • Outsourcing can I make, I do your money. Use this free time to focus on growth and your business will have new opportunities.

I know outsourcing can seem like an expense. And you might be thinking, “Well, if I do it myself, then I’ll save all that money!” However, you must remember that outsourcing is a investment because it is going to deliver some kind of performance.

How to start outsourcing

This could be a whole article in itself, so I’ll stick with some basic tips to get you started with outsourcing.

  • If possible, start with low-hanging fruit. Outsourcing can be scary, I know. Choose something that is low maintenance and less sensitive. For example, video editing is less sensitive because the video editor will only communicate with you — not your customers or your general online following.
  • Start small. No one says you have to outsource everything at once. Actually, you probably shouldn’t. Focus on one or two tasks at a time.
  • Shop around. Don’t immediately go for the cheapest option, because remember that if that person or company produces low quality work, you’ll either need to spend time fixing it yourself or you’ll pay them (or someone else) to fix it . you. Compare your options to see which one is both cost-effective and high quality.
  • Consider trying two people/companies. I learned this the hard way. Sometimes, you have to try outsourcing a few times before you find the right fit. If you can manage it with your budget, consider narrowing down your outsourcing options to your top two choices and see which one performs better.

Finally, I want to leave you with this, as a gentle reminder: Even if you don’t do the work, as the owner of your business, you are still responsible for it. So if the customer is not happy with this job, you have to own it. “The person I outsourced” definitely won’t fly! Yes, talk to that person. But when it comes to our clients and customers, it all depends on us, the business owners — whether the end result is good, bad or downright ugly.

When to Outsource: It’s intimidating, but worth it

If you’re thinking there’s a learning curve here, you’re right. Outsourcing means you’ll have to learn how to interview, hire, submit payments, train people, and manage them. But once you get over that hump, the benefits of outsourcing make it all worthwhile.

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