Since becoming self-employed I have learnt the value of outsourcing bits of your business that either you are too busy to maintain, do not have the specialist knowledge to make good use of it, or you find the task so mundane that you let it slide.
Why spend a load of your time on a task that can take you hours, but takes a specialist a fraction of the time to complete?
That’s where I am lucky as most people find doing the books incredibly boring, they don’t really understand it, and always leave it as the last thing to do on their list. I think most business owners realise the importance of doing their books but stick their head in the sand, this can be fatal to learn about the figures a year and a bit down the line from the start of their financial year.
I recently did a pitch to a prospect who told me that it took him and his partner 3 hours to sort out the paper work, and then said that I could probably save them some money. My reply was stark but the truth. I am an overhead and I possibly won’t save you money. It took you 6 working hours to sort out your paper work, in that time you could have earned £1000. My cost was around £210. Effectively their business lost £790 just sorting out paper work.
By outsourcing you don’t only save time, you also gain a specialist; someone who knows the industry inside out and can give you the best advice possible. Accountants are good at doing accounts and tax work. Bookkeepers are good at general bookkeeping and wages. I am a firm believer that if you have too many stings to your bow you will not effectively be able to advise your clients to the best of your ability.
When considering using an outsource partner you should consider their cost and weigh that up against your potential income lost if you were to complete the task. It’s really a simple formula but also factor in the fact that they are a specialist and that should help you make your mind up.
- Tip 1 When outsourcing be prepared to meet with your chosen outsource partner, after all they are working on your business for you and you need to make sure they are moving in the same direction as you.
- Tip 2 Make sure you get value for money get reports from them on what they are achieving for your business.
- Tip 3 It can take time for an outsourcing partnership to work, so be aware that the arrangement may not work. Cut the rope and try again. We learn from our mistakes.
- Tip 4 Work with people you like. You will be able to get the best out of them.
- Tip 5 Try to get references from people who have worked with your chosen outsourcer. Review their online presence; see if they have testimonials on their website. It’s not that hard to find people online if they want to be found.