Outsourcing

by Dennis E. Bradford, Ph.D.

in financial well-being

There’s good news about outsourcing.

If you are either already a master of it or certain that you don’t need it, this post is not for you.

If, on the other hand, you’ve at least been wondering about it, what you are about to read should excite you.  Why?  Done properly, the benefits of outsourcing are free in the sense that they’ll make you more money than they cost.

In that sense, if you are in business, they are like a bookkeeper, an accountant, an attorney, or a secretary:  although you have to pay for their services, assuming that you have selected and trained them properly, they’ll add more to your bottom line than they cost.

Liberation, the freedom to do what you want, is more important than money.  If you are in business and try to do everything yourself, you are not making effective use of your time or skills.  Instead, maximize your strengths by focusing on adding value for your clients and prospects and let others handle tasks that they are able to handle more effectively and efficiently than you.

(Being effective is performing tasks that move you towards your goals.  Being efficient is performing tasks as economically as possible.)

A standard analogy for growing a business is growing a tree.  A business should be like a fruitful money tree.

Initially, every seed must enjoy beneficial conditions to become a seedling.  Once you have a seedling, nurture it.  Ensure that it is growing in soil whose composition is maximized for its growth; that it is receiving neither too much nor too little sunlight; that it is receiving neither too much nor too little water; that it is properly pruned; that it is protected from insects, grubs, and other animals; and so on.  In other words, love it well initially.  Tend it.  Take care of it.  Be faithful.

Eventually, your efforts should pay off.  It won’t yield any fruit for a while, but it will begin producing good yields season after season and it will require much less tending as time goes by.

It’s simple:  initially, give your efforts to the tree.  Then, if you do that well and escape disasters, you’ll receive the bounty.  Sowing precedes reaping.  It’s an ancient bit of wisdom.

If you want a lot of fruit, don’t just grow one tree:  grow an orchard full of trees.  Since tending an orchard all by yourself is very difficult as well as ineffective and inefficient, get some help.  Specialize in what you do best and hire complementary help to do what they do best.

When the orchard is well-established, hire someone who also has your skills to replace you.  Back away and enjoy the bounty of your labors with little or no ongoing need for you to work.  Let others ensure that your orchard continues to be bountiful.

Enjoy the freedom.  Do what you really want to do (and that could be starting and growing another orchard).  With the bounty from your orchard, you’ll not only have the time, but you’ll also have the options that having more wealth brings.

You may be wondering, “How should I hire help?”  At least in the United States, hiring employees is a complicated and costly enterprise.  Eventually, it can be the way to go, but it’s often not at the beginning.

Instead of hiring employees, hire skilled people to do certain tasks for you.  That’s outsourcing.

THE VALUE OF OUTSOURCING

If you are ripe for help and not at least outsourcing, you are actually losing money.  It’s more costly to try to do everything yourself than it is to hire competent outsourcers.

Initially, they cost you time as well as money.  However, once they are well selected and trained, they save you time as well as money.  Manage them properly, which is made much easier with today’s software, and they’ll continue to save you time and money year after year.

Done correctly, the training itself increases the value of your business.  Why?  It involves writing step-by-step procedures that anyone competent can follow.  (McDonald’s is an exemplar of a business that systematizes well.)  Once you have written manuals in place, the outsourcers you hire don’t even have to be good; they can just be competent.

If you are inexperienced when it comes to hiring outsourcers, you are probably wondering, “How could I shorten my learning curve?”

My answer is simple:  investigate.  Read.  Learn from the experiences of others.  What’s the point of making all the mistakes yourself?  That’s simply foolish.

Avoid the mistake of getting stuck learning.  Once you have enlisted help from qualified people, take some initial small steps.  Learn from the feedback you receive and begin taking bigger steps.  That process is well understood; you have almost certainly followed it before in other areas.

Where would be the best place for you to start?  I don’t know.  I don’t know your situation.

However, I have personally used both American and foreign outsourcers.  I’ve been very pleased with my experiences, and I’ve never had a bad experience.  Though native English speakers are superior when it comes to writing tasks, often folks overseas (especially from countries like the Philippines in southern or southeastern Asia and from eastern Europe) do great work.

I avoided bad experiences by learning about outsourcing from a number of experienced people beforeI started outsourcing myself.

Permit me to recommend one of them in particular:  Jason Fladlien.

His book “Outsource Quest” explains the benefits of outsourcing, what to outsource, and how to train and manage your outsourcers.  For example, advertising online is one of the best tasks to outsource; it’s not difficult to find people to do it well and profitably for you.  The book is oriented towards taking action; instead of being about theory, it’s about what concrete steps to take to get started.  It’s clearly written, too.

Click here  to learn more about it and for my affiliate link.  Why not?  Like outsourcing itself, the book should return its investment many times over.

If you are stuck doing nothing, get off the fence.  Start outsourcing.  Even if you just start with a personal assistant for routine household tasks, especially if you follow Jason’s advice, you’ll be very glad you did.

So click here.

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