Most entrepreneurs have a do-it-yourself streak…after all, if we weren’t confident in our own ability we probably wouldn’t have the chutzpah start our own businesses in the first place. This go-it-alone tendency, plus the tight budget constraints that start-ups usually have, means that we often try to do too many things ourselves.
This can be a poor business strategy for a variety of reasons. It tends to delay things…and time is money. The longer a product takes to create & sell, the longer you go before you have a revenue stream. Also, it can give a competitor a jump on you if they are faster to bring their product or idea to market, thus enabling them to garner market share.
We can’t all be good at everything. Using an expert can save you time & money because it is done right the first time and you don’t waste time with a learning curve. Focusing on the things you are really good at and putting the bulk of your time into those pursuits is the surest way to build your business.
Outsourcing specific tasks or projects can make you much more efficient at what you truly should be doing and will keep you from squandering your time in areas you aren’t knowledgeable about. It is extremely flexible: you can hire for a specific project, such as, designing your website. Or, you can find a virtual assistant to give you support with a variety of tasks on an as-needed basis.
There is a financial concept known as “opportunity cost.” In this context it means that you are losing money because you are missing the opportunity to build your business by wasting your time on things that other people should be doing for you. While you are spending time doing an administrative or other task that you could hire someone else to do, you could be out selling or promoting your business. So you’ve lost an opportunity to make a sale and build your business. And if you’re doing the bookkeeping or administrative tasks at midnight, you’re losing sleep which is another type of lost opportunity.
Outsourcing is easy to do these days, especially using services such as Elance. It is an easy way to get global access to expertise in a wide range of fields – from virtual assistants to programmers to engineers. And they will be competitively bidding on providing services for you, so it’s a cost-effective and easy way to find assistance with everything from bookkeeping to programming.
Work smart: be realistic about how much you can effectively do, concentrate on what you do well and always look at the potential cost to the business of doing it yourself rather than hiring someone with the needed skill to do it for you. Don’t just look at the cost to outsource, consider the return on that investment for your business. Outsourcing can help you to build your business faster by providing a cost-effective way to get the assistance you need.