Outsourcing – a word that gets thrown around quite a bit these days – is moving tasks, jobs or processes to an external contracted third party, aka getting someone else to do it. But, why? Isn’t the old saying, “if you want something done right, do it yourself?” That is the old saying, “old” being the operative word.
The best option can be to do something yourself, no doubt. However, what if it can be done cheaper, better and faster by someone else? Besides those inclined to know-it-all-ism, most of us will admit we’re not the best at every aspect of our business, and once that is realised and acted upon there is time to be saved and money to be made.
Sole traders have caught on to this fact and are beginning to outsource services, from bookkeeping to social media, marketing, web development and advertising. And they’re seeing results.
We look at the reasons why as a sole trader, you should consider outsourcing:
As always, time is of the essence. And time is money. And there are probably many other time-related expressions that all resonate with what we’re talking about.
It sounds simple and it is simple. Outsourcing frees up your time – the time you would have spent doing a task is now completed by someone else or an automated service. More time equates to more freedom. You can focus on more important things, whether that’s the 87 other work-related tasks you have to get done that week, or simply more time to to sweat it out at the gym, catch up on Game of Thrones or have a roast lamb with the family.
Unless you’re a Michael Jordan or Kelly Slater type character when it comes to your trade, i.e. an all-round master of all aspects of what you do, and a true freak of nature – there are going to be areas you need help with.
Bring in a professional – do your research, find the right company or application and let them do their thing. Accept the fact that they’re an expert with niche skills and will do it better than you will. There’s a lot to be said about surrounding yourself with the right people.
Note – when dealing with a outside supplier, make sure that you know what you want and how you want it done. Objectives should be clearly communicated to ensure expectations are met or exceeded.
Effectiveness and efficiency
Get it done! Systemising and automating your business, and surrounding yourself with the right people will bring greater effectiveness and efficiency to your business, i.e. get it done quicker and better.
If it can be streamlined, it will save you time.
If it can be done more effectively, it will improve your business.
As a sole trader, you’re a one man show and you might want to keep it that way. Outsourcing allows you to hire without hiring someone full time.
For example, a short term contract could be arranged to meet a high demand period of a cyclical business, or a part of a business could be automated, so the hiring of someone isn’t necessary.
These are but a few reasons why outsourcing can be beneficial to sole traders. Who wouldn’t greet business practices that are more informed, effective and flexible with open arms? And if that leads to you having more time up your sleeve, then you can chalk that up as a win.
Written by Niall Roeder