My Marketing Manager (aka a family friend who helps manage my Facebook and LinkedIN pages) and my Virtual Assistant have been away this week and so I have been left to man the fort alone…this got me thinking about the importance of outsourcing!
As a self-confessed control freak, when starting my business, I made a conscious decision to outsource as much of the basic administration as possible as early as possible so that I could focus on my clients and services (which was some key advice that I picked up from a Steven Bartlett podcast about business growth).
Within one month of launching, I outsourced;
- Bookkeeping and invoicing
- Financial reporting and VAT returns
- Marketing administration
- Other business administration tasks to a Virtual Assistant
Obviously this seemed like a huge expense for a fledgling business but it was one of the best decisions that I made because it made sure that the right people were doing the jobs they were qualified to do and that complex matters such as financial reporting would be correctly managed from the start.
This would also free my time up to do the work that I was best at (HR Consultancy, Company Secretarial Support and Business Support) and to ensure that I was focussed on income generating activities. It also meant I was more available to support my clients rather than doing my own internal admin.
The shift to remote working has been accelerated by Covid and with large parts of the world and society still being in a state of flux, more people are open to the idea of outsourcing and the benefits that it can bring.
While often people will see the higher hourly rates of outsourcing as off putting, in reality the costs are far outweighed by the benefits of the expertise, the efficiency of the service, the focus (good outsourced providers whatever their field need to be highly organised and efficient in order to effectively service all their clients) as well as the huge ongoing savings that outsourcing can have compared to hidden staff costs (tax, parking, pension, lost time, other benefits, holiday pay etc. etc…). Also, HR Consultancy and Business Support outsourcing can be done on a pay as you use basis which means that there is no ongoing obligation in terms of costs.
Outsourcing doesn’t mean that you are not involved in the processes or work at all, it just means that you can take more of an oversight role and allow the administrative tasks to be completed by someone else or that those with the expertise in the field are giving you specific, concise advise rather than you trying to deal with it alone. For example, I still generate the majority of the social media posts and ideas but then pass them onto the marketing support to review, finalise and schedule which takes a lot more time than you would think.