We all love control. Control of the television remote, the amount of sugar in our coffee or the people we’ll sit next to at the next Wedding. It’s natural to want things done our way.
You likely have an accountant who provides specialist advice and knowledge for your small business. You hire the accountant because:
- they have specialist skills you don’t have
- they save you money
- they save you time
- they give you peace of mind, taking care of any tax compliance issues
Could you do the work instead of the accountant? Possibly. But chances are accounting is not your specialty. You would be out of your depth, it would take a long time and there’s a fair chance you may screw something up. So you outsource your accounting to your accountant who has specialist skills.
Small Business Success. Be a Generalist – Not a Specialist
It is simply not possible to learn every skill you need to successfully operate and grow your small business. Sure you can be the accounts director, the sales director, the IT department, the graphic designer and the copywriter, but your results in each field will be mediocre. Mediocre results stunt the growth of your small business. You will never be able to compete with the specialist skills of an accountant, salesman, web designer and proven copywriter.
A great small business owner is a generalist. A great small business owner will understand their core competencies and will overcome their shortcomings by surrounding themselves with specialists. This frees up their focus, time and energy to ensure their small business remains on track.
Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere.
Benefits of Outsourcing Business to a Specialist
- Small business owner can retain their focus on other business critical issues
- Certainty of cost
- Provides a fast solution within agreed timeframes
- Provides you access to specialised skills
- Reduces the need to hire or train staff
You can outsource anything from graphic design, web design, copy writing, translation or video and audio production. Some small business owners have even found ways to outsource the operations of their entire online business.
My Small Business Outsourcing Recommendation is Elance
I use Elance for all my outsourcing needs. So far I’ve outsourced over 10 projects ranging from web design, logo design, copywriting, legal documentation and architectural floor plans. I know your cashflow’s tight. Mine is too. That’s the big benefit of outsourcing through Elance. You get control of everything.
Elance is an online hub of over 100,000 outsourcing professionals. This means you’re bound to find the right person for your outsourcing needs. Since its creation in 1999, Elance has generated over $245 million in outsourcing work. Elance was recommended to me by another entrepreneur back in 2007. It’s a life saver. I recommend it because:
You can browse providers for free and post a job for free
Besides an initial $10 sign up fee, you do not pay any ongoing fees to Elance
You can easily view the past work of providers and read feedback on their work
You can set the exact budget from $50 upwards
You have security knowing that Elance audits providers and has payment protection
You can save time and money. I have saved over $5,000 through Elance
Take 2 minutes and check out how it works:
Don’t think Elance is just limited to small businesses either. Large corporations also turn to Elance when they need a quality solution. Elance has helped Google, Facebook, Citigroup, Accenture and Harvard University.
Unsure if outsourcing’s the right option for you? There’s no harm in checking out Elance. Once you make the jump you will wonder how you ever survived without it.
Have you ever outsourced a project? What was your experience?
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Outsourcing is definitely a great solution to those that are time or skill poor David.
I can honestly say that I have outsourced little bits and pieces throughout the years and it just makes good business sense. Why stress if you can’t build a little widget or if your coding is less than sub-par. Focus and use your strengths and outsource your weaknesses!
.-= Cemil´s last blog ..Real Law of Attraction =-.
I have had good luck with outsourcing, most recently with finding a woman in the Philippines to do graphic design for me. Unlike you, I prefer odesk.com to Elance
I’m all for working to your strengths and outsourcing the rest. I think some things are best left to the professionals.
I love your Ronald Reagan quote. Excellent stuff!
Quality post! Way too many small business owners don’t delegate. It is sometimes hard to find a good team that you can trust and I think that can be part of the problem. Or, if they do delegate, then good reporting procedures are not put in place so that things stay on track.
You have provided some great info and resources here.
.-= Eileen´s last blog ..Chronic headaches =-.
Thanks Cemil, Live, Jazz and Eileen.
I haven’t used odesk before, although I have heard of it. If you find a good quality outsourcing channel then by all means stick to it. I agree with yout thoughts Eileen. Delegation can be hard to do, but is necessary to fast track results.
I am unfamiliar with outsourcing but it is something I would like to try. There are only so many hours in a day and I prefer managing hack workers to doing the hack work myself. Thanks for the ideas and info.
.-= Wal Heinrich´s last blog ..Think And Grow Rich Mindset Mastery =-.
Thanks for highlighting Elance as a great resource for us to use.
Though at this stage I have not outsourced much in my business, I can see there will come a time in the near future where I will.
I agree that its easy to get bogged if you try and do it all on your own. I can see Outsourcing will help me free up some of my time, so I can be more creative and proactive.
.-= Cade´s last blog ..Stock Market Analysis Update – April 23rd, 2010 =-.
outsourcing is important – especially as a small business, as you can’t create an individual department for all the things that need doing, and you yourself might not be the best person for every job either.
So it definitely makes business sense to outsource the staff you are not good at to someone who is and spend your own time on things that you are good at. And make money on the way.
.-= Renee´s last blog ..10 Good Habits Worth Having =-.
I have not yet tried outsourcing but I do know in time I will, the more sites I put up the more I will need to do so, as I intend to start taking a little time off this and do some more traveling
Outsourcing with your small business can be a great way to improve efficiencies and benefit from diverse skill sets out with the normal competence of your small business. Outsourcing with your small business can seem initially out of reach, either technically or financially, but getting into the routine of outsourcing certain aspects of your business is a great way to cut costs overall and to benefit from specialization and a higher quality of output across outsourced areas. What’s more, any technical constraints surrounding outsourcing, even abroad, are now completely put to rest with the help of the Internet, making outsourcing much more possible for the average small business owner.
.-= eliza@help desk solutions´s last blog ..Support Help Desk Software For Small Business =-.
I will be definitely be outsourcing when the need arises so I was interested to read your thoughts about the subject.