When Donna Fabris, Managing Director of Primacare started her health care business in 2012, she knew from the outset that there were certain tasks she didn’t want to handle day-to-day.
She started by hiring an outside accountant and slowly, over time, she has added to her list of helpers. Within 3 years, her business has successfully grown to a position where she can step back and allow her virtual team of contractors to do their job.
“Most entrepreneurs and business owners have extraordinary talents and vision, but a lot of the time they think that they can do it all,” Fabris says. “But doing it all can stall growth and compromise the overall vision of the business. By outsourcing the day-to-day back-office jobs and projects, the business owner can fully focus on generating income and run operations.”
Outsourcing is not a new occurrence in the business world. Large corporations have long viewed it as a strategy to save on costs while capitalising on specialised professional talent only required only for short periods.
Technological advances have made outsourcing a far more accessible tool for entrepreneurs and small businesses, which realise benefits in hiring a virtual team for their business growth, productivity and balance sheet.
“Technology plays a huge part in running my business and the reason I can make it work anywhere is by working with extremely skilled professionals who freelance for businesses such as mine,” Fabris says “Copywriters, HR consultants, social media managers, graphic designers, project managers, IT specialists, public relations. The list goes on and on, but the real benefit to me is that I don’t have to pay for the overheads in keeping a whole team employed in-house, I can outsource professional services as required.”
PR and Branding Strategist Kate Dinon admits that one of the most difficult parts of outsourcing work was determining the right help needed at each stage of her business. “It didn’t make sense for me to be sitting in my office working on the B-Projects that didn’t generate any direct revenue when I needed to be out there talking with my clients,” she says. “If I wanted my business to grow and service my clients the way that I wanted to, I simply had to let go of certain tasks and outsource them.”
While there are a number of web-based marketplaces available to assist small businesses in finding outsourced professionals, both Fabris and Dinon rely heavily on their networks and referrals to engage top talent. “I found outsourcing through a freelance marketplace was a bit of a headache,” Fabris states, “Now I ask around and see if anyone in my networks knows someone they can refer. Half the battle is finding the right person with the appropriate skills but using referrals means they have already been vetted for you.”
“Time is the most precious commodity in my job,” Dinon says “If you can engage a highly skilled, professional generalist who can do multiple jobs, then you can delegate much more but spend far less time managing. It has certainly made my business more efficient.”
The challenges that businesses and entrepreneurs face in the coming decades will be reliant upon gaining the skills and strategic vision to succeed in a much more competitive and globalised world. Outsourcing talent provides clear benefits in improving flexibility for businesses whilst driving efficiencies. Without it, there is huge risk to businesses who are not engaged with skilled workforces to help them seize opportunities there for the taking.
What would be the first thing you would outsource for your business and why?
This article was originally published on Women’s Agenda.