In this column, a dirty word will be used. A word seldom used in polite conversation. The kind of word people fear to use around children or in the company of the elderly.
That’s right, this is an article about outsourcing.
Now while your humble correspondent is not a mind reader, I can already tell what you’re thinking. The poorly trained call centre staff in some far off land who robotically read scripts. Don’t worry – Old Taskmaster is more than familiar with the call centre shuffle.
Of course, all outsourcing means is contracting out a business task to another company, rather than doing it in house. That’s all.
Contracting a job out to someone else doesn’t have to mean “offshoring”, or sending jobs offshore. You can outsource a job to a company in Australia if you so wish. Likewise, it doesn’t even have to be about minimising your costs – although that is one common benefit of the practice.
The reason for doing it is to focus your resources on what your business is truly good at – your core competencies – and then hiring someone else to do the rest.
For example, if you’re launching a tech start-up, there are probably some things relating to smartphones and computers that you are exceptional at. Perhaps it’s database management, server-side scripting, or coding apps for Android or iOS.
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Of course, as soon as you start, you will inevitably need to do a whole range of tasks you’re not so good at. You might know how to write PHP code with a blindfold on, but you might not know the first thing about accounting, payroll management, graphic design or business law.
If you try to build your own accounting team in-house, you’re left attempting to manage a team of people whose industry you know nothing about. Your staff will suspect you’re a clueless boss who doesn’t know the first thing about accounting – and they’ll be right.
Meanwhile, as long as there’s a tax office and a government, there will be long and pointless forms you need to fill out. Why should you waste your time with data entry work or bookkeeping? Why not spend your time getting your apps onto Google Play, something that will earn you money?
As your business grows and revenue comes in, do you invest more resources into the things your business is good at – such as computer programming – or the stuff you’re not good at – like accounting?
Well, it’s time to take a moment to think about exactly what it is that you or your business can do exceptionally well. What are the core areas where you can add value for your customers and turn a profit? What are core competencies you need in-house to deliver your products to your customers?
As your business grows, this is what you should invest your capital in. This is the area you should hire new staff in. This is what you should be focusing your time and energy on as a manager.
For everything else? It’s time to hit Google, the Yellow Pages, Freelancer.com and 99 Designs to get it outsourced!
Get it outsourced – today!