Have you ever considered outsourcing for your business? Whether you’re struggling to stay on top of your social media, or you need someone to get your accounts in order before the end of the financial year, outsourcing can be really useful for busy business owners. To get you started, here is our comprehensive guide to how outsourcing can help you.

What is outsourcing?

Outsourcing is when a business hires an outside supplier (e.g. another company, a contractor or a freelancer) to do some work for them. This might be regular, ongoing work or a one-off job, and there are all sorts of reasons why a business might decide to outsource – for example, they may not have enough staff to deliver everything that their clients need. Outsourcing can be really useful, especially for small businesses and start-ups, which can benefit from niche expertise without having to hire or train in-house staff.

How can outsourcing help?

In a recent Get Ahead VA workshopping session, we discussed how outsourcing can help a small business, and we came up with a whole host of ideas. Here are some of our favourites!

  • Do what brings you joy: Not every part of running your business is going to bring you joy, and that’s OK. But if you find you’re spending less time on the things that excite you, and more time on the things that don’t, you should probably rethink how you’re working. You can do this by outsourcing your least favourite jobs, so you can focus on the work that you enjoy, and recapture the spark that inspired you to start this business in the first place.
  • ‘Can do’ doesn’t mean ‘should do’: Maybe you can do a job, but are you sure you’re the right person for it? Persevering with something you’re not an expert in can end up being more costly in the long run – both in terms of time and money. Instead, it may be more beneficial to outsource to someone who can do the job better or more efficiently than you.
  • Stop being all things to all people: As a business owner, you have to wear a lot of hats (manager, accountant, marketer, cleaner), but this brings a lot of pressure that you probably can’t sustain forever. Outsourcing allows you to let go of some of these roles and focus on what you’re best at, knowing that the rest is in safe hands.
  • Offer extra services: Perhaps there are some services you would like to offer your clients, but you can’t because you don’t have the skills or the time to set them up. Outsourcing these services will let you offer more to your clients and give you the confidence to grow your business.
  • Be more flexible: Workflow is often unpredictable, so when plans change, can you handle it, or do you miss out because you can’t respond quickly enough? Outsourcing can make your business more agile and responsive, because when something unexpected happens, the people who can help you will always be there, at your fingertips.
  • Decrease risk: Many business owners are brimming with exciting, innovative ideas, but they may not put them into action because they are worried about hiring new, permanent employees for a venture that may not work out. Outsourcing does away with this fear – you can experiment with new ideas without having to risk the security of your staff.

Tips for effective outsourcing

So you’ve decided to outsource – but how can you make sure you get the most out of it? We have 3 top tips to get you started:

  1. Skill swap: If you’re worried about the cost of outsourcing, try skill swapping with another professional to begin with. This is a great way to get started with outsourcing, without spending money that you may not have in the early days of your business.
  2. Outsource three months before you need to: Rather than waiting for the work to overwhelm you and then deciding to outsource, bring on additional help before you need it. This will help you to stay on top of the work as it comes in, so you never reach breaking point!
  3. Use Get Ahead VA: The Get Ahead VA team is made up of experts in all sorts of different fields, from social media to business development to web design. Whatever work you need doing, we will match you with a professional virtual assistant to give you the support you need. To find out more, please give us a call on 01483 332220 or email us at office@getaheadva.com. We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.

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