If you are stressed and letting your customers down because you are trying to do it all yourself, you inevitably stand the risk of losing those customers! This is when outsourcing can really start to take the pressure off.
For me, I always want to maximise my profits. I am sure any business owner feels exactly the same way. However, there are times I have woken up at 8am and I am still working at 2am. I’ve done this 7 days in a row, 10 days in row, and so on. No time for my son, who is always trying to get my attention – “Daddy is busy” – “Working AGAIN!” is the reply I get.
At the end of the day, you may have targets you need to meet, especially when it comes to money, but sometimes you are just making matters worse. Take it from me. I was sending reports with mistakes in them, reports with the wrong logo, and my productivity per hour was very low. In fact, had I been working just 6 or 7 hours per day, I would have probably gotten through twice as much work.
Check out www.timferriss.com for more info on outsourcing your business. I found this guys book; The 4 Hour Work Week, incredibly helpful with some great insights.
Why do we end up doing most of the work ourselves?
Reason 1: Money
For me, when I was working all those hour is because I needed the money. I had bills to pay, my son’s school fees, a dental implant of things, and the list just went on. No matter how I figured out and played with my budget, I had to earn XXX by date XXX.
Reason 2: No One Can Do the Job Like Me
It was not like I had never outsourced anything before. However, the training that goes into it, and the briefs you need write, then all the chasing up and answering questions. And all this for the small amount of profit I will make compared to me doing the work myself.
However, the biggest problem was – the result was never to the quality that I wanted. I would then have to go through and make corrections, reorganise, and so on.
I know now the mistakes that I made:
- I just did not go about the right way explaining the work
- I hired people that were too cheap
- I hired the wrong people
Yes, some of the people I outsource to now still don’t do the work to the same high standard that I would do. However, at least there are no sloppy mistakes, and it only takes me a few little touch-ups to bring it up to speed.
And guess what! I don’t even do the touch ups anymore. I have someone else doing that for me now. I have someone that is OK at the job to do the research and provide me with what is needed at a good rate, then I have someone I pay exactly the same rate that is a pro in my profession to do the touch ups.
For me, it is a case of quick scan over, and the quality is 99.9% of the time amazing. That really makes my business look pro!
What Happened Before I Outsourced?
At that point, outsourcing just would have meant outgoings that I could not afford. The backlash of all this was not positive work productivity, but negative work productivity. My customers were getting angry because was not communicating, my work became sloppy, and I was missing deadlines.
In the end I made the money I needed to pay for the school fees, and the dental implant, along with other bills that were suddenly dropped on me. On the other hand, I lost a couple of customers because my brain was not in the right gear to grovel and keep their business.
Back in full circle, I was worried about money again, what will happen next term when my son’s school fees prop again, as well as starting my pension.
It was time for a new business model. Now I had worked hard, got the money I aimed for, but also, I was a couple of customers out. I had more time on my hands!
How Did I Manage to Make Outsourcing Work?
Just because I had lost a couple of customers, it did not mean I was not busy. Instead I started to look at the areas of my business that were taking up a lot of my time.
For example, organising content from my writers. You can easily hire someone to organise content for different customers, and make sure it goes into the correct folders. All I needed was an Excel spreadsheet, a shared drop box folder and a little faith.
$5 per hour I paid for a contractor to gather content from my writers, look at the spreadsheet to see who that content writer was writing for, and place it in the correct folder. Next tick it off the spreadsheet. If someone was late, she would chase them. Should there be no reply, she would pass it to another writer that had already finished. Easy! How did they get it do wrong before?
Here was my secret: Camtazia!
It is a video recording program. It records your actions on your computer. No need for a brief on how to do simple task – and those briefs were complicated believe me – hence all the questions. Instead I recorded my jobs that were mundane and shared the video with the person I had hired.
No more questions – or at far less – and then to pay someone to double check everything costs the same – not hourly – but costs just a few dollars. In the meantime, I could get on with doing the jobs I specialised at – not the ones that were just taking up all my time.
Round Up: Offering Quality Means More Customers
This is a very brief overview of how outsourcing works, but it also gives you an idea of how simply you can turn things around. In the end, I was getting more customers for word of mouth, which then turned into enough money for a PR, email and marketing campaign.
Now I work on my business a lot more than used to. Plus, those tasks I specialise in – well I am already hiring a new person to share those duties, and I will still make more money because I have landed yet another customer!