How to Outsource as A Small Business Owner

How to Outsource as a Small Business Owner

August 4, 2023 - Emeka Anammah

Small business owners often tend to underestimate the power of delegation and outsourcing. Usually being constricted by budget, many attempt to do everything by themselves, from website development to accounting, resulting in exhaustion and burnout. However, for building a successful business, it is crucial to be aware of when outsourcing is actually more productive. This blog post will guide small business owners on how and what to delegate and outsource to free up their schedule, gain more time for innovation, and increase productivity.

Define your core competencies: The first step in identifying what to outsource or delegate is to recognize your core competencies. These are the key areas where your business excels, such as product development, customer service, or sales. Outsourcing or delegating these skills could harm your brand. In contrast, those tasks that are not central to your business can be outsourced or delegated to third-party service providers. Doing so gives more time and other resources to mastering that which your business excels at, further pushing the business forward.

Determine your priorities: Once you have identified your core competencies, divide your remaining tasks into essential and non-essential ones. Based on your priorities and business goals, delegate the non-essential ones to an outsourcing partner. Non-essential activities may fall into areas such as data entry, accounting, bookkeeping, or lead generation. Outsourcing these tasks can increase your productivity and allow you to invest more time in innovating and growing your company.

Choose wisely: Despite how tempting it may feel, The right outsourcing partner should not merely offer a lower cost. However, they should also be reliable, accountable, and provide quality services. Research and compare different outsourcing providers based on their expertise, experience, and references. Select an outsourcing provider that can provide the services you need and align with your goals and values. Being cheap in the selection process might actually harm your business in the long run, if the selected party does not add measurable value to the business. 

Establish clear communication: You’ve heard the phrase “Communication is key.” The same applies to outsourcing services. Before doing so, take the time to set clear and concise expectations. Establishing clear communication channels with your outsourcing partner leads to better outcomes, saves more time, and gives both parties clear key performance measures. Establish guidelines, workflows, and processes for easy work coordination. Keeping track of the progress through regular updates assures that the outsourcing tasks are completed on time and efficiently.

Measure and adapt: After outsourcing or delegating, take note of the outcomes. Analyze what tasks worked and what did not. Use the data to improve your outsourcing and delegation techniques for future projects. Adapt to changing situations and make adjustments accordingly to make sure that your outsourcing partner’s performance is consistently up to par. You should only be outsourcing as it meets a need, if not, you could scout for another service provider and put a pause on delegating the task altogether.

Outsourcing is a practical way for small business owners to focus on critical areas of their business. An effective outsourcing strategy can save time, reduce expenses, and increase productivity. Identifying core competencies, determining priorities, picking the right outsourcing partner, establishing clear communication, and measuring and adapting results are key success factors in outsourcing. By following these five practices, small business owners will have the freedom to innovate, build projects, and scale their companies.

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