Perhaps one of the greatest traits a successful business leader can have is the ability to understand people’s strengths and weaknesses. After all, the best leaders are the ones who pick the right people for the right jobs.
However, it can be difficult to point that same kind of critical thinking inwards. Many business owners, especially ones still trying to establish their business in the first few years, have a habit of taking everything their team can’t handle onto themselves. But just because no one else has the skills or interests necessary to fill a role doesn’t mean you have to—or even should—do it yourself.
You wouldn’t assign a person who hates spreadsheets to help out with accounting. So then why would you give yourself a task that isn’t well-suited to your own strengths and weaknesses? Giving someone a job they are ill-fitted for is likely to end with sub-par results and a lot of added stress for everyone involved. Giving yourself a job that doesn’t leverage your own strengths is the exact kind of thing that leads to total burnout.
Outsourcing is an incredibly powerful tool both for tackling one-off jobs and for filling skills gaps in your organization, but figuring out whether or not a specific process or task should be outsourced is rarely straightforward. There are many advantages offered by outsourcing, but it also has its own set of drawbacks.
The Costs of Outsourcing
Adding a permanent member to your team is an exhausting process. And business owners are well aware of how expensive a full-time employee can be with all the bells and whistles of insurance, office space, and work equipment. Because of this, outsourcing is a heck of a lot cheaper upfront than staffing up in virtually every case.
However, while outsourcing is cheaper in the short-term, your team may be missing out on the long-term benefits of adding to and improving their own skill sets. For example, if you hire a freelancer to take care of video production for your company, then your marketing staff won’t get any exposure to the process to learn how to do it themselves. Leaving that skill gap an empty hole in your organization.
But would the expense of buying the hardware and software necessary for your own staff to attempt to learn this new skill be worth the end result? Unless your company is making most of its revenue from viral videos, it’s unlikely creating a studio and staffing it would be worth the returns. These are important considerations that should be applied to any job for which you’re considering using outsourcing.
Which Jobs Are Best for Outsourcing?
While certain tasks may be more commonly associated with outsourcing, it’s not as simple as looking at a master list and picking which jobs are “best” for outsourcing. However, a great method for deciding whether a specific task or job should be outsourced is by asking yourself (or your team) questions about the job such as:
Is this task directly related to a primary service or product for your business?
If it isn’t, it’s almost certainly not worth the time it would take to get to the point where you or your team is performing the job on the same level as a professional contractor.
Would doing this task in-house give you a competitive advantage?
You likely wouldn’t staff full-time masseuses unless you run a spa or resort, but having one come in every now and then to provide stress relief for you and your staff might be a great idea.
Will your organization be able to do it as well or better than a contractor?
Some jobs, like writing a blog, seem fairly easy. But do you have someone on your team that actually enjoys writing or is the blog going to turn into a chore no one wants to help with?
Outsourcing Done Right
Leaders are responsible for picking the right people for the right jobs, and that includes deciding which jobs are better left for people outside your organization. Outsourcing can be an incredibly powerful tool when you find the right people to bolster your business.
Contact us at Cardinal to learn about our marketing services and how we can help lighten your load while improving the bottom line.