Women In Business

Zombies don’t outsource – here’s why you should

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The dream of running your business is the ability to set your own hours, make loads of money, have lots of personal freedom and jet-set around the world brokering deals or just chilling out at another 5-star hotel. The reality for most business owners is working until your eyes are falling out of your skull, popping them back in and working for another few hours until you wake up to find you fell asleep on your keyboard and deleted everything you spent all night on or accidentally sent a cat meme to your mother-in-law.

Hard-work is part and parcel of a burgeoning career as an entrepreneur and small business owner but you can work hard without working yourself stupid. Hands up how many of you have juggled so many tasks at once that a simple question like “coffee?” makes you blank out like you’ve just been asked to explain advanced nuclear physics using only two syllable words and the medium of interpretive dance? That many, huh.

 

When you’re doing all the jobs yourself and someone asks you for the time

Being spread too thin is a hazard for all business owners and takes up so much brainpower you end up resembling the undead. Thankfully there is a solution, a way you can make even more of a success of your business and still have enough cognitive power to function as a human outside of work.

The first thing you need to do is admit to yourself that you can’t do it all alone or just don’t have the skillset for the task at hand. The second thing you need to do is embrace outsourcing for the empowering, productive and strategic business tool it is.

So when and what do you outsource?

The when is the easy part – it’s now. If you’re performing more than two distinct roles within your business you need to get some help. You can’t be doing business development, customer service, IT, marketing and product/service development all at the same time!

The what requires a little PLCS (profit, length, cost and skills) analysis.

Profit

Is this activity making or helping me make any money? No? Bin it from your schedule.

Length

If this activity is temporary, seasonal or just taking up waaaay too much of your precious time you need to outsource it.

Cost

Is it more expensive to outsource but taking time away from other activities? Consider outsourcing. However, if it is cheaper to outsource why are you still doing it!? It’s the business equivalent of playing with a wound and wondering why it won’t heal.

Skills

Is this something we are trained to do/do we have to pay to train someone up to do this/do we have the skills in-house already? If you got a no, yes or no in that order then you aren’t doing yourself any favours.

Most business functions can be outsourced from accounts, logistics and training to PR, IT and customer service so you need to work out what core roles you need to keep in-house or manage directly. When you know which functions to outsource you’ll be freed up to invest your efforts into boosting your bottom line. The two things most companies try to do themselves that would most benefit from being outsourced are IT and PR and marketing.

These are roles that, when done by professionals, can actually be cost neutral or a money maker. Take PR for example – the cucumber of the outsourcing world. Cucumber is one of those foods you burn more calories eating than it contains (so it’s a great weight loss food if you get past that bland-what-is-this-crunchy-slime-I’m-eating-please-kill-me-now taste) and PR can actually help generate more income than the initial outsourcing costs. Also, you can’t have a cream-cheese sandwich – the finishing school of sandwiches – without cucumber so it does have that touch of elegance.

Sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and realise you’re a super business person not a super human and there’s only so much you can realistically do yourself. How much is not outsourcing actually saving you. When you think about it, you’re probably not even clearing minimum wage when you add up the hours and you’re worth way more than that.

Stop spreading yourself too thin. The knock-on implications of biting off more than you can chew starts with hits to your reputation. It is just as big a threat to your business as the guy in the movies who alerts all the undead that you’re around by kicking over a can – don’t be that guy.

You wouldn’t tell your customers to use an inferior competitor, that wouldn’t be smart, so you have to live by that too. If someone else can perform one of your business functions faster and better than you, then you have to outsource to them. Recognising that someone else could do a better job or that at least it frees you up to do other things you’re even better at is the smart play.

Under the right circumstances outsourcing could completely transform your business.

It could help you get one step closer to that dream life and stop walking around in low-power mode. Zombies don’t outsource, they’re not smart enough to because they’re zombies. You are not a zombie.

About Maria Bellissimo-Magrin

Attitude isn’t everything. But it sure helps.Maria Bellissimo-Magrin certainly wouldn’t have become a CEO of a full-service creative marketing agency without it. While you’ll never hear her claiming to be a creative genius, with such a fantastic team at Belgrin backing her, it doesn’t take long for her clients to start throwing this term around. That’s the power of good marketing.She started out in the industry 15 years ago and was quickly head hunted by Saatchi & Saatchi. In that time, she’s worked in Sydney, England and Bahrain. For the last eight years she’s been at the helm of Belgrin working to combine her vision and the firm’s class to create something greater and more meaningful than its parts. She’s done so well because she offers the perfect blend of design, PR and social media. Her aim? To make marketing easy, so you can spend your time on more important stuff.Her client list certainly attests to her success at that! It includes Jones Lang LaSalle, GPT Group, Colliers, Bingo Industries, Mercedes, Audi, Fiat, Ford, the list goes on. She enjoys providing answers and delivering on these, offering a support network for a company’s creative marketing requirements, and passionate clients who want to create something special. But what she truly loves and what she does it for is that gleam in a client’s eyes that tells her she’s exceeded their wildest expectations. And yes, that twinkle might not happen every day, but with her it’s a hell of a lot more common than with anybody else out there.

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