Productivity: 9 Tips on When & What to Outsource

As your business grows, you will be faced with the increasing realization that you cannot do it all on your own. Trying to do so will leave you completely consumed with working in your business, never finding the time to focus on the growth and future of your business.

During the early years of most businesses, you are operating on a tight budget that doesn’t provide the luxury of hiring a big team. So your best option may be to outsource to the experts. Drawing of the experiences of our panel of experts, last week I asked –

How do you know WHEN and WHAT to outsource FIRST when you first start to feel growing pains in your business?

As you will discover in the comments below, there are many ways to look at the why’s and what’s of outsourcing, but what it boils down to is delegating the things that take you away from the tasks where you shine and enable you to generate revenue. So if you find yourself struggling to keep your head above water in your business, consider the advice below, and determine if now might be the perfect time to consider outsourcing. Enjoy!

1. Farm Out Your Biggest Pain Point First!

There’s no doubt in my mind: unload your biggest source of worry first – whether it be something you dislike doing, don’t know how to do, or don’t have time to do. If it’s going to relieve stress and free up significant time, farm it out! My biggest pain point is my Web site. Even with WordPress, anything that is above and beyond entering text and uploading media files is a challenge. A seemingly innocuous change (like installing a new plug-in) can throw the entire thing into chaos! This pain point fits all of the criteria that I mention above – I dislike, don’t know how to rectify, and don’t have time to figure out how to deal with such problems (I often make things worse when I try). So I spend a little worry time deciding to whom I should outsource and save myself from bigger worries.

Thanks to Monique Y. Wells of Understanding Time Management

2. Not Enough Time To Create New Business

I recognize when it’s time to hire someone when I reach the point that I’m spending so much time working ‘in’ the business that I don’t work ‘on’ the business; meaning that I’m doing paperwork; errands; etc. rather than out meeting people to create new business and strengthen existing business.

Thanks to Randy Morrow of Keller Williams Realty–Divorce Specialist

3. When There Are To Many Balls To Juggle

I started outsourcing tasks when I noticed that I started dropping the ball in missing deadlines. Doing follow-up e-mails and not meeting my goals because there was just too much work to do. As my business grew, I knew I needed help. I started to feel growing pains in the third year of my business. I knew then that I had to outsource to a virtual assistant to keep up with my clerical duties and on-line marketing of my business. I also got an intern to help on projects.

Thanks to Eula M. Young of Griot’s Roll Film Production & Services Inc.

4. Outsource Design First

Since many businesses don’t generally have enough graphic design work to hire a full-time designer, there are many quality designers you can find on Scriptlance, eLance and similar sites. In our first instance of outsourcing, we found a fairly new graphic designer on Scriptlance and hired him. He was based in Romania, so his work was relatively inexpensive. After he did a fantastic job on our creatives, we kept his information and re-hired him on multiple occasions to design for us again.

Thanks to Michael Pesochinsky of

5. Outsource What You Don’t Need To Do In-house

Our busy work is more or less blog and article writing, and we’ve had lots of success using the Writing Authority when we’re overburdened with writing tasks in-house. Most of the time, we outsource general topical articles, while we try to do the ones that require specific topical knowledge in the office. We would say that it is best to outsource things that are not so central to your business (like general writing) that can save to time to concentrate on more important business matters.

Thanks to Eli Israel of Foreclosure Magic

6. Outsource When You Can Save Lots Of Money

We do lots of data gathering for the information on our website, and part of it is collected by our in-house team, while part is collected by outside sources. We have several teams overseas that we’ve outsourced to and they been doing a great job at a great price helping us with data collection. As per our experience, it’s best to outsource when you can save money, but always make sure you outsource to competent contractors and ones with a good worth ethic. Otherwise, you it’ll cost you more.

Thanks to Dahlia Roth of

7. Educate Or Delegate? That Is The Question.

When resources at my company get stretched due to competing priorities and projects, we often get to a main question, educate or delegate. Typically, we attempt to learn as many things as we can when trying to grow and maintain the operations of our nonprofit. However, sometimes we make must make decisions to delegate to providers instead of educating in-house. When we get to a point where the education of a new task is taking over double the effort it would take for someone outside our company (with a pre-existing skill set) to accomplish, we look for ways to outsource the work. We outsource anything that is non-client or student focused–this usually means letting the operational tech gurus take over some of our work.

Thanks to Mona Anita Olsen of iMADdu (I make a difference, do you?)

8. Crossing Over The Line

WHEN? – All the time……………..WHAT? – Everything

There are many different aspects of business. We naturally have the greatest control when they are performed in-house. There are businesses though, that specialize in individual aspects & it is because of that specializing, they are better at it. The result may be that they can give you better quality at less of a cost than your own firm doing it. It’s also one less headache to deal with & will free you up.

To run your business at top performance, you should check what aspects of your business specialty companies can perform for you & what their charges would be. You then compare them to what it is currently costing you in both time, money & possible headaches. This will bring you to an easy determination.

Thanks to Harris Glasser of Serving The People Press LLC

9. The Most Repetitive Tasks Should Be Outsourced First

I hate repetitive tasks that don’t ever change, so it makes sense that they were the first thing I tried to get off my desk. It turns out, though, that they’re also the most practical to outsource. When a task needs to be done over and over again, you can write down precise, step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow, even for someone who has never worked for you before. Detailed instructions are the secret to good outsourcing, because they let you spend less time on bringing someone new up to speed. They can also help you focus in on the right person for the project much faster because you have clear guidance on what skills and aptitudes are necessary to get the work done.

Thanks to Thursday Bram of Hyper Modern Consulting

Thanks so much again to all our wonderful contributors for sharing your experiences with outsourcing! We hope to hear from you again. And to all our readers, if you have an innovative idea to share, we hope you will leave it in the comments below.


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