The main job, as we have so often discussed, for a small business owner is business development followed by relationship building. In visiting with small business owners, the main excuse I get for them not doing what they should be doing, or not spending enough time bringing in the new business , is paper work, staff issues, organizing, etc. etc.etc. Perhaps I should also include keeping the office clean!
Each small business owner has a “core competency”. Hopefully that is bringing in the “business” and then making sure that it is delivered in a quality fashion. Many owners tell me that they have to do everything because they cannot afford to bring on more staff and then manage and train them. The solution to many of these problems is called outsourcing. That requires finding independent contractors to do the non critical jobs. A full time staff person is asked to do a lot of things. An independent contractor may be more focused and committed to completing a task than a salaried employee. I believe that using independent contractors can lead to better quality control and a higher profit margin.
Let’s look at one possible way to start outsourcing:
- Make a list of tasks that you alone can or should do. Back to your core competency!
- Next, make a list of all the other job functions that support your operation. This can include everything from mailings, to answering a phone to filing, to maintaining client records, etc…
- Now detail the qualifications that best describes the person that you feel is capable of performing these tasks. Also put a time on a weekly or monthly basis that it would take to complete each of these tasks.
- By each task, determine if the task has to be performed in your office or if can be performed at another location.
- If you can free yourself from these “other” tasks, how much time could you save and dedicate to your marketing and client relations?
- Set a realistic goal as to the additional business you could generate with the time you saved. Put a dollar value to that extra business.
- Research for qualified people is the final step. The sources are many, from retired workers, to stay at home moms, to college students, etc.
- Always ask for references, just as if you were hiring a full time employee.
- Start by hiring one outside contractor for a task. Monitor the results and the benefits. Add more as needed.
Effective use of outside contractors can free up a lot of time and energy that you can use to grow your business and thus increase your bottom line.
“The ancestor of every action is a thought”
Have a great day!