|Rich Best has spent 28 years in the financial services industry, as an advisor, a managing partner, directors of training and marketing, and now as a consultant to the industry. Rich has written extensively on a broad range of personal finance topics and is published on several top financial sites. Recent books include The American Family Survival Bible and Annuity Facts Revealed: What You MUST Know Before You Invest.|
Unlock Your Business’s Potential Through Outsourcing
For many people, starting their own business can be a liberating feeling. One of the reasons people start their own business is because they are convinced that they can do something better than other people and are driven by the notion that "if you want something done right, you do it yourself."
While this can propel a person to launch a business, it can sometimes spell the beginning of the end for business owners who don’t understand their own limitations and begin to ask when outsourcing is the answer.
When You Can’t Keep all the Plates Spinning
Any fledgling business requires a minimum number of functions to be performed daily. Products or services need to be created; employees need to be recruited, hired, and managed; customers need to be serviced; books need to be kept; strategy needs to be planned; new business needs to be developed, and markets need to be developed. When all these functions are performed by one or a few, the business can turn into a circus act of spinning plates. When a plate crashes, the business is set back, costing it valuable time and resources to get it spinning again.
When Your Business Can’t Reach Critical Mass
From the moment the business is launched, the business owner strives to reach a critical mass where the efforts and activities of the business become sufficient to sustain its growth and development without any further investment. Unfortunately for many business owners, before critical mass is achieved, a point of diminishing returns is often reached where the activities of the business or the employees produce fewer results for the time, money, and effort expended. It’s at that point when outsourcing may be the answer.
When You Perform Non-Essential Functions
Sure, you can probably do the books better than anyone else, but why would you want to? If your business is projected to generate $200,000 in profits, which represents your income, that would mean the time you spend on bookkeeping is costing you and the business as much as $100 per hour.
Virtual bookkeepers with solid experience can be hired for less than $20 per hour.
Maybe you spent a lot of time creating a web presence for your business and, to optimize the site for maximum exposure, traffic, and customer interaction, you continue to tinker with it after hours or in the wee hours. To reach critical mass with your web activities, your site needs an SEO expert. College campuses are crawling with guru-wannabes needing to fill their resume with practical experience.
When the Business’ Life Blood is Threatened
Sales are the lifeblood of any business and require constant activity to fill the sales funnel and turn prospects into customers. Each moment taken away from sales activities can be very costly if the sales funnel is allowed to dissipate. If a business owner or the salesperson is distracted by non-selling activities such as administration or customer service, sales will suffer at some point in time. Most non-selling activities can be outsourced to a virtual assistant who can perform these functions part-time.
When You Reach the Point of Diminishing Returns
The road from business launch to business growth is a critical phase of the business cycle that can only be achieved and sustained when the ongoing investment of time and resources continue to produce increasing returns. When existing resources begin to produce diminishing returns, business growth will be stifled. At that point, the business needs to evaluate its capacity to perform all its functions considering the best use of its time and money. And that is the time when outsourcing may very well be the answer.
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