An Introduction to Outsourcing
Finding Ways to Outsource
Are you considering outsourcing but have no idea where to start? In almost every small (or large) business there is the opportunity to outsource at least a few of the common tasks. In some there may the possibility of outsourcing the majority of the common tasks while in others there may only be the opportunity to outsource one or two of the common tasks. In either case outsourcing can result in a lightened workload as well as an increase in profit.
Evaluate Daily Activities
The first step in finding ways to outsource is to take a really close look at the daily activities you perform when tending to your business. Make a list of each of these activities and note any related activities that are typically performed in conjunction with each other. Making this note is important because activities which are typically performed together should either be outsourced together or remain as in-house activities together to maintain the highest level of efficiency.
Once you have compiled this list of activities, carefully consider which activities can easily be performed by another person and which activities require your personal attention. This will give you a good idea of which activities you could outsource and which activities would not be good opportunities for outsourcing.
Finally, review your list of activities and note how long it takes you to perform each of the activities you could outsource. This information will be helpful later if you decide to search for a candidate to complete these tasks.
Prioritise Daily Activities
After you have carefully examined your daily activities, it is time to prioritise these activities. Create a comprehensive list of all of your daily activities in their order of importance. For this list include both the activities requiring your personal attention and the activities which can be outsourced.
When you make your decision to start outsourcing some of your daily tasks, start with the highest priority on the list which you believe can be outsourced. Attempt to outsource this task as a test to determine whether or not outsourcing will work for you. If you decide you are comfortable with outsourcing and that it is working for your business, you can continue down the prioritised list, attempting to find those capable of handling your daily activities.
Consider Administrative Tasks
I have already discussed the importance of evaluating your own daily tasks in the process of finding ways to outsource but it is also important to consider tasks completed by your staff members. Administrative tasks are often tasks which can be outsourced so examining these tasks will give you a good idea if you can increase the efficiency of your administrative assistance by outsourcing some of their responsibilities.
Activities such as data entry, transcription and other activities often handled by personal assistance are all examples of activities which can easily be outsourced. Additionally, there is a great deal of qualified candidates available to fulfill these tasks. The industry of virtual assistants has become a booming industry with many savvy entrepreneurs offering their skills in these areas as a consultant (yeah that’s me!)
Develop a Plan for Managing Outsourced Activities
Before starting to outsource daily activities, you should develop a plan for managing all of your outsourced activities. This plan should include the following:
- Method for selecting candidates to handle outsourced work
- Method for overseeing the work performed by independent contractors
- Method for evaluating the work performed by independent contractors
About the author: Kelly Cairns, owner of KC Virtual Solutions, provides exceptional administrative support to clients in the UK, US, and New Zealand. Kelly specializes in social media; managing everything from Twitter campaigns to extensive social media strategies. Kelly actively manages Facebook pages for lMetro Radio Arena, among others, and has provided social media strategies for companies such as Hot Vouchers and Universal Studios. Learn more about Kelly’s services by visiting her company website.