One thing you never want to outsource is the actual management of your business. You want to know what's going on with it at all times, from the sales that are coming in to the expenses that have to go out. Letting people run your business for you is a bad idea on so many levels. Money is not the only thing that can be stolen ideas and work processes are also susceptible to theft. So keep a close eye on everything all the time. This is where hands on is critical.
What to Outsource
Before we get into managing your outsourcing I do want to point out something that I think is important. As I said in an earlier article, you want to outsource tasks that you can't do. What about things that you can do? What if you were a crackerjack web designer and wanted to put up a new site? You could do it; you also know how long it would take you. Why not outsource the task to somebody else and focus on things that will bring you in more money immediately? It's just a thought.
Outsourcing a Project
Okay, for example let's say that we're starting a new project and there's very little that we can do on our own. We need somebody to design our web page. Turns out the person we hired can't do graphics. So we need to hire somebody to do our graphic design. In addition to that, we can't write. So we need somebody to write the sales copy for the website. For a bigger project you might even have more items to outsource.
You're working with 3 people.Each one is going to work at their own pace. Each part of the project is going to take a certain amount of time. The first thing you need to do is get an estimate of completion from each person. You should probably make this a part of the agreement before you sign anything. Why is this important?
We want to launch the new site on March 1. It's currently January 1. The web designer says it's going to take 30 days to finish the site. The graphic designer, because of the number of graphics you want, says it's going to be 45 days to get all the graphics done. Since all these graphics will go on the sales page, this effectively means that even though the site can be done in 30 days, the web developer can not start his work until he gets the graphics. He will then need a few days to incorporate those designs into the site itself.
Then we have the issue of the sales copy. Your copywriter says it's going to take him 60 days to write the copy and have it tested for effectiveness. This puts you right at your March 1 launch date, giving you no margin to play with. Under these conditions, you might want to put off your launch until April 1. This gives you a whole month to put all the pieces together and work out any glitches.
This is why managing your outsourcing is so important. The more people, or cooks you have in the broth, the harder it is to keep things under a tight leash.
Eventually, the time will come when you will need to outsource something.
Hopefully it's because business is booming.