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Management

Outsourcing: How to Decide, Prioritize and Find Support for Your Business

When is outsourcing the best fit for your business? Read our guide to streamline your process and find the right people for the job.

To do or not to do? That is the question. No matter what your business is, there comes a time when you need to decide what priorities you need to handle yourself and where you can use outsourcing.

Whether you off-load work to a live or virtual assistant, a different “team” or an outside specialist, more often than not, the time and energy you save will be well worth the expense.

The outsourcing litmus test

When deciding whether to take on or pass along certain projects or tasks, here are some of the questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Is this related to my specialty?
  • Can someone else do it?
  • Should someone else do it?

Characteristics of items that are good to outsource:

  • Repetitive tasks, such as data entry
  • Time-consuming tasks, such as transcription
  • Out-of-your-comfort-zone tasks. If something will take you more time to learn than it will take someone else to do properly, unless it’s something that will benefit your own professional development, it should go on someone else’s plate.

Professional services

Unless it’s your actual business, look to others for:

  • Web design and support
  • Legal advice
  • Accounting
  • Graphics
  • Finance

Project support

There may also be certain cases where you need to get assistance, even when the action item can be done by you.

For example, if you’re looking to self-publish a book, release a white paper or send out a marketing proposal, you may need to hire the following contractors:

  • An editor and/or copy editor
  • Photographer or Illustrator
  • Designer
  • Marketer or publicist

Finding the right people

When you decide to outsource, start by looking within your company. There may be an employee or a contractor who’s skilled in the specialty you need.

You can also ask your network. Ask friends for recommendations, post a request in a LinkedIn update or attend virtual networking events where you can potentially find the right people.

Alternatively, you can look at job boards and ask for suggestions on relevant Facebook or LinkedIn groups.

The bottom line

When the question is whether to outsource, it typically comes down to money. If you can afford the expense, it will save you time and energy. Plus, when you focus on the things you do well and are passionate about, it will positively impact your revenue… and your attitude.

Outsourcing in the perfect world pays for itself.

How do you decide what to do and what to outsource? What are your tips for finding great resources? Please share in the comments.

Editor’s note: this article was originally posted on LinkedIn.

About the author

Goal-setting expert Debra Eckerling is the creator of The DEB Method, a system of goal-setting simplified. She is also the award-winning author of “Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning, and Achieving Your Goals.” A corporate consultant, workshop leader and panel moderator, Eckerling is on a mission to change goal culture in and out of the workplace. She is the host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat, #GoalChatLive on Facebook and LinkedIn and The DEB Show podcast.