Outsource Services to Support Business Growth
Smart business owners know that there's only one way to prosper -- do what you do best as much as possible. One way to achieve that is outsourcing.
The opportunity cost of doing things yourself
Opportunity cost refers to the benefit lost when making a particular choice. If that choice is to do something yourself rather than outsourcing, the opportunity cost is whatever benefit could have been derived by having someone else do the work. We work in web design, so let’s work through an example.
A fictional company, Bob’s Chophouse, decides that rather than outsource their web marketing, they’ll have Bob’s nephew put together a web page for them. Bob’s saved the cost of a website, so he feels like he’s getting a deal. But what’s the opportunity cost?
In Bob’s market, 200 people search the web for restaurants every month. How many of those will see Bob’s website? Maybe a handful. But with a properly designed and promoted site, maybe 75-100 of those would see his website every month that normally wouldn’t. What might that be worth to Bob? If even a few of those every month chose to come in for dinner with their families?
What about the people who have heard about Bob’s, and check out his website before choosing whether to visit? What if they choose not to visit because they’re unimpressed with his web presence? What does that cost Bob?
What many businesses find is that the opportunity cost of not outsourcing, web design or any other service, far exceeds the actual cost.
What to outsource
If you're the one changing the light bulbs, balancing the cash drawer, and dealing with the clients, you may not also be able to be the one who's creating your marketing materials and developing your corporate strategy. Or vice versa. There are only so many hours in the day, Superman, and you can't save every tree-bound kitten in the time allotted.
To make the most of your time and energy, you’ll want to look for organizations that can do major business functions faster, cheaper, more easily or more effectively than you can.
How do you find what your outsourcing opportunity is? Here are four ways to find opportunities to use partners to help your business grow:
1. Ask for referrals. Maybe you don't yet know what you need to be outsourcing. Reach out to other smart entrepreneurs in your area and ask them about their strategic partnerships. Which relationships have translated to increased sales and revenue? How did they find those outsourcing providers? How did they know that's what they needed?
2. Keep a log of your daily activities. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and at the end of that time, write down what you're doing. Wash, rinse, repeat all day. At the end of the day you should have a pretty comprehensive outline of your dailiy activities. Now, look at that list and find opportunities to offload that work to others. At what points in your day were you doing things that you don't want to do, or that you're just not good at? Red flag those as opportunities for outsourcing.
3. Categorize your major business functions. Most every business has a certain similar set of activities, including marketing, sales, service, product development and more. Make a list of the areas of the business that you support. Now ask yourself -- why did I get into business in the first place? Was it to work directly with the clients? Create great products? Or is sales your thing? Those areas that aren't your favorite represent an entire category that's ripe for outsourcing.
4. Look for inefficiencies. What in your company isn't working the way you'd like? By handing these responsibilities to a qualified outsider, they can apply the systems and processes that they've developed over time to increase efficiency and effectiveness. And everyone at your company is relieved of a headache.
Outsourcing can be a way to create more time and energy in your business for growth -- but only if you select the right partners. What do you want more of in your business for next year? How will you make room for it?
You're not a web developer -- that's why we are. BolderImage is a Chicago-based web design and mobile application development company serving companies of all sizes nationwide. If you want to stop worrying about keeping your website up to date and start making the most of your web leads, contact us today.