Marita Bon Article
|Marita Bon, executive editor and co-owner of Bon's Eye Marketing, has more than 23 years of business, news and corporate writing experience. The founding editor of Wilma!, Wilmington, N.C.'s only women's magazine, she has contributed extensively to area newspapers and business journals.|
One of the biggest gripes I hear from fellow business owners goes something like this: “I have to do payroll (or invoicing or newsletters or a hundred more tasks), but I feel like I’m always rushing. I just have so much else on my plate.”
Other complaints run along similar lines: not enough staff and too many jobs, lack of internal talent to tackle various chores and too many hours spent on routine, but necessary chores. Sound familiar? If your budget allows, you may want to consider outsourcing.
A practical outsource strategy for selected operational functions can save money and time, as well as expand your firm’s capability to focus on core products and services. You can farm out a slew of jobs, but four general areas offer the best options:
Identifying the right contractor for the job pretty much resembles the employee hiring process. Start your search by getting referrals from colleagues in your field, or check listings in industry publications or with professional organizations.
When you’ve narrowed the field to two or three candidates, conduct interviews with each of them. Make sure you are specific and thorough regarding your needs, expectations and deadline requirements. All these factors can impact final costs.
In turn, ask your prospects questions about availability, flexibility, turnaround time and fee schedules. Before making a final decision, request copies of professional licensures, and ask for references.
Finally, don’t over-outsource! Start with one or two jobs that eat up too much time, and let contractors handle them for a proscribed period, perhaps three months. At that point you can assess whether outsourcing will offer a permanent solution.