As a business owner or manager, it is likely that you’ve experienced times when
it has felt completely impossible to effectively manage your workload.
You’re a busy person, you have many responsibilities, and hardly any extra time to plan these things, so you end up in a never-ending cycle, completely bogged down in your work.
However… how would you feel if we told you that you could break that cycle, by embracing two simple words?
You may not believe it, but it can be done.
Welcoming outsourcing and delegation into your work practices could be a transformative approach to overcoming the cycle and achieving maximum productivity like never before.
So… have we intrigued you yet?
In this article, we will be telling you all you need to know about outsourcing, delegation, and how you can make them work for you in your business, so continue reading to get the low-down on the topic.
What is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is a business practice where a company hires an external, third party to perform certain tasks or provide services for the company.
It is usually undertaken by companies as a cost-cutting measure, or by companies that wish to focus on the core aspects of their business.
Examples of services that are often outsourced include accounting, administration, marketing/advertising, website development, customer services and human resources.
The Power of Outsourcing
One of the key reasons why outsourcing is so popular is because it can save the business owner both time and money.
The time that is then saved can be spent on the tasks that the business owner enjoys and is passionate about.
Another benefit of outsourcing is that you can outsource to somebody who is an expert in the service/s you’re looking for, and therefore may be able to complete them more efficiently than the business itself.
If this is the case, overall operational costs will reduce and the business may become more competitive within its industry.
Acer, the technology company that makes laptops and PCs, is one of many brands with an outsourcing success story.
From the word go, the Acer executives knew the importance of outsourcing everything they struggled with.
Acer kept it’s marketing and branding in-house, but outsourced manufacturing and anything else they had a hard time with.
This strategy led them to increased sales and gains in market share. This flexible operation has been maintained ever since.
The key fact that shows the success of Acer’s outsourcing tactics, is that they only have 6,800 employees, which is less than a tenth of the size of their largest competitor.
How You Can Outsource
Here are a couple of steps on how to outsource successfully…
Decide What Your Company Wants To Outsource
This is the first step to outsource work properly.
Think about what tasks are time-consuming and what tasks your staff don’t enjoy or struggle with.
Identifying this will help you to determine if you can outsource more/less than you originally expected, which assists in later steps such as getting an idea of costs.
Compare The Costs and Options
Once you have worked out which specific tasks you’d like to outsource, you can start looking at what you can afford to outsource and who you’d like to outsource it to.
Have a look at a few different options, and compare people, whether they are freelancers or companies, their expertise, and their prices.
This will help you choose the right person/entity to go for that offers the best value for the lowest price.
Try Out Different Companies/Freelancers/Contractors
If you’d like to, you have the option of trying outsourcing with a couple of different contractors.
If you have the time and resources, you could always assign the same task to a few different contractors, and then assess who performed the best or most efficiently.
If you’re only looking for one contractor/person or place to outsource to, then consider using a trial period that gives you time to assess if it is working for you before you have to make the commitment.
What is Delegation?
Delegation is when you change the responsibility and authority for tasks from one person to another.
The people that practice delegation the most are managers and supervisors.
They delegate by allocating certain jobs to their subordinates, which frees up some time for themselves to focus on more important, demanding tasks.
It also gives employees an opportunity to learn new skills, boosting confidence in their abilities and encouraging personal development.
The Art of Delegation
One of the main benefits of delegation is that it helps you to manage time effectively.
As a manager or supervisor, it’s likely that your plate is already completely full of tasks and responsibilities.
However, by delegating them, you are less likely to be burnt out and you don’t have to worry about if you’ve got enough time to do this, that and the other.
Delegation also helps you to focus on the most important areas of the business.
If you’re a Managing Director of a growing firm with other staff, you want to be able to spend time on consistently improving and developing the business.
You wouldn’t want to be suffocated by a load of filing that someone else could certainly take care of instead of you.
That would be the most efficient way of dealing with it, since it gives the Managing Director the chance to fulfil their actual job role, and not be disrupted by repetitive, simple tasks.
Another key benefit of delegation is that it provides employees with the opportunity to grow their confidence and develop their skills within the workplace.
Having well-rounded employees will hugely benefit the success of the business, and allow delegation to continuously work effectively.
How You Can Delegate
Here are a couple of simple steps to help get you familiar with delegation…
Know When It’s Appropriate To Delegate
It is important to know when and what to delegate in order for it to have the best results.
For example, if a staff member was completing a bookkeeping qualification, an experienced bookkeeper may delegate some slightly challenging bookkeeping to help expand their skills and grow their confidence.
Before assigning a certain task, think about whether it will suit that particular employee and help them improve their skills positively.
Explain Your Reasoning
When assigning a certain task to a colleague, consider telling them why it was assigned particularly to them.
This will help to boost their morale, keep them motivated and help them to feel supported by you.
Talk about what skills the task will help them to develop. Additionally, this will help the employee to work hard and handle the task appropriately.
Have Clear Goals
Having clear goals in certain jobs is so important, especially so if the employee hasn’t done it before or isn’t very experienced in that certain area.
This will help the employee to not feel out of their depth, and have a good understanding of the task at hand. Having goals also helps to build on problem-solving and creativity skills.
Always Provide Feedback
Always give feedback to people who complete tasks that you gave to them.
This not only helps them to feel acknowledged and supported, but it also gives you an opportunity to celebrate the employee and work with them on any areas that didn’t go too well.
If the employee is receiving constructive feedback, they are more likely to strive for improvement.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, as you can see from what we have discussed, both outsourcing and delegation can be complete game-changers in business.
Outsourcing gives you access to expertise, helps you to focus on what you enjoy, and is usually cost-effective.
On the other hand, delegation is great for helping staff to develop, prioritising your responsibilities and providing you with more time to work on the key areas of the business.
Although you may have concerns about bringing these changes into place, the benefits far outweigh the risks, and whatever happens, it will be a brilliant learning experience for yourself and the business.
Remember, by embracing outsourcing and delegation, you are gaining access to a whole world of opportunities.
Encourage yourself and your team to focus on the heart of the business, continue building your business and shaping its future culture, and achieve brand-new levels of success.
In this journey, it is important that you learn to hand things over, trust the process and embrace the transformative power of outsourcing and delegation.