May 12 2012

Building Your Business in 2012: Outsourcing

One of the most important skills you could learn in business is the skill of delegating or outsourcing. You’re not going to be able to do everything in your business, nor should you. Focus on doing what you do best and find others who can do the rest better.

Below are some of the most important areas of running a business. Ask yourself honestly, do you have a particular skill? Or should it be done by someone else?

==> Finance

One of the most commonly outsourced areas of business is the financial aspects.

Do you know how to book keep? Do you know how to balance a checkbook? Do you know how to do a profit and loss statement? Can you track and categorize your expenses for tax purposes?

==> Management

Are you good at managing people? The most important role of the head of a company isn’t actually management, it’s leadership.

Leaders decide which direction the company should go. Managers make it happen by getting the staff to do it.

Political campaigns are a great example of this. Barack Obama does not manage his staff; his campaign manager does. Obama sets the direction for the message, then someone else manages the staff for him.

==> Marketing

Are you good at marketing? Do you understand all the different kinds of media available to you? Can you write sales messages or finely tune a brand?

If not, hire a great marketing director to help you through the process.

==> Idea Generation

One common reason companies stagnate is because the head of the company insists on being solely responsible for coming up with creative ideas.

The reality is, just like anything else, there is a limit to the amount of ideas you can come up with. This too is something you can outsource.

Take Google’s “20% time” for example. Larry Page and Sergey Brin don’t try to come up with all their ideas themselves. Instead, they let their employees play with whatever ideas they want – to see what sticks.

That was how both Gmail and Google+ were born.

==> Recruiting

Your people will make or break your company. The ability to find and attract top talent is a crucial skill to have in your company. It is a very specialized skill set, however, and not every business owner has it.

Instead, it’s often best to hire someone who really knows the ins and outs of the industry. Someone who can lure the best talent away from other companies to come work for you.

==> Product Creation

The head of Kraft Foods doesn’t need to know how to make a good slice of bread. They have someone to do it for them. Larry Page doesn’t need to know how to build an Oracle router; he has people who can do it for him.

Product creation is yet another area that’s often better done by specialists.

What skills do you have? What skills don’t you have? Be honest with yourself and find others to do the things that you can’t do.

FURTHER READING

Successful Outsourcing: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Increase Your Profits Through Outsourcing: Free Up Your Time as an Executive to Boost Your Business Revenue