Keep Calm and Let Go

Keep calm and let go
Photo: Randy Heinitz cc via Flickr

Working on your own can be lonely and hard work, especially if you are one of those entrepreneurs who believes that only you can do what you do well. Of  course that is true, your core competencies are what, I would hope, you love to do. But what about your admin, social media, blogging, accounts and any number of tedious things that you may just be procrastinating over, even as you read this? Is it time to keep calm and let go?

How about, do what you do best and outsource the rest?

I, like you, have struggled with letting go of things and, if truth be known, I am still a bit of a control freak, but slowly, slowly I have let things go and when it hasn’t worked I work out why. Often, it is that the ‘partner’ I have chosen isn’t committed to their own business so why should they be to mine?

Conversely, as I work for others, blogging or helping them to write their books, I ask what would make their life simpler? I listen to what they are not saying and I offer solutions. And I just do it. At least, if I have done something, we can discuss it and consider how it fits.

It is with this hindsight that I offer you some insight

Business strategies can vary hugely and, therefore, so will your outsourcing strategy. So this strategy must map to your business strategy and be flexible enough to allow your business to make changes, adapt to changing market conditions and enhance your chances of future survivability.

The attraction of outsourcing is that it allows you to concentrate on developing new products and entering new markets whilst focusing on core competencies.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Formulating the outsourcing strategy

In order to create your strategy, the organisation must address a number of key questions:

  • What do you do well? What are your key competencies? What is your core business?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses, or what gaps have you identified?
  • What opportunities and threats are there in your market place?
  • What do your customers want or need? What don’t your customers want or need?
  • What are your competitors doing? How do they manage their outsourcing?
  • How can you maintain your competitive advantage? What do you need to let go of?
  • What are the key trends in your business? Who can help you stay on track?
  • Onshore or offshore?
  • What is your budget?

Choosing the right outsourcing partners

Marry in haste, repent at leisure is an old adage and is just as relevant when choosing an outsourcing partner as it is choosing a life partner.

Key points to consider when choosing your outsourcing partner

  • Financially stable and has good control of their own business
  • Treats you like a trusted partner
  • Is flexible
  • Listens and gets what you do
  • Offers you innovative ways to show off your talents
  • Proactively offers solutions before the proverbial hits the fan
  • Welcomes the challenge of sorting out your problems for you
  • They are hands on and work collaboratively with you
  • Fun to work with

For small, one-off tasks, outsourcing platforms like PeoplePerHour can be a good start and let you test out a range of freelancers. Networking is another great source and a better way to assess shared values. The main point is that you must choose wisely and feel comfortable knowing your business is in their (safe) hands.

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