This might be a lengthy read but be assured that if you read to the end, all your personal and business outsourcing problems will be behind you.
As a small business owner or solopreneur, your time is your most valuable resource. You’re responsible for managing every aspect of your business, including finance, customer service, and logistics, all while leading the business in the right direction. It’s a lot to handle, not to mention maintaining some semblance of a social life and keeping your personal life in order. That’s why outsourcing can be a lifesaver!
In this article, we will examine the details of outsourcing and show you how to use it to increase productivity and scale your business. To begin, let’s define two types of business operations. Then, we’ll examine the when, what, who, and how of outsourcing. Finally, we’ll discuss the best ways for Nigerian small business owners and solopreneurs to outsource.
Two Main Categories of Small Business Operations
Core operations consist of tasks that:
- Are important for maintaining a business and might contribute to growth in the long run, but do not directly create growth or revenue
- Do not define the business
- Do not require the contribution of a stakeholder in the business
Examples of these tasks include social media management, content creation, website management, lead generation, and customer relationship management. While it is essential to keep your website and social media profiles updated and engaging for credibility and lead generation, these operations do not necessarily result in immediate cash or the scaling of your business.
On the other hand, core operations consist of tasks that:
- Contribute directly to growth and revenue generation
- Define the business
- Require the contribution of a stakeholder in order to be carried out effectively
Examples of core tasks include product or service development, sales and customer acquisition, talent acquisition, development of marketing strategy, financial management and analysis, and more.
When to Outsource
Deciding when to begin outsourcing your business operations can be a bit tricky. Here are a few pointers that will guide you in making that decision. So, when should you outsource?
- When the day-to-day running of your business starts to take a toll on you
- When you no longer have time for yourself, family, and/or friends.
- when you no longer have time for hobbies and other non-work related activities.
- When maintaining a healthy work-life balance no longer seems feasible.
- When non-core tasks take up so much of your time that you barely have time for the core tasks in your business
What to Outsource
For starters, outsource your non-core tasks. As the business grows, you can begin to outsource more of its core operations.
Here’s a very practical way to determine what specific non-core tasks to outsource.
- Identify the tasks that you particularly dislike getting done. Those ones that leave you drained afterward.
- Identify the tasks that you don’t necessarily know how to do. You may have been trying your best but you still don’t get them right — and who’s got the time to take classes?
- Identify those tasks that take up more of your time than you would like.
- Now, calculate your hourly or daily rate based on your current income. Additionally, determine the cost per hour or day to outsource the tasks in steps 1, 2, and 3, based on a reasonable budget.
- If outsourcing any of these tasks costs less than your hourly or daily rate, then you have a winner. Outsource that task to save time and money!
- We need to be realistic. Most small businesses cannot afford to outsource all their non-core tasks all at once. So, run your non-core tasks through the scrutiny of steps 1 to 5. Select the one that you most want to get rid of and outsource it. As your business grows and its consistent revenue increases, outsource those remaining non-core tasks in the same manner, one after the other.
Who to Outsource to
Outsourcing to the right hands is just as important as, if not more important than, outsourcing the right tasks. Even non-core tasks can harm your business if they are given to the wrong person. However, if they are given to the right person, they can solve a significant portion of your problems and result in increased productivity for you and your business.
So, when outsourcing, look out for the following qualities in a potential hire:
- Good communication
- Zeal or enthusiasm for the specific tasks(s) you are outsourcing.
- Positive reviews from past jobs or projects
- Have a look at past work or portfolio
Based on our experience sourcing and vetting skilled professionals for over four years, we have found that 85% of potential hires who possess the first four listed qualities turn out to be the best long-term hires. These individuals consistently deliver quality services, are flexible, and grow with the company over time.
How to Outsource
The internet has provided many solutions to common small business problems, one of which is outsourcing. By outsourcing to a virtual assistant over the internet, you can save costs and increase efficiency in a statistically proven manner.
A virtual assistant is a professional who specializes in delivering services to a business or individual over the internet. There are numerous benefits to hiring a virtual assistant over an in-house employee. Firstly, virtual assistants are more cost-effective as they do not incur conventional expenses such as internet expenses, equipment, and rent for a physical location.
Studies have shown that virtual assistants produce higher quality outputs than conventional in-office employees.
The Best Way for Nigerian Small Business Owners and Solopreneurs to Outsource for Maximum Productivity.
Mimi Outsourcing Solutions LTD is a virtual assistant company founded with Nigerian solopreneurs and small business owners in mind. Our goal is to help you achieve maximum productivity, not just by taking non-core tasks off your hands, but by assigning them to the capable hands of our experts.
Our team of virtual assistants is thoroughly vetted to ensure that only the best are on board. Our plans and prices are flexible enough to cater to any type of business or solopreneur, no matter where in the world you are located. Our team consists of virtual assistants who specialize in services ranging from web management to digital marketing, customer service, social media management, data entry, and more. We have helped hundreds of startups, small business owners, and solopreneurs increase productivity and scale since our inception in 2019.
Want to learn more about how outsourcing can turn your business around? Download our free outsourcing guide — Outsourcing for Maximum Productivity — here.