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What Is Outsourcing and Why Should You Do It?

Posted on August 15, 2012 by Justine Curtis - My Virtual Assistant

Outsourcing is a term often used in business and it is gaining popularity on the Internet as millions of web site owners discover they do not have all the tools and skills necessary to handle each and every function necessary to the efficient running of their businesses.

Unlike having to recruit, interview, and take on an employee – and thus incur the tax and NI liability of a new employee, not to mention the additional costs incurred such as holiday pay, sick pay, maternity leave, etc – often savvy business owners turn to outside companies. Outsourcing services take on the tasks underlying a business leaving the owner more free time to pursue the front-end of his or her business.

Wikipedia states:

“Outsourcing” involves transferring or sharing management control and/or decision-making of a business function to an outside supplier, which involves a degree of two-way information exchange, coordination and trust between the outsourcer and its client.”

Outsourcing, therefore, becomes an integrated part of your business. The importance is to determine what should be outsourced, why it should be outsourced, and who will provide your outsourcing services.

How To Make Outsourcing Work

To make any outsourcing relationship work effectively, the business owner must be able to step back and make an honest evaluation of his or her talents. We are not all created equal. We all have different strengths. One thing is certain; to ensure business success a business owner must cultivate the ability to delegate responsibility through the use of outsourcing. That’s how a well-run, profit-pulling online business accomplishes its goals.

Today’s businesses – large and small – gain immense benefits by finding other companies outside their own arena who possess the technological know how to analyse, plan, and implement target objectives.

In the case of the smaller business owner finding an outsourcing service to handle tasks such as marketing, diary management, bookkeeping, and word processing is one such effective strategic move.

Choosing the Right Outsourcing Company

As a small business owner it is easy to become frozen in place trying to keep up with all the day-to-day tasks associated with running your business. You cant possibly be proficient in every skill required to effectively run your business so lot of time can be taken up with trying to perform even the “smallest” of tasks. Trying to learn how to do everything can literally take hours of your week away from you. Hours better spent on developing relationships with your prospects or clients, updating your web site content, creating new products, and just being there to respond to new enquiries. Unless you are willing to give up some control, the grind of trying to do everything in your business too often takes priority over the human approach to being there for your customers.

When looking for a company to outsource to, pick up a phone and call or send email enquiries to those that appear to have the skill set you require. Make sure your questions are addressed intelligently and at a level of understanding that you feel most comfortable with. Look for a company that is interested in what goals you are trying to achieve by outsourcing and how you like to work. The conversation should be an effective two-way open communication and you should come away with a feeling of trust and confidence. By weeding out any company that is vague in their explanations of how they can achieve what you want them to do and you should easily find the best company to work with for your business needs.

In Summary

Don’t try to do everything yourself. You may have many fine strong points, but running your business single-handily should not be one of them. Learn when and delegating responsibility can actually make your business grow by leaps and bounds. Then find an outsourcing service you can work with – one with a complete understanding of your business and one that is proactive and willing to go the extra mile to make your business a success.

About the Author:

Justine Curtis is the director of My Virtual Assistant Limited which is currently expanding across the UK with a team of virtual assistant licensees and founder of the UK Association of Virtual Assistants (UKAVA) which offers free resources and information to its subscribers. Justine is the author of Setting Yourself Up As A Virtual Assistant and passes on the benefits of her vast experience of the VA role to aspiring and progressive virtual PAs as a co-founder of the VA Success Group. Justine is also a co-founder of Academy for Online Business, a company devoted to helping self-employed professionals and entrepreneurs to build their own online business empires.

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