Life’s too short. Not only is that my tag line, it’s my way of life. If I can’t do something – I find someone that can. From my lawns to the pool, my accountant and some administrative tasks. I know my strengths, what I’m good at and what I enjoy; so, if it doesn’t fall in these categories I outsource it, because life really is too short.
It’s also a time saver, which as a business owner we desperately need more of. We wear so many hats in our business that we barely have time for other things like family, friends and some resemblance of a life. I’m constantly being told off for not turning off…outsourcing does help with balancing.
Outsourcing comes with its own unique set of problems and can cause all kinds of grief. Just thinking about hiring, training and trusting someone with your business, can give you a headache and it’s hard to make the choice for your business.Trust me, I get it. I’ve been there, done that and have a T-shirt saying, “I’ve been burned by outsourcing,” so I know how hard it can be. I’ve also had incredible experiences and found gems that not only helped my business, but gave me more time in my personal life!Yes, outsourcing can be scary but it’s necessary if you’re looking to grow your business and achieve a better balance, than sooner or later you’re going to have to do it.
Here are my top 5 tips to getting it right;
Trust: trust your gut instincts and first impression. If “it’s not right, it’s not right.”
Contracts: Clearly define their role, the expectations of the employee / contractor and what they can expect from you. I personally used a professional to draw up staff and contractor agreements that are legally sound and comply with the Fair Work Act
They work for you: regardless of their position, they are in your employ. I’ve found myself working my business around staff and contractors, stressing about how to deal with them, this is where the contract helps. With clear guidelines and expectations, you can go back to the original agreement in a professional way.
Having systems in place: Onboarding inexperienced staff means they need to learn the ropes. Have clearly defined systems and written processes so they can refer to them even when you aren’t there. It may seem silly when you’re just employing/sub-contracting one person, but it really does help in the long run, once you’re no longer on your own in business the goal posts have moved and you have to move with them.
Keep your home life separate. We often work from home and it’s hard to separate your personal and home life from business. Create a space that is work only – I’ve converted my double garage so staff and contractors can collect their equipment and have no need access to the house. It’s a) about security and b) being able to make a clear distinction but your work and personal life.
Think of it like this, would you cut your own hair? Of course, not; why? Because you don’t know how too and you trust a professional to do the job right. Now how many of us have had bad haircuts? Probably 99.9%, does that mean we start cutting our own hair? No! We find a new hairdresser, we build trust, we get more specific on exactly what cut and style we want, we do our research and bring pictures and when we find someone who gets it; we NEVER let them go.
That’s what outsourcing is. Sometimes it’s trial by fire and you’ve got to ‘kiss a few toads’ before you find a prince, but life’s too short to be killing yourself in business. Take the time to implement the steps, know that there’ll be some hiccups along the way but when you get it right it will completely transform your business and free up your most valued asset – time!