VA’s and the Outsourcing Trend

Many small business owners come to a point where they spend more time on the logistics of doing business than actually doing business. This is a frustrating point and for a long time there were only two options to overcome it. 1.- Ignore it, which basically means ignoring some crucial part of running your. or 2.- Hire someone to do the things you don’t like or want to do. Though the latter is far safer and more effective than the first option, there are still issues with it. When you hire someone, you need to work out details like work site, wages, training, scheduling, and more. Not to mention the expense of having to pay someone whether you have work for them or not.

A Third option has been gaining in popularity in recent years: Outsourcing. The official definition of which is: subcontracting a process to a third-party company. Outsourcing or sub-contracting started becoming popular in the 1980’s as a way to reduce overhead and better utilize emerging technology. This is still true to this day. In fact, more and more business owners are finding that outsourcing is letting them do what they love without worrying about the rest!

Business professionals, in a recent Harris Poll survey, stated resoundingly that they would happily outsource a wide variety of tasks. Also noted in this survey was the growing trend toward Virtual Assistants who take on a lot of the outsourced work. Over 55% of those surveyed felt that virtual assistants have helped them focus on the more important and enjoyable parts of their business and helped them improve job performance.

Outsourcing, just like any other aspect of your business, requires planning and preparation. Both parties will need to know what tasks or projects you want done and the parameters within which to do them. Some of the most popular tasks being outsourced are website updates, blog management, article posting, sales writing, database management, research, and bookkeeping.

If you are considering outsourcing, it is advisable to take some time to work out just what tasks or projects you wish to have completed and then look for a business that can do the work you need done. As with every other aspect of business, it is important to do your research and pick a person or company that has experience with the type of work you want done. Not all VA’s do the same things just as not all teachers teach the same subjects.  The best thing to do is carefully consider what you need, source companies and individuals who provide this, and carefully evaluate their skills and alignment with your business model.

I’d love to hear your feedback about what you have successfully (or not so successfully) outsourced!  What kind of business did you outsource to and what were the results?  Is outsourcing working for you?

Best,

Kristi


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