How can I bring myself to outsource tasks?
I’m working from home and am quite overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that I have to handle. However, I’m reluctant to outsource anything, as I like being in control. Do I just need to get over this attitude?
Every business must learn to rely upon the strengths of its supply chain, the support of family and friends, the quality of staff and a network of outsourced resources.
This enables the business to thrive. Notwithstanding this reality, you still need to enjoy being in charge and staying on top of your game.
There is nothing wrong with being a control freak when it comes to handling your home-based business provided that you are really in control and the business is not in the driver's seat.
Claire Heaney, in 101 Ways to Kickstart Your Business, says: "Often the head of the business has invested his or her heart and soul in the business — It is more than money.”
“Their whole identity and status is tied up in the business. Everything from being the boss to having the prime car spot and being respected by the staff and because too often they have spent every waking moment in the business they have no other interests. They fear taking a back seat."
Yes, it is vital to learn how to let go, identify your own strengths and outsource against weaknesses after you have completed a thorough SWOT Analysis. (Have a look at p.26-28 of my book No Workplace Like Home)
You can maintain your sense of control by outsourcing many of the routine elements of your business.
Find local secretarial services that can assist with the urgent mail-outs or engage an answering service that sends a text message to your mobile phone when a customer leaves a message. This frees you to convert your sense of control into a capacity to convert customers into an effective sales force for your business.
You need to engage consultants to assist with business plan development and to extend your span of control by finding new market opportunities and challenge the tendency to talk yourself into a more of the same mentality.
The real key to successful outsourcing is to consider it as testing out the potential for taking on new customers and new employees as the business expands so that you can curb over-enthusiasm that can leave you stressed and overworked.
At the end of the day it comes down to establishing priorities amongst all that stuff that you have to handle.
Make four piles:
- The things that maintain your sense of commitment and enthusiasm for your thriving business;
- Customer services requirements that maintain cash flow and need constant attention like accounts receivable and inventory control that can be delegated to full or part-time staff;
- Stuff that can be outsourced under clear work contracts that require minimal supervision and;
- Things that should have been abandoned long ago to give you back a sense of control over your life.
That way you cease being overwhelmed by the range and variety of demands generated by a growing business and it will give you back the thrill and the challenge of being your own boss.
You need to see outsourcing as a way for you discover innovative solutions and make sure that your business stays at the forefront of creative endeavours.