Things You Should NEVER Outsource As a Small Business
As a small business owner, it can be a real struggle to stay at the "top of things". What you should ideally be focusing on is how to run your business and attract new prospects. Like any business however, the things you may want to do may slam into the things that have to be done on a daily basis.
A great way to free up some time so that you can focus on growing the business is by engaging an experienced Virtual Assistant from an experienced outsourcing provider like GetFriday. A Virtual Assistant could be the answer to your growing business demands and help offload run-of-the-mill tasks like handling social media accounts as well as mundane jobs like contacting clients, email management, setting up reminders or devising a travel itinerary for you. The possibilities are endless!
If you have decided to take the leap, be wary, because a bad outsourcing decision can be costlier than not outsourcing in the first place. Keeping that in mind, this post highlights three of the major things that you should NOT outsource as a small business and that are best handled internally. Take a look!
1. NEVER Outsource Your Core Competencies
Never make the mistake of farming out your core competencies to virtual assistants. If you are a tech start-up, do not subcontract your technology or if you are a recruiting firm, don't outsource your recruiters. Figure out what your company is really good at doing and outsource the auxiliary services that are related to these core competencies, if you must.
Let us take the following example. You could hire virtual assistant specialists to write and edit the content that you want to include in your inbound marketing efforts. But make sure that your in-house team makes the business or the editorial decisions as to how the content has to be written, what topics should be covered or the channels that should be used to propagate the content. Part of developing an effective outsourcing plan is to understand what your company is really good at doing and keep it in-house. Outsource the rest to a dependable, virtual assistance service provider.
2. NEVER Outsource What You Don't Understand
There are probably a hundred things that you might want to outsource at the moment, such as getting an assistant to manage your CRM, designing a shopping cart, developing a WordPress website and so much more! While most of these can be outsourced, if you don't really comprehend how they work precisely in accordance to what you need - be it now or later, you could end up investing a lot of money on something that you'll end up substituting very soon.
For example: You are unsure of how to create an online shopping cart, but you know that you require one that connects to your catalogue, can be easily modified, agrees for coupons etc. Even if you don't know how to manually design a shopping cart, you will at least know how it works from an operational point of view. This is a situation that is considered safe for outsourcing. However, if you don't understand the basics of how online shopping carts work at all, it is not advisable to blindly outsource it to a third party like a Virtual Assistant company. Chances are, you will never find out if the solutions they have recommended are effective enough. This is especially true when it comes to outsourcing software issues or technology and if you are a start-up. By relying on Virtual Assistants from the onset, you may miss out on the chance to understand the full picture on how the technology works. Outsource only what you need to. Ensure that the teams in charge have at least a basic understanding of what needs to be accomplished and the yardsticks that will be used to evaluate the final suggestions.
3. NEVER Fully Outsource Your Brand Identity
If you are starting out, you need to focus on brand-building. Understand that you will attract more opportunities if you have built an effective brand strategy. Think of whether you have created an effective logo or brand message that will go on to resonate with your future clients. While there are Virtual Assistant professionals who can help build your brand message, tag lines or designs; your message and your brand identity need to strictly come from YOU. This is because, only you and your in-house teams know what it stands for and how the brand needs to be communicated to target audiences.
Even if you insist on outsourcing this aspect to the experts because you don't have the time for it yourself, you need to at least be involved in the logo/brand creation process every step of the way so, that your brand still retains your identity. For example, would you mind walking into a tattoo studio and letting the tattoo artist instinctively create what he/she wants to, onto your skin? Tattoos are permanent and the first impressions that people get of your brand, are equally indelible. Though the tattoo artist will be creating the final art work, your inputs on how you want it done, the styles, colours or the design will solely come from you and will echo your thoughts/experiences. Now, think of your brand in the same way Would you want to fully outsource your brand identity to a third party?
You might think that you can subcontract every small task to your Virtual Assistant. Though there are a lot of tasks that you CAN outsource to your virtual assistants, certain aspects such as the ones mentioned above, could risk colossal business damage. You need to do some prior homework on what your company does best, understand when the right time is to outsource and the credibility of your outsourcing provider. What do you think? What are some of the functions or tasks that you will never outsource?