To outsource, or not to outsource? If you’re on the fence, these reads will make you rethink outsourcing for your business…
Outsourcing solves a whole heap of challenges. If your business is reaching that stage where you’re already running at full steam and one more project could tip things into a code red, resource disaster, you can get extra help without needing to go through the recruitment process, only to realise 3 months down the line that things have quieted down and you maybe didn’t need to hire someone (that’s never ideal).
The thing is, there are common myths about outsourcing, like ‘they need to be integrated in the the team to do a good job’ or ‘they’re always more expensive’. We’ve also heard that they’re ‘not trustworthy’ or ‘you spend more time briefing them than actually getting the work done’. Sound familiar? Well, we’re here to assure you that this
is total bollocks isn’t the case. Like any job, it totally depends on the source – here at ibLE all of our Virtual Assistant’s are fully-trained PAs with years of experience and buckets of know-how, to make outsourcing a total breeze.
Still not convinced? Give these a read…
Smartsourcing: Driving Innovation and Growth Through Outsourcing
If the name doesn’t give it away already, this book delves into how you can shuffle your processes to collaborate with service providers to save money, save time and make your business run like a well-oiled machine. It’s written by Thomas M Koulopoulos (it’s okay, it took us 3 attempts to pronounce it correctly too), who’s the CEO and Founder of Delphi group, an Inc. 500 consultancy company with nearly 20,000 clients and offices in six countries. Thomas has written for the likes of Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Economist and CNBC, to name a few, so it’s safe to say, he knows his stuff.
Buy the book here: Smartsourcing: Driving Innovation and Growth Through Outsourcing
Effort scale: 9 (pretty long book, lots of technical language, but super helpful once you get into the flow of it. A week or so of commute or bedtime reading)
Deloitte Global Outsourcing Summary
In 2018, finance and consultancy giant, Deloitte surveyed more than 500 executives from leading businesses across 25 sectors and six industries who work in Europe, America and Asia. So, they’ve done their research. This massive study brings together insight, real life stories, lessons and experience on how these businesses develop processes that allow outsourcing and automation to work hand in hand. If you’re a big fan of stats (who isn’t?) this is a great read for you.
Download for free here: Deloitte Global Outsourcing Summary
Effort scale: 5 (take an hour and read this a few times and take notes! These things are only useful if you apply the info to your own business or situation)
Biggest Time Wasting Tasks for Start-Ups (and How to Get That Time Back)
Not to toot our own horn, but this is a blog that we wrote on the most commons tasks that we get from start-ups and the time that could be saved from outsourcing to a Virtual PA. When we added them all up, we found that over 3 working weeks worth of time could be saved, which makes ticking off that to-do list a whole lot less stressful. Grab a biscuit and sit down for this quick read that lists example tasks that can be outsourced to a Virtual PA beyond diary management (although, we totally love that too).
Read the blog here: Biggest Time Wasting Tasks for Start-Ups
Effort scale: 3 (takes like 5 minutes to read, list-style, easy to understand)
14 Multi-Million Companies Who Were Built Leveraging Outsourced And Remote Developers
Okay, this article by Codeable is more about outsourcing Web and App Developers, but stay with us. Whether you’re looking for a Developer or y’know, a Virtual Assistant, the principal is the same. These are just 14 of the most successful companies in the world who are where they are today because of outsourcing. Hey, if Alibaba and Slack can do it, so can you.
Read the article here: 14 Multi-Million Companies Who Were Build Leveraging Outsourced and Remote Developers
Effort scale: 4 (Slightly longer read, but really valuable and lots of great stories and stats in there. Maybe grab two biscuits for this one).
The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich
Tim Ferris’ book-come-blog is pretty much the bible of outsourcing. Whether you own a massive company or it’s just you on your own, Tim talks about how outsourcing can save time and cut the ties that are binding you to your desk. Okay, so we’re slightly sceptical on the 4 hour work week thing (it would be fun for like, a month) but it does totally shift perspectives on what’s possible and this 9-5 pattern that’s been handed down to us from about 200 years ago. The book is aimed more towards individuals, but on a bigger scale, take this thinking and apply it to key people within your business to make the most of their time. Now, who wants to book a flight to the Bahamas?
Buy the book here: The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich
Effort scale: 7 (Needs a week or so of reading – commute, or pool-side – but easy to understand and loads of great references in there.)
To Outsource or Not to Outsource? Ask these 3 Questions First
This article on Forbes, by Brent Tilson gives you three simple questions to ask when you’re in that ‘should we, shouldn’t we?’ stage of outsourcing.
Do these business functions differentiate us or give us a competitive advantage in the market?
Translation: Should we keep this in-house if it’s what makes us unique?
How important is it to mitigate the risk if it isn’t done correctly or in a timely fashion?
Translation: Do we have time to brief this properly or go through even the slightest amends?
Does the cost of managing it internally exceed the value it brings to the organisation?
Translation: Is it a total pain in the arse to do this ourselves and would we much rather have someone else take care of it?
Use these questions as benchmarks when you’re thinking about outsourcing and if you answer them as ‘No, Yes, Yes’ you’re good to go.
Read the article here: To Outsource or Not to Outsource? Ask These 3 Questions First
Effort scale: 2 (We’ve pretty much given you the main gist here already, but if you want to give the full article a read, you can do so in about 5 minutes)
What 40 Successful Entrepreneurs Can Teach You about Hiring a Virtual Assistant
Income Diary pulled together a list of 40 (yep, 4-0) Entrepreneurs who outsourced a Virtual Assistant. These are real-life experiences across Entrepreneurs of all levels, so there’s a real varied bunch there. They speak more from a personal perspective, but it’s good to hear how outsourcing helped them to run their businesses.
Read the full list here: What 40 Successful Entrepreneurs Can Teach You about Hiring a Virtual Assistant
Effort scale: 5 (quite a long read, but a good one to reference here and there)
All of these reads offer something different when it comes to that crunch point of outsourcing, but really, the best way to make a decision is to think about what your business does and if there are any gaps that outsourcing can help to fill. The great thing about it is that it’s totally flexible, just like our Virtual Assistants. You only pay for what you need, when you need it most. If you’re still unsure, you can outsource our VA’s in just 5 minute increments – no lengthy contracts – just test it out and see if outsourcing works for your business.