Recently, I read an article in a blog post that recommended if you are a small business owner or manager, you should consider outsourcing some of your duties. A business owner, especially one who must control everything, can’t do it all and expect great results. There is never enough time in a day.
I recall during a Q&A with a prospect on why I should help him build a marketing plan, stated one of his goals for the plan was to take a vacation. Just as I asked why, he quickly answered he has not had one since he started his business eight years ago.
I agree with the outsource concept, but if you go that route, you must be cautious. I’ve outsourced a variety of services in the past 20 years. Just like anything else, there was some good, some bad, and some were from a different planet.
If I sound like I’m more skeptical than confident, I am. For example:
1. Set communication guidelines but specifically if and how the person can interact with clients and employees. Why is this ranked number one you ask?
I outsourced a new web site project and toward completion, the designer called my client without consulting me. He told her the change she wanted to make would hurt the look of his design. To make a long story short, for me, it was bye-bye client.
2. An accountant gave me bad advice, which in turn cost me time and money.
3. A cocky copywriter told me how to present his excellent copy and why it was done that way. His copy was way off base and then presented a bill that was twice of what was proposed.
There are more, but I chalked it up to experience and moved on. So what are my words of wisdom on outsourcing?
If you pursue this outsource objective, you must interview more than one person, (unless your first choice is a consummate professional that came highly recommended from a trusted colleague),
· at least 5 years of experience and service in his or her specialty and,
· provide at least three referrals that you can call.
Lastly, if you are happy with the answers, start out on a specific trial basis with the person until you are completely satisfied.
Outsourcing is a great idea, but interview potential people like your business depends on it. It does.
Thinking about outsourcing marketing? Give the Doc a call. I do make house calls. Let me know what you think.