During the past two posts I might have convinced you to think about looking for some help. You might call people, get some quotes for some assistance, and then have sticker shock (especially if you have not had contractors working for you).
A few things to keep in mind.
- Self-employed. Most likely, the people working for you are contractors. They are not employees. You don’t need to cover any of their expenses. Office space? They work at their own home. Computer/technology? They come with all the tools they need. Training? You’ll only need to train them in the specifics of your individual business.
- You get what you pay for. There are some REALLY inexpensive service providers out there. In the “Related Articles” section there’s an article by someone that tried outsourcing to India. If you’re tempted to go with the least expensive route, PLEASE read this first.
- Return on time. In my last post I mentioned the return on time investment. There’s also a return on time. If your billing rate is $150 to $200 an hour for coaching or consulting and you bring on (for example) a virtual assistant that has a billing rate of $40 to $75, per hour your time is more valuable if you’re spending it with your clients. Also, if you hire someone to do work for you, chances are their “hour” isn’t the same as your “hour.” For instance, an experienced bookkeeper that understands a business can probably go through their books much faster than a business owner can. (I’ve never timed myself doing an oil change – but I can take an educated guess that it would take me a lot longer than 10 minutes.)
- Preparation. This weekend Last Fling (the “end of summer” event) is happening in Naperville, Illinois. People will show up Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday and listen to bands, ride rides, eat funnel cakes and BBQ, drink beer, and have a generally good time. Every morning I walk on the riverwalk and there is a flurry of activity in the days leading up to Last Fling (see photos on the right). Stages are put up for concerts, carnival rides appear, streets are closed and orange fencing is put up just about everywhere. Beer tents go up, porta potties are put in (did I mention the beer tents), and hand sanitizing stations are set up (did I mention the porta potties). Many man hours are put in before the event even lifts off. It’s the same with most contractors. They might enjoy what they’re doing, and it might look like it’s really easy for them, but many hours (or even years) of learning and studying went into building their skills.
- Final word of advice. Many people will look for the least expensive option (read that article about the guy that outsourced to India), and sometimes people go find some talent on Fivvr or some other platform. There’s certainly some work that can be done on the quick and on the cheap. But if there’s something that you’re doing that involves giving a person access to proprietary information, make sure that the person is a professional you trust. You do not want to give account information or access to your mailing list to a person that you don’t know is trustworthy.
- I Outsourced All My Most Mundane Personal Tasks to India (It was a Disaster.) Farhad Manjoo (slate.com)
- Outsourcing: What We Can Learn From Harry Potter. Mary Wu (marywuva.com)
- Outsourcing: Finding The Right Partners. Mary Wu (marywuva.com)
- Outsourcing: Letting Go. Mary Wu (marywuva.com)
- How Does a Bookkeeper Charge for Their Bookkeeping Service? L. Kenway B Comm CPB (bookkeeping-essentials.com)