The first steps to outsourcing
The first steps to outsourcing
By Amy Milchard – Pink Spaghetti
I haven’t got enough time! When you catch yourself saying that regularly you can’t keep going without some help. Maybe you spotted it, maybe it was someone giving you wise advice. Either way, whether it’s domestically or in work, there will come a point where you need someone else’s skills and support to get things done.
So how do you make the transition?
Be very clear about what you want. Before you go anywhere near approaching anyone for a service to help you, think carefully about what is on your list of responsibilities. At Pink Spaghetti we tend to ask you to think about the following questions:
What are your repetitive tasks?
What don’t you know how to do?
What don’t you like doing?
These tend to be the best areas to hand over to someone else. Gardening, ironing, bookkeeping, these are all repetitive and easy to hand over, and not as expensive as you might think.
Struggling to create a database knowing that other people do it quicker than you? Stop doing it and hand it over.
Organising a house move or a wedding and tearing your hair out sitting on the phone? You can outsource that support to a PA.
Ask for what you want
Be specific about what you want. I want my ironing done isn’t the same as saying I need 12 shirts, all the bedding and all the children’s clothes ironed each week. What do you want? It makes it easier for the person who’s coming in to have clear objectives so they know exactly what you want and neither of you are left guessing.
Similarly, you may have regular deadlines for tasks, you may have branding that must be used on all documents or there may be other processes you’ve devised that you already know work well. If you don’t share this knowledge you won’t get the best service. The person you bring in may be good but won’t be a mind reader!
Be open to change
You may have one way of doing things, and someone else may have a better way. It will feel very alien at first, and even the thought of letting someone in is uncomfortable sometimes. The right person should put you at ease and will listen to you before making suggestions. It’s in their interest to do a good job for you, but it’s in your interest to trust them and allow them to use their expertise to full effect.
When you’re happy, tell people. If you’re not, tell people. Everyone needs feedback and sometimes just a short conversation here and there has the biggest impact. You will always get better results the clearer you are about what you want.
• Start with someone recommended and save yourself the time and disappointment of getting it wrong.
• Know what the impact will be. Choose to outsource something that will immediately make a difference and you’ll soon have not just the benefit of more time but the headspace and clarity to help you in other areas.
• Be kind to yourself. There is nothing to feel guilty about. The most successful people outsource areas of their life and work to people more skilled than them so they can get on with doing a great job at everything else.