A wise woman once said “Don’t eat your frog – outsource it!”. Whilst I have nothing against frogs, I’d prefer a pizza…

So what stops us from outsourcing? The fear of unknown costs? The fear of being ripped off? The fear that we will spend as long explaining what needs doing as we would actually doing it ourselves? I can honestly say I have had all of these thoughts. So how do we overcome these fears?

Firstly, don’t just look for someone in the phone book / free paper – get a personal recommendation, and preferably from someone who has actually used their services. If someone you know gives you a recommendation they are taking a risk that the person they have recommended to you is worth their salt, so on this basis, you’re unlikely to get a dud!

Secondly, set a budget – this way you can make sure you get something you can afford and neither party is wasting their time. Agree costs upfront. Agree a deadline.

Finally, set the task. The person you are choosing to work with is an expert in their field, so the chances are they can complete your task in far less time than you would and on many occasions, they will do it better! Quite often, the cost of outsourcing a task when compared to your cost per hour, multiplied by the time it will take you to complete, is less. The additional bonus to this is that you have the satisfaction of not doing this task (as let’s face it, if you liked it, you wouldn’t outsource it!) and spending your time doing something you do enjoy – like growing your business.

Let’s be honest, no one likes parting with money when they don’t have to and I’m no different! But by comparing the cost for you to complete a task to the cost to outsource, it is highly likely that outsourcing is the cost effective option.
The most recent thing I outsourced was a tech issue. I’m competent on computers but I know my limits! I know that if I had spent enough time on the internet searching for instructions, I could probably have done it myself, I certainly set off with that intention.

After a few wasted hours on our favourite search engine I decided to bite the bullet and get a professional in. I’m glad I did. Time saved, hassle eliminated and the job done quickly, efficiently and professionally. It saved me money and time, plus I can now make a personal recommendation based on the service I received.

One last thing and it’s slightly off at a tangent… When was the last time you received really great service? Did you shout about it? We are a nation of complainers (and when it’s appropriate why shouldn’t we), but statistics prove we don’t shout as loudly about good service as we do about poor service.

So the next time you have a good experience at a meeting / training course / restaurant / whatever, let them know. The same goes for people you work with in the course of your business. If you’ve worked with someone and you would recommend them, take some time to write them a personal recommendation for their LinkedIn profile / Facebook Page / Website. As we’ve seen today, recommendations sell and who knows, people may do the same for you!

So I don’t know about you, but I’ll be having the four seasons 😉

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