“You shouldn’t go LLC.”
“You have to spend a lot of money to make a lot of money!”
“Don’t rock the boat. Go for the sure thing.”
It doesn’t matter if it’s a virtual business or a brick-and-mortar business–if you’re a business owner, you’ve likely gotten a lot of advice from loved ones, friends, and colleagues on how to run your business along the way.
Any successful entrepreneur knows that it’s important to be open to advice, suggestions, and different perspectives, but sometimes, the advice you receive is just plain awful.
The worst advice we’ve heard about outsourcing
“Don’t outsource. You have to hire a few full-time employees right away.”
This is the worst advice we’ve ever heard. After the challenge of bootstrapping your business, you’re supposed to hire a full-time team with salaries and benefits? Absolutely not. You can relax because this isn’t the case.
In reality, you’re better off outsourcing your tasks to qualified virtual assistants, virtual receptionists, freelancers, or remote part-time employees. Why?
There are several reasons to avoid hiring full-time, especially when you’re a new virtual business:
- Salaries are expensive. And depending on the level of experience you’re looking for in an employee, that salary could be really, really expensive. Is that something you want to commit to so soon?
- Don’t forget about supplying benefits, employee taxes, and unemployment insurance. Hiring full-time means you’ll also have to take care of these costs.
- You pay a full-time employee whether there’s work to be done or not. While you might be busy with a project now, does the role really need to be full time? You’ll probably be better off outsourcing.
- Outsourcing enables you to get specialized or general work done at a fraction of the cost of hiring full time.
It’s much cheaper outsourcing your tasks to experienced people than it is to hire them full-time, and saving money leaves more capital for your business. But how do you decide which tasks to outsource?
Choosing which tasks to outsource
It’s helpful to first consider what your objective for outsourcing is. Do you want to make more time for yourself? Do you want to spend less time on specific tasks? Are there some tasks that you dread doing altogether? Put together a list of what you’d like to accomplish by outsourcing, whether that’s “I want someone to manage my calendar for me” or “I want to take an hour to go to the gym each day without missing any calls or emails.”
Now, make a more detailed list of what you do at your business each day, week, month, and year. Be as broad or specific as you want. Your list might look like this:
Having a bird’s eye view of your business practices will help you make better decisions on what tasks should be outsourced, and putting this list together will make you focus on the areas you need the most help in.
For example, say you’ve started a web hosting company and realize that your customer support is time-consuming and not as efficient as it could be. This would help you make the decision to outsource that support to a virtual customer support team. This ends up giving your customers the best support possible while giving you back the time normally spent, saving you the cost of a salary and benefits, and maintaining a professional and helpful image with your customers.
While we enjoy advice from well-meaning people as much as anyone, we also know it’s important to trust your instincts and gut reactions when it comes to outsourcing. Others may have great points, suggestions, and experiences to share with you, but in the end, only you know what is right for your business because only you have any stake in its’ success or failure.
“Don’t outsource. You have to hire a few full-time employees right away.” That’s the worst advice we’ve ever heard. What’s yours? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section!
Want more? Read about what you can outsource when running a virtual office: