START #6: IS IT IMPORTANT?

Often, when starting out in a business, one of the challenges we face is to try and do everything.  Being a one-man show often brings with it the temptation to do more than we really should - often to the detriment of our business, AND our life.

One of the biggest reasons for this - is that it always seems cheaper to do something ourselves - than to pay someone else to do it.  While there are numerous reasons that this isn't true, there are two specific reasons that I think it's worth it to consider hiring someone else (outsourcing) to handle aspects of your business.

My general rule is this: If it's IMPORTANT, and you either 1) hate doing something, or 2) aren't any good at it - it's worth it to pay someone who is.  Basically, outsourcing can save you time and grief when it comes to a lot of areas of business.  Outsourcing can also save you a LOT of money when you begin to consider what your time is worth - and what you can do with your time to grow your business when you take things off your plate.

Some of the most common areas that are worth considering include: Accounting, Legal, Graphic Design, Editing and Order Fulfillment.  For me, I find that I'm no good at accounting, and I'm not a lawyer.  I also don't love doing order fulfillment, so it's worth it to me to pay others to handle these aspects of the business.  

Sometimes it's hard to outsource because we believe that we are good at something, and think we should do it, even if we don't love it.  Or sometimes, we enjoy doing different aspects of our business - even though we really aren't very good at it - if we're truly honest.  

What are some things to consider when looking at outsourcing for your business.

1. Is this person/company an expert? Are they very good at what they do?  Are they recognized by others as being very good?  If you're going to trust your business to someone else, you deserve to know that they are professional and know what they're doing.

2. Do they understand your business and your goals?  When partnering with a vendor such as an accountant, attorney, or designer, it's important to know that they really understand your business - and who you are.  It can be frustrating and discouraging when you're not on the same page - so it's worth it to figure that out up front.  Really good partners will make the effort to get to know you - and invest in making sure it's a good fit for both.

3. Is this someone you can partner with?  A true partner does more than just understand your business - they have a stake in your business.  A good partner is someone who sees your business success as a win for everyone - and they work hard to help you get there.  Instead of just being a "vendor" they truly are a partner

If we're really honest - there are probably a lot of aspects of our business that could benefit from outsourcing.  Just as internal systems can help create margin - nothing can help you more than taking things off your plate completely, by partnering with a trusted vendor that can help you with different aspects of your business.

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