Why Knowing When to Outsource Is Essential for Your Success as a Digital Entrepreneur

Why Knowing When to Outsource Is Essential for Your Success as a Digital Entrepreneur

*** Contributed Post

The digital age has brought with it an unprecedented number of ways to make it as an entrepreneur, not to mention a virtually limitless number of fields that an entrepreneurially minded person can choose to specialise in.

Of course, the other side of that coin is that the digital age has also brought with it a large number of ways to make unfortunate business mistakes and hamper your professional progress via your own inability to effectively handle and adapt to the nuances of your field.

While some of these issue and stumbling blocks are, indeed, rooted in the internet and digital technologies themselves, a good number of others are simply the result of timeless mishaps that have dogged entrepreneurs and small business owners for just about as long as people have been working and earning money.

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One of the classic blunders that afflict many entrepreneurs — digital and otherwise — is an inability to outsource, or the overwhelming desire to micro-manage every aspect of the business to the point where any other team or staff members are essentially left unable to do their job.

As it so happens, learning to outsource effectively might be even more essential for digital entrepreneurs as for others. So, if you notice a tendency in yourself to try and “do it all yourself” to the detriment of your business, consider hiring a company like Scarlett Group to take care of IT and other branches of your business, so that you can focus on your core competencies.

Here are some reasons why knowing when to outsource is essential for your success as a digital entrepreneur.

The business world is more complex today than ever before

One undeniable feature of the hyper-connected digital world which we all currently inhabit, is that things are simply more complicated than they’ve ever been before, across a wide variety of measures.

Whereas it was once the case that virtually every job was constrained by certain practicalities, borders, and technologies, virtually everything is up in the air now in this age of never-ending innovation, lightning-fast global communication, and the endless flow of information that characterises 21st Century living.

If you don’t police your productivity and your attention ruthlessly, you could spend all day, every day, fruitlessly trying to identify and apply different business strategies, new technologies, and so on.

Likewise, if you run a moderately successful business of almost any type, you could easily spread yourself far too thin by going above and beyond the call of duty in order to act as a fully-fledged team, all by yourself, while seeking to perform all the increasingly nuanced and specialised roles of a full team, all with the time and likely energy levels of any other normal person.

To put it simply, the digital age has made the business world more complex than ever before. It’s absolutely essential for any entrepreneur who wants to be successful, to know how best to spend their time in any given moment, while also having a good understanding of where their time is only wasted.

Outsourcing can be the key to ensuring that you don’t get swamped trying to do an endless number of jobs that you’re not specialised for.

You only have as much time in the day as anyone else

Tied in to the point above, is the clear and evident fact that you simply don’t have an endless amount of time. In fact, it’s one of those weird and wonderful facts of life that every single person who lives today, and who has ever lived, and who ever will live — the most ludicrously productive, and the laziest and most prone to procrastination alike — all have the exact same number of hours, minutes, and seconds in a day.

It may seem bizarre at first glance to think that you have just as much of this vital resource as someone like Richard Branson or Warren Buffet, but there’s something empowering in this fundamental understanding, too.

That is, it’s empowering if you understand the fundamental lesson of this. Which is that you need to treat your time as the most valuable and essential resource you could ever possess, and then you’ll be able to appropriately handle it, by doing the most essential thing you can with each moment you have available.

This is pretty much the same as saying that you really need to learn to outsource and defer tasks to others as and when it’s appropriate and expedient to do so.

If you waste this vital resource on tasks that are not very important, or that you’re not very good at, while neglecting those tasks that really need your attention, you’re setting yourself up for a disastrous failure down the line.

Other people can do things that you can’t

This point should be self-evident, but a large part of the reason why many entrepreneurs try to do it all themselves, is often that they’ve convinced themselves that no one else can do anything for their business quite as well, and with quite as much attention to detail, as they can.

While it’s certainly likely to be the case that no one will be as invested in your business as you are, it’s a complete fallacy to think that no one could do a better job in handling a particular aspect of your job than you can.

It’s highly unlikely that you will be a brilliant administrator, an excellent marketer, a superb IT specialist, a product development pro, a logistics maestro, and be otherwise proficient to a high degree in everything that goes into running a successful business.

If you put your ego and paranoia aside and are willing to explore outsourcing as a feasible option for various “departments” of your business, you can benefit greatly from the expertise of people who have developed their careers around becoming proficient in one or two specific areas, which in all likelihood are going to be different from the areas in which you’re proficient — no matter how much of a renaissance man, or woman, you might be.

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Finding the ideal Virtual Assistant for you and your business

Finding the ideal Virtual Assistant for you and your business

So you have finally realized that you definitely need some help in order to run your business as smoothly as possible – You’re getting more clientele, you’re finding that the tasks you used to love doing are too time-consuming, you’re staying much later at work or spending too much time at your computer at home trying to get things done.  You missed a great family gathering the other day because you just had to get a few things done, and before you knew it, the whole evening was gone and you haven’t even begun to get yourself ready to go out – UGHH!  This is not what you had in mind when you decided to start your own business!

Ok, now you are totally set on getting yourself a VA!

The first question you will probably be asking yourself is, how do I know which VA is right for me? Where do I even begin to look for a Virtual Assistant?  Here are a few very helpful hints that will assist you in finding the kind of VA that you can count on and feel comfortable with.

To start your search for that ‘perfect VA’, ask the people around you that you are working with on line – perhaps your clientele, or a forum or chat room, or especially a business coach who knows their way around the web.  Get some referrals and make yourself a list to keep notes so that once you contact them and have interviewed them, you can look over your list and decide yourself who would be best-suited to be your assistant for the kind of business that you are running.  Most of the VA’s out there will offer a free consultation – so you can set up a time/interview with them and see what they’re all about.  After speaking with each potential VA, you should have gathered enough information about her services and qualifications to see which one will be suitable for you and your business.

Another good place to check into VA’s is Virtual Assistant Forums – easy enough to do!  Just Google Virtual Assistant Forums and you will get a whole list of forums that you can search.  First start with a couple of the most popular forums and that will give you a good starting point.

  • VAnetworking.com – this site is a large forum that has plenty of Virtual Assistants. On one of the tabs, there’s a section where you can search by country – or for the USA you can search by state –  OR – you can even post an RFP (request for proposal) which will be posted on the forum for all potential VA’s to see!
  • VirtualAssistantForums.com – here is another huge forum that has loads of VA’s on it. You can browse for distinct qualifications www.virtualassistantforums.com/directory/ - and you also have the option of posting an RPF here as well.

In addition, there are also some very popular outsourcing sites, such as Elance and oDesk.  These are not the same as the forums we mentioned and maybe they should not be your first priority to look for a VA, especially for the newbies, BUT they can be helpful.  You would have to put up your profile on the 2 websites and post the jobs that you need help with.  You will be receiving bids from VA’s all over the world, giving you the opportunity to choose the ones that best suits your needs, dependent on their expertise and ratings.

Another place to check for VA’s is LINKEDIN.  Just do a search for Virtual Assistant, adding any specific qualifications, i.e. Webinar – Infusionsoft – Autoresponders etc.  There are plenty of choices out there.

The best part is that they will be categorized, pending how closely connected you are.

 

Robyn here! I’ve had a passion for technology for as long as I can remember. I bring a variety of skills and experience to any business, which have been gained with over 25 years of experience as an administrative and IT professional. Learn more…

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