Is outsourcing really worth the hassle?
Why are we so afraid of outsourcing? It’s happening a lot more than you think and here’s why.
According to projected figures for 2020, over 50% of the UK workforce will be working remotely. It is no longer a thing of the past or a luxury, it is a natural progression in order to tap into more varied skill sets and to improve the functionality and profits of a business.
There has been a massive surge in flexibility and outsourcing within businesses as thanks to new technology and processes, it can be a seamless operation if carried out effectively. So why are we still so fearful of outsourcing?
There seems to be five main concerns that keep cropping up the more you delve into the world of outsourcing so let’s take a look at these options below:
It’s too expensive
When you look at hiring a permanent member of staff you have a full time salary to account for, including taxes, sick pay, holiday pay, maternity pay, training, desk space, stationery and more. You also have to factor in the time and funds needed to recruit the ideal candidate in the first place.
When you sign contracts with a Virtual Assistant, you pay ONLY for hours worked. A lunch break or a sick day doesn’t even come into the equation. It’s a flat fee with no hidden costs at all. You can pass work across when you need to and also sit together to work out regular day to day tasks and the plans needed in place. With app’s such as Asana, Harvest and many others, you can both access the task lists and see exactly how much time your VA has spent on each task and how many hours you have used so far.
Virtual Assistants bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, injecting valuable expertise, with many having over 20 years behind them, so apart from working on the right systems that suit you both, training is very low cost in terms of time. So effectively, the cost to your business could be £18,000 per year per VA or you could spend between £35-50k per permanent employee. Is it really too expensive to outsource?
No one will work harder than me
No one will love your business quite like you do. But you will find someone that holds the same mindset and goals to make the perfect fit. This comes with research and due diligence so look around and research the experience, the knowledge and skill set, the reviews, word of mouth and then meet with them in person. Are you both well placed together? Are you both really on the same team and excited for the future of your business?
An experienced Virtual Assistant will work incredibly hard, no matter where their office is based. You will struggle to find a ‘half hearted’ VA as they want your business to thrive, they want to see you succeed and with their knowledge and skills, they will be straight on board. When you are the only person working within your business, there is no room to grow. You are already at full capacity as you are quite literally doing it all and you are working incredibly hard; but you are alone.
When you try to juggle every single ball within a business, a ball will undoubtedly drop where you are exhausted and you end up with no work life balance. This can also lead you to despair with your business and lose some enthusiasm when the working days become longer with very little ‘rest’ thrown in. It is time to pull in help and gain some support. This eases the long working days and leaves you to concentrate on the core of your business, that you love, and your productivity will increase.
I will lose control and my authority
This is a common thought. However, you are the boss and always will be. You are hiring someone to work WITH you and FOR you. Support is in place for you to then delegate tasks, to have someone there to use as a sounding board for advice and guidance and free up some of your time away from the back office admin. The way you would pull a meeting together in an office with all Managers and you are the owner – you run the show and your authority is totally respected as that is your position.
It is really hard to trust a complete stranger but this has to come with time, research and gut instinct. You will find someone on the same page as you and your business, where you understand each other and fit like a jigsaw puzzle. You have to open up the lines of communication, trust and be very clear in your aims and the processes you need in place.
Outsourcing is not so difficult when you have very open and honest conversations from the start. You are delegating areas of your business for your benefit, in order to help grow a successful company where this is reflected in your healthy profits. So we would say you are taking control, not losing control. Can you really lose your authority if it was there all along?
Lack of data security and confidentiality
This is a concern high on the list and this is partly a trust issue and also you have to make sure the right processes and protection are in place. There are many tools you can use with the advances of technology now. Take LastPass for instance; you can provide access to all of your accounts and systems etc, without ever having to disclose a single password. As with social media details, you can simply make them admin where necessary. No passwords are disclosed and you are still in control.
Opening up your personal accounting details, your business bank accounts, your home address, your family details and allowing a complete stranger to assist you with these is a panic attack in itself. However, you can disclose as much or as little as you require. If you want a Business and Personal PA then you have to have mutual trust which will be reinforced with the confidentiality agreements in place, the highly adequate tools and processes in place that hold a high level of security and an experienced VA will have all of this in place waiting to protect you and your business.
Some have worked with many high profile business people and they are fully versed in the latest laws and practices surrounding private information and the sharing of this data. Again, with research and open discussion, your mind can be put at rest that they are there as an extension of your business and that the practices and procedures are tight. No one will be breaking the law, no information will be shared and a VA can reassure you that both your personal life and your business are in safe hands. They are there to support you. Is there a lack of security or a lack of trust?
My company is too small to outsource at the moment
Our cash flow is always a worry. We want to hang on tight to every penny in those first few years. However, you will never grow your business by having this mindset. We see it every day with small business owners who have solely worked on their business and the hours they have put in have been mind blowing. We have all done it because it’s our dreams, our passion, our life.
This is highly commendable, but when do you reach the point of becoming a stagnated business? You are doing everything you should, you have a great following on social media, the books are in order and a healthy stream of regular customers. You just need to go a bit further to break even or make a decent wage that you can live on, or even pull away from your full time job. But the cash flow just isn’t quite there yet. However, you will have to spend money to make money and push your business further.
A business needs to concentrate on new sales, new leads and to pull in extra revenue and fully utilise every resource available. You are solely working at full capacity, so now is the time to pull in the extra hands so that you can free up your hands to concentrate on the core of the business. If you are running around constantly keeping things afloat, who is gaining new business? Either delegate the day to day managing of the business to a VA, or hire some help to push sales and revenue. Do you really want your company to stay small?
Virtual Assistants can offer various forms of office support, guidance, advice and experience. So whilst many think outsourcing is too hard, too expensive, too time consuming to operate; the set up and all of the other concerns that come with it, head over to www.praemando.co.uk to just take a look. Don’t’ be afraid. It’s exciting and we hope to work with you soon.