Preparing to Outsource

June 5, 20180 Comments

It is important to understand when to add individuals to your business model. Adding a new team member should be an easy transition – that is where the organization comes in. Clearly defined processes such as workflow, workspace, filing systems, and other key functions in the business should be identified. Structure is one of the most overlooked aspects of business success – especially time management and documentation structures.

As a business owner, you have to be disciplined in order to allocate and delegate work to someone else. If you are not disciplined, focused, and organized, how can you expect a new team member to function efficiently?

Do not forget the most crucial ingredient  – you must have something for them to do and it must not interfere with your workflow.  If you do not know what tasks you want your new team member to handle, how is he or she going to know how to help you?

So how do you get prepared for adding new team members? Here are some quick tips to get you started:

Begin by planning time to work on your business each week. This time should be focused exclusively on your business without interruption from the phones, the Internet, email or appointments. You have to be disciplined in order to allocate and delegate work to someone else. This focused time will keep your business in line with your vision.

Identify what you need.  By identifying what you need in the form of a bulleted task list detailed for each business function, such as, marketing, accounting, administration, operations, management, production, distribution, sales, Website maintenance, etc., you will be more organized and allow for the utmost effectiveness and efficiency from yourself and your employees.

Define the skill sets and personality types.  No two employees are exactly alike in the way they view management styles.  Each employee is an individual and will require different styles and will react differently to your individual style.  Pick the employees that best fit your needs. Do not try to clone yourself, it just does not work.

As part of the outlined tasks, have specific, measurable goals within each business function. The second you write your goals down on paper, you make reaching them more of a reality than they were in your mind.  Goals should be S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and timely).

SideBar: I remember years ago when I was interviewing for a corporate position, I had to interview with six people in sequence. Each gave me a different description of the job. Although I figured that the manager had the correct job description, I realized that the company seemed to have some management and goal-setting related challenges so I decided not to work there. Detailing your goals for each business function will ensure you get the right people on your team.

Do your homework to determine what it will cost you to add new team members. You may only need a virtual assistant to get started, but you may also consider a part-time employee or even someone to fill a full-time position.  Just do your research to make the best decision. Start by reviewing your budget for the year. You could hire someone to work just 30 hours a month at $12 per hour to provide support. Be creative with your budget.  Enlist the help of contractors or collaborate with other businesses as an alternative to hiring employees.

Be sure your communication tools (email, phone, mobile, etc.) are in place before you incorporate new team members. You want your new team members to use your company’s communication tools as they communicate on your behalf to ensure a consistent image.

Once you have team members in place:

Communicate.  Be sure your team members understand your expectations and understand the steps he or she needs to take to meet these expectations.

Be patient.  Expect to hit some bumps in the road. It takes time to figure out what works and what does not work. Flexibility is a key necessity during the learning process. I recommend being upfront in the interview in order to set the expectations on the front end rather than waiting until a mistake happens.

Appreciate.  As Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden write, “Contented Cows Give Better Milk.” Your team members will be more motivated if you regularly demonstrate your appreciation of his or her hard work.


Sherese Duncan

© Effició, Inc.

p.s. How are you preparing to outsource? Share in the comments below…

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