March 2, 2020

How To Know When To Outsource and When To Keep Tasks Internal

Written By Charesse Spiller

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Delegation is one of the most important skills you will need to develop as a business owner. As you continue to grow and build your practice, you won’t be able to do everything as you used to. This is an incredibly positive thing because it is a sign that you are leveling-up!

Delegation is one of the most important skills you will need to develop as a business owner. As you continue to grow and build your practice, you won’t be able to do everything as you used to. This is an incredibly positive thing because it is a sign that you are leveling-up! When you delegate projects, you have two options: you can keep the work in-house with another team member or associate, or you can outsource the work to a professional outside of your organization. Both of these options are ones you will likely face, so how do you know when to outsource and when to keep it close to home?Let’s take a look and find out. 

What Projects Should You Look to Delegate?

Before you decide whether you want to keep projects in-house or outsource them, you need to figure out which projects you want to delegate in the first place. A good place to start is by brainstorming tasks that target the improvement or enhancement of the business, things like:

  • Process and Technology Evaluation

  • HR Hiring and Team Training

  • Marketing and Communications

  • Graphic design

  • IT

  • Compliance

  • Office Support

All of these areas can help improve your business operations and client services. Delegating some IT work can help with process enhancement and workflow optimization. Passing off graphic design work, as another example, to an outside professional or team member with that skill set can enhance your marketing deliverables.You want to focus on delegating the tasks that don’t energize you as a business owner. Does blog writing stress you out? Or maybe you dread implementing processes and workflows? When you are looking to delegate, get tasks off of your plate that you don’t enjoy in order to make time to dedicate to client service work and growing your practice. By delegating, you are able to give the tasks you don’t enjoy to a professional who does. That will increase the value of the work done and give you more time to focus on the client experience. 

What Tasks to Keep In-House

You’ll want to start by doing a little housekeeping and examine each team member’s roles within your company and decide if any of the projects you want to delegate fall into their scope of responsibility. Think through the following questions:

  • Does my employee have the skillset to do this task? If not, will the training be easily accomplished?

  • Does my employee have the capacity to do these added tasks?

  • Has my employee expressed interest in job growth or expansion, and would this project help them achieve that?

  • Will this task be most cost-effective to keep in-house?

Along with your current team rosters’ capacity, skillset, and development, it is also important to consider the financial benefits of retaining some work in-house. Keeping some work internal can help keep businesses costs lower while also giving your employees the chance to grow and expand their role. If your employees are well-versed in the tasks you want to delegate, this will become beneficial if your firm experiences a down season because each team member will be able to push a project along to completion. Some projects that likely make sense to retain in-house are:

  • Business development

  • Client deliverable preparation

  • Ongoing client work (client servicing and seminars)

Again, take the time to look at your team’s current roles and how those roles could expand to more responsibility and leadership with a broader scope. By investing in your employees’ interests and talents, you can help them create a development and career path which could encourage them to stay with your company.Think about the long-term goals of your business and how you see your team growing and evolving. You don’t want to be the only resource for your clients. You want to empower your team to also be strong advocates and resources for them too. If you have a team, give your clients all of the benefits of that team by encouraging your employees to develop and grow. 

When is Outsourcing Valuable?

When you outsource tasks, it should be with the goal to allow you and your employees to double down on what you are good at. Outsourcing gives you the opportunity to hire specialists with diverse experiences like IT support, marketing professionals, and hiring consultants. They are experts at what they do and hiring them can save you and your firm time while also providing added value to your services. When you outsource a service, you can focus on the things that you want to do like serving your clients and creating strategic business plans rather than having to be involved in each and every phase of that execution. Depending on the size of your firm, outsourcing can also help you scale because you aren’t wearing as many hats. It can also increase team morale by not assigning team members projects outside of the scope of their responsibilities and skillsets. You can also outsource projects on an ongoing basis. Maybe you are looking for a new full-time team member but struggle with the expense of the hiring process and supporting another full-time role. By engaging in ongoing outsourcing, you can save your firm valuable resources and can also help you grow. 

Delegate When and How It Makes Sense for You

Delegating is all about freeing up your time, adding increased value to your services, and growing your business. Create your business strategy and approach to delegating as you grow and as your needs change. Start by thinking about how to make your life easier as a busy entrepreneur. What do you want your ideal day to look like? Take that answer and reverse engineer your success. Take a look at your to-do list and identify the tasks that consistently fall behind. It is also important to look at what tasks you do to keep your business running and how much time you spend on those tasks. Would outsourcing it free up your time enough to take on more client work? If so, be sure to make a plan to delegate those tasks that take up way too much of your time and keep you from client work.Delegate in a way that is cost-conscious and gives you the time to invest in your business and clients.

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