One trait successful entrepreneurs almost all have in common is the ability to say “no” — to dodgy proposals, out-of-left-field ideas, clients who bring a whole rat’s nest of strings to the relationship.
Still, many business owners like to think they can do it all. Maybe you’re one of them.
What separates the truly great from the just-pretty-good is the ability to know when you’re better off outsourcing non-core business processes to outside partners capable of doing them right. These process might be super specialized and high-value; they might be wholly commoditized; or they might fall somewhere in the middle. What unites them is the simple fact that they’re not central to your core operations — your moneymaker, as it were.
Let’s take a look at five processes ripe for outsourcing. Which are you still doing in-house?
1. Bookkeeping and Accounting
Step away from the Excel spreadsheet. You deserve to reclaim the hard-won time you spend toiling away at your profit-and-loss statements. Run a deep dive on the best small-business accounting software options, then vet qualified CPAs that with a track record in your industry. Unless you’re in the accounting business yourself, you shouldn’t be doing your own books.
2. 3D Scanning and Modeling
Whether you have regular use for 3D-printed models or simply need detailed CAD models for prototyping or schematics, you’ll want to turn to a dependable 3D scanning partner. Scanning needs and technologies vary widely, of course, so be sure to go through a detailed 3D scanner comparison with prospective partners.
3. Legal Document Preparation
Yes, you can find a lot of basic, easily customized legal documents on low-cost cloud platforms like LegalZoom. But, for more complicated contracts and legal instruments, not to mention court filings, you still need a bona fide lawyer. (Is that a legal term?) Look for a firm whose philosophy aligns with yours, that has attorneys licensed to your state bar(s), and that has a proven track record of success representing companies in your industry.
4. Data Entry
Data entry is dull, friend. You’re not going to put your best people on it, but you shouldn’t trust the interns with sensitive information either. Opt for a middle ground: a trusted data entry partner with the chops to effectively, efficiently, and accurately process your numbers.
5. Customer Service
Time was, even the smallest companies had to handle their customer contact needs in-house — or outsource to sketchy third-party call centers in faraway lands. Today, you don’t have to settle. Affordable, U.S.-based customer service is well within reach.
Stick to What You Know, and Do It Well
As the (not so) old saying goes, “you do you.” Why stretch yourself thin to chase non-core processes and practices when you’ve got plenty going on in your wheelhouse?
Moreover, you know better than anyone that these five business processes aren’t the only ones that you could probably do to outsource to more capable hands. If you’re still micromanaging your own HR or preparing your own taxes by hand, you’re behind the times. (Unless your competitors are all doing the same, in which case: more power to you all.)
Here’s to working smarter, not harder — and knowing when to say “no, thanks: someone else can do it better.”