Business growth is closely associated with introducing more value, improved customer service and new products/services to your clients. To make that possible an entrepreneur will either have to learn new skills or outsource specific tasks. It takes a lot of careful consideration to choose the right option for your business at a particular point in time. It's a complex decision taking into account a number of factors, therefore one can't be deemed better than the other in 100% of the cases. However, I hope that after reading this article you will be able to decide whether you need to learn new skills or outsource some aspects of your business activities.
Why Learn New Skills
Learning is always good because it helps your personal growth. It can be extremely beneficial in business too because it expands your knowledge and allows you to provide better service or increase the scope of your offerings. While learning new skills, you will soon notice a boost in creativity. The more you challenge your brain, the more incredible results you get. The main benefit from adding to your knowledge for most entrepreneurs remains the fact that they are able to save money in the long run by executing tasks themselves.
When to Learn New Skills
Learning new skills may be the absolute right move in some situations. Here are some of the factors to consider:
You should learn a new skill if it is or relates to something you enjoy. Do you like numbers? Perhaps you could learn how to do your business accounts yourself. Are you good at graphic design? Give animated video editing a go.
Learn new skills in areas that are closely related to what you do. For example, in my case as a copywriter and content marketer I had to learn SEO to provide extra value to my clients.
If you can see the long term benefits of adding more to your skillset, go ahead and do it. For example - staying ahead of the competition, being able to execute tasks just as you want them to be done, getting more clients through expanded service/product offering, saving money.
When you are not time restricted, you can afford to spend weeks or months learning new skills and then implementing them in your business activities.
Investing time and efforts into expanding your knowledge for business purposes is not always feasible. Sometimes outsourcing specific tasks to other professionals makes much more sense. A web designer who has been in business for 10 years sits on much higher level of expertise than someone who has just completed a course or two. Therefore, trusting your corporate website in the hands of an established professional is the better call in this case. Outsourcing also allows you to save time as you don't have to do a bunch of tasks yourself, keeping your focus on business development and your specific areas of expertise.
When to Outsource
Outsourcing is the best choice in particular scenarios. Here are some indicators that should prompt you to give the job to an expert rather than trying to do it yourself.
Outsource tasks that you have no clue how to execute or don't like doing. Normally, when you engage in activities you dislike, but feel pressured to do so, it takes you longer time to complete them and drains your energy. Some people are great speakers but writing is certainly not their thing. That's why many entrepreneurs outsource writing jobs to freelancers and agencies.
If you are not confident in your ability to do the job at hand to an expert level, give it to someone who has a proven track record in the field. This can potentially save you a lot of money and trouble from unhappy clients, as well as other issues.
When you need something done quickly, you certainly don't have the time to learn how to do it yourself. Even if you have the relevant skills, you may not have the physical capacity to finish on time. That is a good time to outsource the task to another professional.
If you have the financial resources and it makes sense for your business to assign projects or business activities to outsiders, by all means do it. It will give you the mental capacity to manage your venture in a much better way because you won't have to split your time and attention to cover all that has to be done.
What are the Most Commonly Outsourced Tasks
In 2017, the most commonly outsourced activities in businesses worldwide were:
Customer Service (Call centres, Social Media Management)
Copywriting & Content Marketing
Web Design & IT Services (Hosting, Web support, SEO)
In this stage of your business, what kind of jobs you do yourself and what do you outsource? Are you a one-man/woman show? Is it working for you? Would you like to offload some of the business activities you have on your To Do List? What is stopping you?
I am really keen on finding out the answers to the questions above. In MBC we do quite a lot of stuff ourselves, but we outsource accounting at the moment. We also work in partnership with a specialist web design company to be able to offer this as a service to our clients. As we grow, the scope of our outsourced jobs will also increase. Now I'd love to read how you manage things in your business. Let me know below.