“If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not,
you’re putting yourself out of business”
– Lee Kuan Yew

It is important, as a business owner, to be able to delegate and outsource.

It is often difficult to admit that you cannot do everything yourself, however, the secret to be a successful business owner, is not to persist in doing something that you are bad at, and mistake it for determination, but rather to re-focus on what you do best.

This may mean outsourcing the non-strategic functions in your business, or re-looking at your existing internal resources, which, with a little tweaking, may end up working better than you thought they would.
There is a growing trend to outsource certain functions to outside experts, and the benefits of doing so can be enormous. Given the effectiveness and reach of today’s desktop technology, it does seem to make more and more sense to do so.

The outsourcing process does take some time and effort to get right, and it would make sense to have a framework to benchmark yourself against:

  • Alignment: Is outsourcing the right move for your business?
  • Business case: have you taken all costs into consideration?
  • Culture: can you bridge the cultural difference between your business and the outsourced service provider? Outsourcing will involve building a working relationship with the outsourced service provider and allowing your in-house staff to adjust to the new processes.
  • Delivery: how will you define success?

It is important not to outsource operations that define the core mission of your business, and that are strategic functions. It may also not be a good idea to outsource projects that would involve team interaction or brainstorming. Self-contained tasks or projects are more suited to outsourcing.

It is also very important to remember that when you do outsource, you are outsourcing functions and not accountability. It is therefore important that responsibility is allocated to someone in your business – for follow up and liaison with the outsourced service provider.