I first heard about outsourcing my life a few years ago after discovering the book The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. Most of his outsource resources were overseas in The Philippines and India, which didn’t really suit my needs at the time. Now that we’re in 2017, we’re looking at an outsourcing economy.
What does outsourcing mean?
According to Merriam-Webster:
The first known use of the term was back in 1979, but it didn’t become a popular business term until ten years later. This was mainly due to the availability of work through the internet. Seems like that’s when everything changed.
Why should I outsource work?
The epidemic of overworking is running rampant throughout the U.S. economy. With the prevalence of smartphones, it’s not just business owners and managers that are expected to be “on” at all times. The expectation for constant communication has been set SO HIGH. Though overseas in France they’ve implemented a “right to disconnect law,” over here in the U.S., customers, clients, and managers expect workers to be available 24/7.
Not everyone has that kind of time.
How do you know if your employees are overworked?
- Lower productivity
- Decreased quality of work
- Frequent tardiness and absenteeism
- Lack of teamwork
- Creation of “cliques”
- No time for employees to bond
- No celebration of employee excellence
Is overworking the only good reason to outsource?
Nope! There are many reasons to hire outside of your own company, from lower and more flexible costs to focusing on your business. And AktrionFood.com gives these reasons:
Some even theorize that time, like money, can be considered an “appreciable asset that can grow with a compounding effect over time if the gains are re-invested.” HUH? In laymen’s terms, time is money. Use it wisely: off shooting menial tasks and using a call answering service or hiring a virtual receptionist. That way, you’re able to reallocate your limited resource (time) to tasks that’ll increase your bottom line.
There are long term benefits, as well.
Plus, you should be spending time the way you like. For your mental health’s sake.
But can I afford to outsource?
There once was a time when only the ultra-wealthy were able to hire “help.” The Vanderbilts and those who shared their social circle employed housemaids, gardeners and drivers. Not the average Joe. Personal stylists were for celebrities and you’d have to employ a full-time personal assistant if you wanted menial tasks to be done be someone else.
Not anymore. We’re looking at a gig economy. Your business and personal life can be optimized using tools that can be found in your pocket. That, for just a small cost above what you would pay for doing it yourself. Minus all the effort. Need something done? Taskrabbit is the app for you. Looking for a personal shopper to revamp your wardrobe? Stitchfix can help. Need a ride? Catch one with Uber. Dinner? Maybe you should use Grubhub. Would you rather have something fresher? BlueApron. About to pull your hair out over something needing to be done around the house? Handy. Someone to screen your calls? Apollo Answers. It’s all at your fingertips.
What happens when one man questions, “Why?”
He wanted to know why:
- …should Fortune 500 firms have all the fun?
- …is it that he can’t join in on the biggest business trend of the new century?
- …couldn’t he outsource low-end tasks?
- …can’t he outsource his life?
Outsource everything you hate doing.
You heard that right. After this blogger found financial success, she was questioning herself: “What next?” She started with a cleaning service, then hired virtual assistants to do her menial tasks. When she found out she had Celiac disease, she hired a personal chef.
You’re outsourcing already!
You may not find yourself as financially comfortable as the last example. But if you’ve paid a mechanic to change your oil, someone to wash your car, and a professional to cut your hair, you’ve already outsourced something. You’ve learned that you can’t be an expert in everything, so you’ve found other people to do tasks that you won’t excel at. (I mean, really, would you trust you to give yourself bangs?!)
If you can hire out anything that takes something off of your plate and eases stress, its good for you. Because stress is usually what you’ll find in the way of achieving your business and personal goals.
- Look for the best solution, not the lowest price.
- Be detailed in your contract.
- Keep communication open.
- Do what you do best and outsource the rest.