Outsourcing - Saving Time & Money?
Five days into February, and you are up to your eyeballs in work. Your calendar is packed and you know if you are to continue like this, you're not only going to struggle meeting your goals for the year, but you will most likely burnout and lose your passion for your business. So, what can you do about it? Let us talk to you about how outsourcing can help you grow your business in 2019!
Time is Money
When it comes to business, you know as well as us that time is money. And theres always more work to do than time to do it… Just like other business spheres, it is safe to say that the equestrian industry is a competitive one to be in. Often involving businesses built around horses, yard work, and a competitive sporting career, taking time for your business at the end of a long day when you would like some for yourself is often impossible. And if you do allow yourself time off, you end up having to spend extra time completing tasks the following evening... Unless you are one of those lucky and care-free people who don’t mind out-of-date representation online and on socials!
Finding the best way to conduct your business is an important part of making your operations tick like clock-works. Hiring full-time staff who is not only expensive, but also time-consuming: Going through applications, conducting interviews, and provide training. And often are the abilities provided limited to hands-on work, not always suited administrative tasks. Another consideration is that after the time spent paying and training someone, you are never guaranteed that they stay. One way to provide a solution, is to have work outsourced to another company.
Why? Because companies who commit to providing solutions to businesses like yours, thrive from doing your work for you. It is their speciality! So rather than you paying someone a part- or full-time wage for minor admin tasks, marketing procedures, and so on, you can outsource to those specialising in helping companies like yours grow. Not only will it save you time, but it will also save you money.
Outsourcing has been a long practice for companies outside the equestrian business, but with the growth of the industry (and the internet), it’s popularity and perhaps importance has grown.
According to Wasp Barcode Technologies, the five biggest challenges facing small businesses centre around employee management and profit. Employee healthcare aside, the statistics makes for somewhat bleak reading:
Any outsourcing you do should help you reach three of those goals (increasing profit, growing revenue, or increasing cash flow) while bypassing the hassle of hiring new employees.
So besides from the obvious cost-saving advantages, is there anything else that can benefit you from outsourcing areas of your business? Of course there is!
Focus on core areas: Besides from time/cost savings, the other huge benefit is that by giving someone else the responsibility of areas you struggle to cover or that are quickly forgotten about, you can devote your entire focus on growing the area of your business that you know best! If this is training horses, teaching, connecting with customers, you can dedicate more of your time to focus on the core business processes, whilst delegating mundane and time-consuming processes to external agencies. Win-win!
Access to resources: When working with a company, you will learn practices that may not be available internally. Outsourcing is a two way street in such a way that communication is open, and the company you work with will be eager to let you know more about what they do and how they do it. Outside the equine industry, outsourcing has had an incredible effect on the stock market, IT service industry, in the management of rail infrastructure, or in reducing manufacturing processes. Having the opportunity to tap into world-class abilities will undoubtedly provide you with a few Ace’s up your sleeve!
Another primary benefit realised when working with an external agency, is that it will free up internal resources that could be put in to effective use for other purposes.
What Can I Outsource?
The answer could simply be ‘anything’! However, we will give you some quick pointers on how and what exactly you can outsource, as well as what should be kept in house.
Make a list of common tasks: Sounds boring, but we recommend taking a hard look at how you’re spending your time currently. When you have your overview, you can separate the tasks you want to keep and those you want to outsource based on one single reference point: Time. Typically, the areas taking up the most of your time are your core competencies. Unless you’re massively mismanaging your time, these are areas where you excel, and these are what you should focus on. Other tasks that take up your time are simply activities with diminishing returns, which typically are your best candidates for outsourcing!
Skillset: The second method to understanding areas you can handover to someone else is to look at the areas where you or your current employees don’t excel. Not only will the tasks be completed by others more adept at the, but you can achieve tasks with an economy of scale. If you need someone to manage your emails, social media platforms and website, it would be terribly inefficient for you to spend time doing it when your time is best spend elsewhere, or for you to hire separate individuals to complete the tasks.
If you want to be on the advantage when it comes to your business, we recommend finding the right partner who can provide you with extra help. Within the equine industry, there are companies like ourselves who specialise in managing businesses just like yours. When choosing one, make sure that their expertise is within the field that you require! Just because they can provide you with coverage in a lifestyle magazine does not mean they will be capable of managing your website and sponsors (and vice-versa).
There is also an opportunity of outsourcing to your already existing fans. By doing this, you outsource to those already familiar with your company and who are dedicated to support you. It is a nifty way to save some pennies, however there are some areas where this can easily fall on its face. If you are keen to outsource to your already existing audience, we are more than happy to guide you in the process.
What not to outsource
Too much of a good thing can be fantastic, however in the world of outsourcing, you can quickly loose ground by letting others handle tasks where your company excels. Remember, if you can outsource everything you do, then your competitors are only a few freelancers away from beating you at your own game…
The secret to what you should keep in-house is obvious when you consider your success as your main competitive advantage. Simply put, if someone has paid for a lesson with you but your groom ends up teaching it, you have outsourced one of your core competencies and the customer is unlikely to return.