Entrepreneur’s often feel they need to do everything by themselves, and this can be for one of two reasons; first, there is the financial basis to consider which is that many startups, at least, have to adopt a frugal approach where they wear many different hats because they don’t have the funds to pay for the human resources required to outsource tasks internally or externally.
Second, is the more psychological aspect of ‘perfectionism’ where entrepreneurs often feel they need to do it all themselves, as nobody else will put in the same level of skill or standard of care; they become almost overprotective of their business like a mother with a newborn child – assuming that nobody else could possibly take such good care of their baby as they will.
In any event, whether it’s financial frugality or the paradigm of perfectionism, if you keep trying to do everything yourself then you are seriously limiting your growth potential and could be on the express route to burn out.
See, no man (or woman) is an island and if you struggle with doing everything yourself you’re robbing your business of the growth it deserves and there’s a strong chance you’re denying yourself of the lifestyle you desire, as people that work 60-80 hours per week on their business tend to find they have very little room left for a social life, as they are too tired to do anything other than relax.
This brings us onto the very popular topic of outsourcing, as a way to lighten your load, increase your productivity and ultimately, your productivity. The great thing about outsourcing to an external provider is that unlike employing a person, internally, you are not subject to the hefty administrative and financial burdens placed on employers who are responsible for their employees.
The benefit when you outsource tasks is that you don’t have any of the administrative hassle of employing people, plus you get to have your tasks completed by experts within their respective field.
Indeed, outsourcing makes your business much more efficient due to the fact you are no longer limited by the hours you invest into the business – you are leveraging other organisations or people to complete tasks for you; many of whom can complete the task at a much faster pace with better results, as they are experts in their respective fields.
For instance, a specialist print assessment company like Xeretec would be much better placed to tend to your print assessment needs than trying to do it on your own. Indeed, a good analogy to consider is that of a chef – yes, you can cook your own meal, but perhaps not with the same skill or efficiency as a trained chef, or to the same standard. Similarly, whilst your chef is preparing your meal you can get on with key business tasks, thus saving you time and freeing your time to be spent more wisely.
If we look at this using the analogy of trying to build your own house, as many entrepreneurs attempt with their business model, we can see that the digging out of the foundations isn’t a particularly challenging skill but it is something that will take a lot of work – hours that could be spent doing higher level activities.
Then, when it comes to laying bricks, the entrepreneur could quickly pick up the skills of bricklaying and build the walls of their home, yet, if they outsourced this task to a specialist team of bricklayers – the job would be done much quicker and might achieve a more reliable result.
As the development of the house progresses to the point electrics need to be installed, most entrepreneurs would consider this a task they need to get specialist help with, as trying to undertake the task themselves would either be dangerous or require so much additional training that it wasn’t worth their while.
In this aspect, we can see the key difference as to how the solo entrepreneur thinks about outsourcing; it’s something they will do when they feel there is an essential need – yet, if it’s an activity which takes up a lot of their time, but is something they can do themselves, they will give it a go and waste a lot of time in the process.
Therefore, there needs to be a new paradigm when it comes to outsourcing; in that outsourcing isn’t something you should do when you have to – it’s something you should do when you can, as it will free up your time to work on higher value tasks and create much more efficiency within your organisation.