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Outsourcing for Small Businesses

This is a slide deck, which we've created for a Chameleon PA, is a short introduction to the benefits of outsourcing for small businesses, the pitfalls to look out for and how to get the ball rolling. <br><br>Outsourcing has become a critical part of the growth strategy of small businesses since it gives them the opportunity to be more competitive in the global marketplace while maintaining control over their overheads. <br><br>Technology gives small businesses easy access to the time, skills and experience of a vast network of resources which means they can offer their clients more comprehensive problem solving solutions. <br><br>The main problem most small businesses struggle with is to get into the mindset of outsourcing. You need to move from working IN your business to working ON your business and make outsourcing part of this process.

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Outsourcing for Small Businesses

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  1. Outsourcing for Small Businesses Brought to you by Chameleon PA

  2. This is John and Sarah

  3. They both design, manufacture and sell decorative wire thingamajigs. 

  4. John does it all himself.

  5. Sarah has a different idea.

  6. She draws up a detailed task list of everything that needs to be done to make her wire thingamajig business a success.

  7. She places the tasks in three categories:

  8. 1. Core competencies and capabilities that will make her thingamajigs the best in the industry (innovation, design)

  9. 2. All the other thingamajigs creation tasks: such as research, manufacturing, assembling, packaging, quality control.

  10. 3. Other tasks that are essential for the business but simply don't make sense for her to deal with personally (book keeping, payroll, HR, marketing, sales, social media, blog writing)

  11. Her core competencies and capabilities she keeps in-house.

  12. The other thingamajig creation tasks she will incrementally start outsourcing to free up time to spend on her core competencies and capabilities

  13. The rest of the tasks she will immediately outsource so she can free up as much time as possible to focus on generating revenue.

  14. John is fully booked, working 16 hour days and producing forty thingamajigs and month.

  15. Sarah is also fully booked. She spends around 70% of her time on innovation and design…

  16. …and 30% on managing her clients and resources.

  17. She produces 400 thingamajigs a month and continues to focus on expanding her collection of designs.

  18. When an order for 4 million thingamajigs arrives John can’t deal with it, but Sarah simply upscales her network of resources to deal with it

  19. Sarah appoints two new designers and her business is into its next growth phase.

  20. The Main Benefits of Outsourcing:

  21. It frees up your time to focus on what really makes your special and as you focus on what makes you special you will start out-classing the competition

  22. It gives you access to the time, skills and experience of others without having to appoint or train them. Internal staff might also benefit from this exposure.

  23. You can dynamically scale your business to fit the current workload without increasing your direct costs

  24. It makes your business more flexible to changes in the marketplace

  25. The Dangers of Outsourcing:

  26. Quality risk. The resource might simply not be capable of producing the quality you and your client expect.

  27. Communication issues. The resource might interpret the brief differently or make the wrong assumptions where things were not specified.

  28. No direct control : Outside resources set priorities according to what is best for their business

  29. No commitment to the bigger picture. The resource might simply execute your instructions and not care to find the best possible solution

  30. It takes time to build up a good network of resources. NO PAIN – NO GAIN

  31. How to start the process

  32. Get into the right mindset. Stand outside the business. Be a manager.

  33. Identify all the tasks required to make the business a success

  34. Group the tasks into: • your core competencies and capabilities (keep inhouse),

  35. the rest of the tasks required to create the products and service on offer (outsource incrementally) and

  36. everything else needed to make the business function (outsource ASAP).

  37. Identify the right resources – Remember this: contractors will often say anything to get the job, so be cautious.

  38. Know what you are looking for

  39. Ask people you know for referrals

  40. Ask those in your social media networks for recommendations

  41. Remember: you get what you pay for. People will even do things for a fiver

  42. Making it work

  43. Discuss your requirements and expectations

  44. Before the project starts make sure you have an agreed Statement of Work in place. Requirements, Expectations, Scope, Schedule, Costs, Payment schedules, Deliverables

  45. DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING. Make sure that you have stipulated ALL the details of the project.

  46. Keep a paper trail of everything.

  47. Don’t micro-manage but keep on top of progress

  48. Catch anything that’s off track as early as possible

  49. Remember, this is about freeing up your time to focus on your core competencies and capabilities and running a successful business.

  50. Oh, and one last thing about outsourcing: Think about using a virtual office and PA service. Chameleon – The business support you need, at a price you can afford. www.chameleonpa.co.uk

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