A great many startup “experts” now recommend that new entrepreneurs outsource as much of the noncore tasks as possible. The arguments sound logical – leave the work to the professionals; focus on your core competencies; don’t be distracted by accounting/marketing/whatever details. But there are a few problems with this advice that you should be aware of before you send your business out to be handled by others.
Consider the Source.
Much of the outsourcing advice comes from those who benefit from you choosing to outsource. For example, “free” websites with startup information are making money…from the ad clicks and paid advertisements of outsource professionals! Check out the ads on and around these sites…if they convince you to hire one of those advertisers to do your work, they earn a piece of your fee. It’s not always bad advice, but be aware that they aren’t really providing you valuable information for nothing in return.
Is an Outsourced Business Really Yours?
Being a business owner is all about taking control of your work life and financial future. How much of that control are you willing to hand out to others? The job of an entrepreneur is more than just being your own boss. You are also your own accountant, attorney, sales staff, secretary, and janitor. If you only really want to play one of these roles, you might be better off working for someone else. Turning over too much responsibility to outsiders can be a huge mistake, especially if you don’t know exactly what they are doing for your business!
What you don’t know...
Many new entrepreneurs do not have a strong background in finance and accounting, or just plain don’t like to deal with numbers. Some figure it would just be easier to have someone else handle the marketing. Many believe the legal paperwork is just too complicated to do for themselves. The thing is that all of these skill sets are part and parcel to owning and running a successful business. It’s OK that you don’t know everything right now, but the trick is to use the startup process to learn all you can. After all, how can you pick the right professional to outsource to if you don’t know what you are looking for? Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s a good idea to let some stranger make important decisions for YOUR business…you need to have your hand in everything, especially during the early stages.
The reality is that in business the bottom line is the bottom line…the whole point is to make money. Turning over all responsibility to an outsource professional can be an enormous, irreparable mistake. They can’t possibly understand your business like you do, they can’t make the best, most strategic decisions for growing your company, and as long as you pay them their fee, there isn’t much motivation to go the extra mile. Business owners, especially those who want to make some serious money, must master the money matters on their own before handing it off to an outsider.
K. MacKillop, a serial entrepreneur, is founder of LaunchX and authors a small business startup blog. The LaunchX System is designed to help entrepreneurs start a business based on their own idea. It includes step-by-step business startup instructions, key software, business tools, and more — a complete business kit. Visit LaunchX.com to learn more about this revolutionary way to become an entrepreneur.
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