When you are feverishly building your startup, there are 1 million things that must be done. And if just one of those million things is off by just a fraction of a millimeter — failure. As an entrepreneur, you are frequently courting failure, and because of the ever-present chaos, you are trying to do everything yourself. Why, because no one can do the job better than you.
But you would be epically wrong. It’s wrong of you to assume that you have the skill set to manage all the moving parts in a startup. It’s not your responsibility to work in your company, it’s your duty to work on your business. That is a difficult pill to swallow when you are first growing your startup.
The Nightmare of Not Outsourcing
Jack Canfield, one of the authors of, “The Power of Focus,” shares:
”As the foundation is built, people and systems are put in place to create stability. Gradually the entrepreneur becomes more involved in day-to-day administrative duties. Paperwork increases and what started out as an exciting venture becomes a daily routine, with much more time spent putting out fires, handling people problems, tax challenges, and monthly cash flow.”
Does that sound eerily familiar to you? Is that why you started a business, to manage human resource issues? Your company does not need you to handle the day-to-day. What your business needs is your consistent focus on the core competencies that are giving birth to the products that give you a unique selling proposition and add value to your customers.
Yes, HR issues still needs to be managed, tax challenges need to be resolved and fires need to be put out, but if not by you then who? Let others maintain those parts of the business. Outsource everything that does not support your company’s core competency. Why because your success is based on focusing on a minimal number of high leverage activities.
“If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.” – Lee Kuan Yew
Find Bliss in Contracting (work) to Others
But before you rush to hire a consultant or a service provider you must ask yourself two important questions:
- Do you trust the company that is going to manage the tasks that you are outsourcing?
- Will outsourcing allow you to streamline the operations of your business?
If the answer is “yes” to both questions, then it’s time to outsource that function. You first start by engaging your outsourcing efforts broadly:
- Outsourcing human resources
- Engaging offshore developers
- Leveraging a virtual phone system
So how do you begin to understand what can be outsourced and what is the brains of the operation? Simple, make a visual map of everything that must happen in your business to produce the sale, direct and indirect. Then ask yourself: what are the unique processes that are designed to add value to the customer that only your startup can provide?
“An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage” – John Carmack
Once you can separate what is necessary, what does not fit within that framework must be outsourced. Once you can focus on your core competencies what you have left are the minimal number of activities that you can leverage to compete in the marketplace.
What strategy would you give for startup success? Please leave your thoughts below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com