Many business owners know that the growth of their businesses is limited by one person: themselves. Try as we might, eventually every business owner is frustrated by their own limitations.
Even more importantly, we can delay strategically important work while low-value tasks such as administration crowd out our schedules.
Working longer hours to get ‘strategic’ and ‘low-value’ work done works against you in the end – it becomes a drain on your productivity. Organisations such as Stanford, the Economist and Harvard Business Review have completed research on this point. The Economist recently showed that output remained stable after about 48 hours per week.
We need to work smarter, not harder.
Outsourcing provides a low-cost way to free up your time to work on the more important, high-value activities that will sustain your business in the long term. Some businesses I know have employed full-time staff for less than five Australian dollars per hour.
The advantages of outsourcing are many: it allows you to still complete the low-value tasks that are part and parcel of running a business. With your time freed up, you can focus more on developing capabilities throughout the business, establishing networks, strategising about marketing and other important activities that require your expertise.
Otherwise called ‘Business Process Outsourcing’, many businesses in Australia today are sending work to contractors locally and in other countries, rather than recruiting a local employee – the cost of getting started with outsourcing is low and technology has now enabled highly productive working relationships.
Businesses in Australia are joining the global rush to outsource business processes. The trend is driven by a huge demand for technical talent and expertise, particularly in IT, human resources, recruitment and finance. Outsourcing in Australia has also grown to include legal, article writing, and translation services.
Business process outsourcing is growing
Business process outsourcing grew 3.3% from 2010 to become worth $24.8 billion Australian dollars in 2015.
There are several preferred ways to outsource. Often the first type of outsourcing people try is task-based outsourcing. Employers hire an outsourced worker for small parcels of work, through sites like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer or Service Seeking.
The second option is role-based outsourcing, which is when a role is outsourced on a part-time or full-time basis.
If you’re concerned that outsourcing is taking away Australian jobs, a 2014 report by Australian company Salmat showed that nearly 80% of businesses using offshore resources had retained or increased their local staff, with an average increase in their domestic workforce of more than 200%. Rather than taking away local jobs, outsourcing is enabling Australian businesses to thrive so that they grow and spend more on local employment.
Many business owners have a poor experience with outsourcing. One business owner I know pays for the work to be done twice by two different contractors so that he can take the best of both attempts and combine them to achieve a decent result. To my mind, performance that only meets the mark half of the time is not worth the time at all.
How can you achieve your expectations of normal performance and even exceed those expectations to achieve a high performing virtual team?
It is possible to have a great high-performing outsourced team. This is my own experience – I work daily with my executive assistant based in the Philippines and I regularly manage outsourced projects with workers based in the USA, India and Eastern Europe. I have achieved these high-performing virtual teams by paying particular attention to five unique factors.
Want to know more about how to block the drain on your productivity through high-performance outsourcing? Join Nina Sochon, leading expert on remote and flexible work, as she shares developing high performing workplaces on our next On the virtual couch with an expert webinar on Friday 20 November 2015
- Whether high-performance outsourcing is right for you and your business;
- The five unique factors that help you get the best results from your outsourced team;
- Ten quick steps to start accessing the advantages of outsourcing.
This webinar helped business owners to decide whether outsourcing would help in their business: are there roles that can be outsourced? Which type of outsourcing is right?
Participants learned exactly what I do in my business to ensure I have a high-performing outsourced team.