For an entrepreneur, there’s always the temptation to try to “do it all.” But as Anne Donovan, President of Xenium HR, points out, “You don’t start a business because you’re excited about worker’s comp.”
So, when should you consider outsourcing and what potential pitfalls should you be aware of? At our last PubTalk of 2014, Anne and her fellow panelist Ryan Dutcher, Principal and Owner of Two Ocean Partners, shed some light on these important questions. Jason Bolt, Founder & CEO of Society43 and Revant, moderated the discussion.
Here are three key takeaways:
1. Identify your core competencies and areas of weakness. Keep your core competencies in-house and consider outsourcing the functions in which you lack both capacity and expertise.
2. Approach an outsourcing partner the same way you would approach an internal hire. Ensure that they are a good fit for your company and understand your core values. Once you bring them on, keep the lines of communication open. According to Jason, “There’s a misconception that you can outsource something and it will run on its own.” Just like an employee, an outsourcing partner needs to be effectively managed.
3. Don’t wait too long to get help. Sure, outsourcing costs money, but as Ryan pointed out, “the sooner you can enlist help with HR and accounting, the fewer problems you’ll have down the road.” If an accountant has to untangle a mess of Quickbook errors because you were trying to keep on top of your bookkeeping without sufficient time or expertise, that could end up costing you more in the long run.
In a nutshell, outsourcing can potentially help you, the visionary entrepreneur, focus less on logistics and more on your core value proposition. But, you do need to make sure you’re outsourcing the right functions and choosing your partners wisely.
See photos from our 2014 PubTalk Season Finale!