Why outsourcing really makes you nervous
Does the thought of outsourcing make you nervous?
You’re not alone! Outsourcing tasks in your business makes a lot of people nervous, especially if it's your first time.
But the real reason for your anxiety may not be what you think! Check out this video to learn more:
Listen to the audio:
Why does outsourcing really make me nervous?
So why does outsourcing make you nervous?
First of all, I'd like to establish that this is a perfectly normal and reasonable thing to experience. If you feel anxious or nervous about outsourcing, there is nothing wrong with you and it's not a bad thing.
Now, you might think that you're nervous about outsourcing because you feel overwhelmed with everything going on in your business right now. You're struggling to keep up, and you just need someone to come in and rescue you, but you're anxious about it. That's definitely a situation that happens.
Or maybe you feel nervous because you're not sure if somebody is going to do it the right way, or the way you do it or want it done. You might be having trouble relinquishing some of that control over your tasks and your processes. That's perfectly understandable.
You might feel like you don't have enough time to outsource, and get somebody up to speed and get them to where you need them. Maybe you feel like if it takes so much time to hand it off to someone else, you might just be better off doing it yourself. I would maybe respectfully disagree with you, but I certainly understand where you're coming from.
Or you might be in the unfortunate situation where you have been burned in the past by somebody or you've worked with someone in the past and it wasn't a good fit. Unfortunately, that happens, but it should not hold you back from wanting to work with somebody else in the future if it’s the right person.
Now, I would argue that while all of these might be factors in why you are nervous outsourcing, they may not actually be the underlying reason why you're really nervous.
With a lot of business owners that I have talked to and worked with, when I see people who are really anxious about outsourcing tasks, one of the most common things that I see is that they are not 100% sure what they actually want and need. They might have a vague idea of what they need or they might have an idea of somewhere that they would like to get to, but they don't know the specific things that they are actually asking for.
This can create a lot of anxiety, because you don't even know what to ask for, you just know that you need help. Or you might be in a situation where you are so overwhelmed by everything going on in your business that you don't even know how to articulate to somebody else what help you need. I definitely understand that. I think a lot of us have been there.
But if you are looking to outsource, you need to get specific on what it is you actually want and need, because if you are in a situation where you're bringing someone in to help but you can't even explain to them the specific things that you want them to do, it's not going to be an effective relationship for either of you.
Luckily, there are some things that you can do to really make this process easier.
Step One: Get specific
The first thing to do is, like I mentioned, really get specific. Make a list, not just of the general things that you want, but specific tasks that you want that person to do.
So, for example, I have had clients where they generally want to be more organized or generally want systems or automation. As someone coming in from the outside to help with those situations, that can be very challenging.
You know your business and your needs best. As an outsider, I can make suggestions and I can help you decide what to focus on to move forward. But without being in your business, it can be difficult to identify all the specific things you need.
It's really so much easier if you can say, "I want to get more organized, and that means I need a better filing system. I need a recommendation for a project management software that I should use, and I need someone to set it up for me. And here's a list of the regular recurring tasks in my business that need to be set up in that software."
Now, I know that is a lot more work for you to put in upfront! But it is going to save both of you so much time and headaches (and sometimes tears!) in the future going forward together.
When you are in a situation where you don't know specifically what you want or need, it really is going to be a waste of time and money for both you and the person that you're outsourcing to, because you’re not going to get as much done as you could.
Step Two: Focus on the right tasks
The next thing that I encourage you to do to effectively outsource tasks is prioritize the tasks that you want to outsource. Rather than outsourcing all of them at once, pick the ones that are a priority.
You may eventually work on all or most of these tasks together, but if you had to pick one or a few to start, what would they be?
Really ask yourself, "How do these tasks fit into my overarching business goals?" Because you really want this new person who's supporting you to be a factor in your goals.
This person might be working on things that directly move you forward towards those goals. Or maybe the point of bringing them in is that they are taking care of things that are taking up too much of your time and attention right now, so that you can focus on things that are going to move you towards your goals.
Either way, you really need to be clear on how this person specifically fits into your goals and moving your business forward. Because if you are not approaching this with the mindset of really moving your business forward then, again, this is not going to be an effective relationship.
Bringing in somebody new is really meant to help you push your business forward and accomplish things that you are not able to on your own.
Step Three: Manage expectations
The final thing that I encourage you to do when you are working on outsourcing is to manage your expectations.
What would you like to accomplish through your relationship with this person? What is reasonable to accomplish with the number of hours that you're hiring this person for or the budget that you have or their capabilities?
If you are focused on bringing in someone who has expertise in the specific tasks that you want to hand off, that's great. If you're trying to hand off everything and the kitchen sink, that's a whole other issue (I have other blog posts about that).
Be prepared for a period of adjustment when you first start working together. It’s going to take time. Be prepared for there to be growing pains. Be prepared for there to be additional time and maybe additional expenses up front while both of you are getting used to each other and tasks and expectations are being established.
Even an expert on whatever it is that you want this person to do is still going to take time to adjust to your specific needs and your specific methods. You are still probably going to have to show them how you want some things done. You're going to need to be available to answer questions. Having an expert or someone really experienced in a certain area doesn't mean that you get to be hands off, it just means that things are going to happen more quickly and hopefully more smoothly.
I hope that this has helped settle some of your nerves when it comes to outsourcing. As I said, the more specific you can get about what you actually need and what you actually want this person to do, the better your relationship with them is going to be and the less anxious you are going to be about it. If you have any questions about outsourcing, please let me know down in the comments or feel free to reach out.