Outsourcing: When Do You Do It?

Most of us are experts at trying to fix problems at the last minute. It ain’t broke, so why fix it, we think. Well, how do you know it ain’t broke? And is it really important to become a jack of many trades, or just concentrate on your niche?

Heck, that’s one tricky question…

But has an easy answer. Let’s say you need to get to the supermarket. What are you going to do? Call the um…chauffeur? Call a taxi? Or drive the car yourself? And what if you didn’t want to drive today? Or couldn’t drive today?

The ‘Going to the Supermarket’ analogy is how you should run your business

If you’re going to use a skill a lot, then you should learn the skill. And then if you choose not to do it, that’s your choice. At least you’re not caught flatfooted when you need the skill in an emergency.

Let me give you an example: I always tell clients of mine to learn how to use Dreamweaver and be able to update their own website. On more than one occasion, a client turns around and suggests they don’t need to learn it, as they have a website designer.

And hey, nothing wrong with a website designer…

But if you have to make 16 changes a day to your website, there’s no way any third party is going to keep up. So you must learn the skill. If you need to create webpages, write an article, create a product etc., you can’t wait for a webdesigner, article writer, or book writer to show up. If you don’t have the skills, you’re going to be floundering.

But what if there’s someone in-house

What if you have an employee (or freelancer) who can do the task? I still always suggest you learn. Freelancers go on vacation. Your business doesn’t. So just like the trip to the supermarket, you now have options. You can ‘drive the car,’ or ‘call the taxi.’

So what’s the point of this whole exercise?

1) When you need a skill that you’re going to use many times a day/week, learn the skill.
2) If you choose to outsource it later, that’s cool. But learn it all the same.
3) And dig your well before you’re thirsty. Learn the skill well in advance–and not when the world is crashing around you (An emergency is the worst time to learn a skill)

Okay, so you can stop reading now. You’ve got a skill to learn. And it’s not one you can outsource…just yet!

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Comments

  1. says

    Very sound advice with one exception…

    Instead of Dreamweaver…maybe you should be telling people to learn HTML.

    It’s not only used for web sites but for publishing ebooks for the Kindle and other eReaders.

    Also a website can be done in wordpress EZ-ily but knowing HTML and CSS will make sure the web site always has a unique look.

  2. says

    Agreed, we should be learning to take care of things ourselves; so that if we have to we can.

    I let my knowledge of html lapse for a while and I’m definitely paying for it now while I’m relearning!

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