Outsourcing can improve productivity and competitiveness 10- to 100-fold, states Michael Corbett in his book “The Outsourcing Revolution.” Those are big numbers, so it is not a surprise that around 90 percent of companies surveyed for the book viewed outsourcing as crucial to their business success.
Outsourcing allows you to draw on the skill sets you need without having to set up a designated department in your own company. The overhead of employing a full-time staff member, according to Drexel University, is about 30 percent above their standard salary. Therefore, for many companies, it makes sense to outsource functions that require more specialized skills.
The trick is knowing what functions to outsource and which to keep in-house. Consider the type of maintenance required and also give a thought to costs in terms of updating skills at a later stage. An independent contractor will make it their business to keep their skills up to date whereas if you employ someone, it becomes your responsibility to train him or her.
If you’re still struggling to know what business functions to outsource, here are three commonly outsourced tasks:
IT can be a specialized field that needs to be outsourced. According to a 2006 report by Aberdeen Group, 63 percent of survey respondents cite cost reductions as their top reason for outsourcing IT. However, you need to carefully vet these companies before you give them access to secure and confidential information so you don’t end up in a bad position with your clients or customers.
Many companies decide to outsource their accounting departments to avoid the hassle and stress. However, paying a professional accounting firm can be expensive, especially if they capture all the data. The problem is that getting the books right is essential. Especially when you are starting out, you need to know whether you are earning a profit or not.
Fortunately, there is a middle-ground between doing it yourself and hiring an accounting firm. Find an online accounting program that makes invoicing and tracking payments easy. It also should sort your entries into the correct financial accounts to help make your year-end tax returns as simple as calling up the necessary reports. Systems like Sage One offer online accounting software solutions that allow you to find the perfect balance between a cost-effective solution and the professional skills needed to get your financial accounts into order.
Typing and Transcription Work
There are many companies that provide transcription or typing services for reasonable prices. Outsourcing this kind of work can be very cost-effective because it requires few special skills and may not be worth paying a full-time staff member. Beyond the financial reasons, outsourcing can be beneficial by offering your documents in the cloud and improving report accuracy and turnaround times. If your staff is rushing to complete this extra task, costly mistakes can be made.
Services like Transcription Outsourcing complete medical, law enforcement, legal, academic and financial transcription. This company ensures quality control with designated account managers and transcription teams for customized work.
Outsourcing routine business tasks can greatly benefit your business. In addition to saving you money on a full-time employee and training, outsourcing can be more efficient and accurate for your business in the long run. So, take a look at your IT, accounting and transcription positions in your company and decide whether it’s beneficial to outsource them or not.
TESTIMONY: so last week, in the midst of crumbling to-do lists, stagnant marketing ideas, sick kids, isolation/keeping to myself, messed up bills, tiresome body and burnt out creativity, I literally laid on my office floor like three times in one day. Just tired; i was spent and whining….for what I believe was the 4th week in a row.
So a little while later, I get back to my computer and there you have it, a message from my dear friend Quinn Riley talkin’ bout…..”You alright up there…I’m gonna check in on you from time-to-time. You’re too talented to quit; and got too much content to throw in the towel…” ~ mind you we had not chatted in a few weeks….
Whaaaaaaaa@t. Can I just tell you how that one message changed my entire outlook for Q4/!?!?!
He was there for me 3 years ago when I endeavored to start this journey, and he has always truly been there for me to this day. I am so grateful for the divine wake-up call last week! All aboard….entrepreneurSHIP is truly a daily work in progress. Start small, dream big and keep it movin’
I worked 16 years as an executive assistant at 8 different companies. Every two years I jumped because I was ‘not’ happy. My strong desire to be an ‘artist’ and live a creative life continued to resurface repetitively and I constantly asked myself “how can I make this happen?” Creativity takes courage, and that I did not have enough of. Finally, in 2011, after teaching myself graphic design off of a $50 bootleg piece of software, I had strummed up enough freelance clients to boost the motivation.
With the support of my family and entrepreneurial friends, I quit my job to start my boutique creative agency full-time. For 10 years, my husband was a stay @ home dad, so the weight of this decision was very major for our clan. The last job I was in, I worked with a very unhappy and abusive boss, I had no other choice. Every day, I would drive to work in tears, wanting to somehow get lost or take a wrong turn so that I would not end up in that office once more.
After two years in business, plenty of ups and downs, learning, experimenting and hustling, I finally found pure JOY. I am doing what I love, which is being creative. I began working out 4-5 times a week; so I am much healthier, and dropping a few pounds on the way. I am here to support my children, and utilize my creativity to support our elementary school and church in various ways. I take time every Sunday to read, get inspired and most recently, pick up my paint brush and simply ‘create’ for hours. Each week I am working on making more time for myself, meeting clients and friends for my favorite treat (coffee) and making a new goal for myself or my business, to accomplish. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to organize a series of books titled “The Entrepreneur Within You” where we feature the stories of many entrepreneurs; this large effort makes me so happy inside. I can truly say after 16-20 years of being in various careers, I am finally happy and joyful.
Who are you and what do you do in 30 words or less?
I am a woman of God fulfilling His dream for me; known as Kelley Porter Turner; an author, speaker and abuse victim’s advocate; I empower victims and survivors of abuse to develop a forgiving heart, stand in their truth & live in their passion.
How do you remain empowered as an entrepreneur?
I remain empowered as an entrepreneur by knowing and understanding how much my work is needed. The amount of testimonies, emails, and inbox messages I receive empowers me to keep moving forward even when I want to quit. I understand the significance of the pain that victims suffer from and how hard it is to break the silence. With that, my power comes from within as well. My personal experience with, and freedom from sexual molestation and domestic violence empowers me to move forward on purpose and diligently to help those who need to break free the pain, patterns and behaviors associated with sexual abuse and domestic violence. Lastly, that little inner voice and the feeling in my gut that tells me, “There is a victim of abuse who needs to hear my story and understand that freedom and peace can be accomplished.”
How do you remain equipped as an entrepreneur, where/how do you fuel your growth?
I remain equipped as an Entrepreneur by ensuring my availability and willingness to be flexible in my schedule. I continue to write and share my story via blogs and my books. I facilitate Webinars, Seminars and Workshops. I also maintain my products and create new products that will empower clients to feel safe enough to speak out. I fuel my growth by connecting with new and like-minded individuals when I can. I stay abreast of the laws and statistics on child molestation and domestic violence. I reach out to those who are more experienced and I maintain a solid relationship with my Business Coach.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from clients/customers who have read my book(s), Perfectly Planned (Overcoming incest, rape & sexual abuse), Overcoming Toxic Relationships, (Patterns & Behaviors) those who have attended my workshops, and seminars, those who have hired me, and those who have reached back to say, “You saved my life” or “Thank you for doing what you do” and/or “Please don’t stop being the voice for us.” This assures me that I am doing what I was supposed to be doing. It inspires me to move forward diligently in breaking the silence and exposing those who abuse as well as being able to continuously provide hope for the victims, courage for the survivors and knowledge for those who don’t understand.
What is your “WHY” — why do you do what you do?
My “WHY” is the pain I feel for other victims of abuse. I do not want victims and survivors to suffer any longer in silence. I want them to understand that freedom and peace is possible as long as one is willing to not only deal with the issue, but conquer it and learn to forgive. My “WHY” is also “ME.” I am free from 30 years of abuse that includes incest , sexual molestation, physical, and verbal abuse, rape, attempted suicide (3 times) abandoned by my mother, and two domestic violence relationships; yet I am free to love, trust, and live whole again. I have no fear of what life has to offer as long as I am equipped with the power of forgiveness and God. I want the same for other victims. I want them to not only see my story, but understand if one “does the work” your life will elevate and you can then live in your authenticity.
What is your #1 tip for other entrepreneurs?
My number one tip for Entrepreneurs is to never attempt to be like another entrepreneur because you will lose focus on whom and what you are supposed to be doing.
The #EntrepreneurInspiration blog series is another way that the TEWCrew can help spread the entrepreneurial cheer throughout the universe. Our mission is to empower, equip and inspire aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs to unleash the entrepreneur within #unleashthebiz! We do that the best way we know how, and that is by telling stories of our experiences, and the experiences of our community and our colleagues. Enjoy!
by Laura E. Knights
So, after reflecting on my speaking engagement last week, I came up with these three reasons why I will continue to push myself out of my comfort zone, and you should too.
1. It exposes you to new opportunities and a new vision of what’s possible.
Sometimes our natural inclination is to only think in the scope of what we’ve done before or what we have already been exposed to. I know you might be saying, “If you don’t know the opportunity exists, how can you go after it?” Consciously seeking out different experiences (or being open-minded when they find you) can yield a whole slew of new horizons for you to explore and conquer. One of my current favorite songs on repeat these days is “Walking Shoes” by Mali Music. The chorus is:
Yeah I believe, I believe
But its a dream that I ain’t seen yet
Chasing a dream that I ain’t dreamed yet
But I’mma meet it halfway if I keep on walking, walking, walking
If I keep on walking, yeah I know it
when I see it walking, walking when I see it walking
Always waiting for something good to find you
But if it don’t come what are you gone do
And that’s why I’m walking, walking
Gotta keep on walking, walking
My take away from this is you’ve got to put yourself out there! And while you are putting yourself out there, you have to have your eyes open for new ways and opportunities to apply what you have to offer. For example…Job seekers, is there a new field to which your transferable skills can be applied?
Entrepreneurs, is there a new market or client population that your service offerings and expertise can be applied to? (that’s what I did with applying my program development expertise to entrepreneurs looking to package their expertise for profit AND with this recent speaking gig).
It sharpens your skills
When your comfort zone activities get a little monotonous, it’s easy to get comfortable or…lazy. For example, I paid a little extra attention when preparing the part of my talk that referenced research and statistics on mindset. Although, I always make sure whatever I’m sharing is accurate, talking to a group of RESEARCHERS pushed me to do a little more legwork in this area than I normally do. New people, environments, responsibilities, tasks, and challenges push you to stay on top of your craft. I think part of this can be attributed to trying to prove to yourself that you are capable of the new challenge, and another part is trying to prove to others that you know what you’re talking about.
It builds your character
Getting out of your comfort zone requires you to be vulnerable, which means you will expose yourself to fears, potential failure, and criticism. Brene’ Brown, one of my favorite fellow social workers, eloquently talks about this in her most recent book, Daring Greatly. She shares that often times we live fear-based lives because we are afraid of exposing ourselves and showing who we really are (human beings who make mistakes). Getting out of your comfort zone forces you to stare this reality straight in the face, work with your strengths, and acknowledge your areas of improvement. Fear can only be conquered with action.
So, take the leap and put yourself out there in your business, career, relationship, etc. You might fail, but you will definitely learn something to use on the next try. HOWEVER, there’s a real chance that you might succeed, too, and possibly expand the borders of your comfort zone! 🙂
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic, too. Where do you need to push the limits on your comfort zone? Have you recently stepped out of your comfort zone? If so, how did it go?
Laura E. Knights, LCSW is an author, speaker, and coach that has worked with hundreds of people through her M-Powered Workshop Series, training modules, mastermind groups, and popular coaching programs. Laura teaches people how to create a life of meaning and purpose that transforms their self-identity, work, and relationships to help them break through to higher levels of happiness and success. She also provides powerful advice, breakthrough techniques, and other resources to her many subscribers via her M-Powered Living! e-newsletter. You can join the M-Powered Community and sign up to receive a FREE gift and a subscription to her e-newsletter at www.lauraeknights.com