The More You Outsource The More You Can Focus On Clients
Productivity isn’t checking the boxes on a “to-do” list that’s as long as your arm. Productivity is all about efficiency; having the ability to accomplish tasks that move your business toward achieving its goals. What good is it if you were able to complete 10 tasks but were only able to attend to one client? It’s about quality, not the quantity of accomplishments. This is the reason more businesses outsource. Outsourcing allows them to focus more time and resources attending to the needs of their clients.
What Is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is a process whereby businesses delegate specific tasks to third parties in order to increase productivity. A basic example of outsourcing is when a realtor delegates administrative work such as e-mail filtering, appointment setting and calendar management to a Virtual Assistant (VA).
You could also outsource tasks that do not fall under your core competencies. These may be types of work that require specialized skills, experiences and training.
Examples of highly-specialized tasks that you can outsource include web design, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), software development, content writing and technical/ customer support services.
These are categorized as non-essential but are otherwise important to keep your business running and growing. However, they take up valuable time which you should be spending on your clients.
Outsourcing increases productivity because it frees you up from handling non-essential tasks so you can attend to the functions that generate revenue for your business.
5 Benefits Of Outsourcing: How It Can Help You Focus On Clients
Outsourcing is not a new concept. It’s been around for decades but only came to mainstream popularity in the new millennium. The year 2000 ushered in events that shook global economies.
Among these world-changing events included 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, global recession, the fall of the equities markets in 2003 and the Eurozone crisis of 2009. The effects of these events are still felt to this day.
In fact, the growth of outsourcing can be traced to the new millennium where the industry grew from $45Billion to $104Billion within 14 years.
During these tumultuous times, businesses used outsourcing to stabilize conditions and still achieve profitability. Outsourcing enabled businesses to channel more resources to the main enterprise while staying within budget.
You can use the basic principles of outsourcing to help you focus more time on your clients and achieve greater productivity.
- Greater Focus On Core Functions
With outsourcing, you can delegate the non-essential tasks to qualified third party service providers so you can allocate more time and greater focus to the needs of your clients.
In our previous example, we cited the value of delegating administrative tasks to a Virtual Assistant or VA. How will hiring the services of a VA contribute to productivity?
Well, how much time do you spend checking your e-mail every day? How many phone calls do you receive while you are working on an important project for a client? How many reports and bills do you have to attend to on a daily basis?
You may be able to complete all of these tasks on your own. Consequently, it may have cost you precious hours that you could have used to generate more revenue for your business.
Reading, filtering and responding to e-mails will easily take an hour of your time. Inbound calls may come intermittently at 15 minutes per caller but collectively, they may have cost you two hours of productivity. Preparing payroll reports, updating your CRM and paying bills will easily take half of your day.
By simply outsourcing these tasks to a VA, you can repurpose 3 to 4 hours of non-essential activity for productive work. With 3 to 4 hours, you can help your clients find the best properties in the market or help negotiate contracts of sale.
- Improves Time Management
Let’s take the example from the previous section further.
According to studies, you can maintain 100% focus for 60 to 120 minutes. If you can free up 3 to 4 hours of your time by outsourcing non-essential work, that will give you 180 to 240 minutes to spend on clients.
Assuming you allocate 90 minutes per client with a 30 minute break time, you will be able to accommodate at least two clients within four hours.
Therefore, if you are following an eight hour work schedule, you will have the time to manage the needs of up to 4 clients per day if you outsource non-essential work.
The 30-minute break between projects is important. This is used to recharge or reset for the next client. You can use the time to rest; take a nap, exercise, have your meal or connect with friends and family.
Thus, an indirect benefit of outsourcing is that it can find you the time to relax or attend to tasks that are not related to work.
- Streamlines Operating Costs
It is hard to expand business or improve processes if you have limited funds. Your available funds will depend on the revenues your business earns and savings it has generated.
We’ve already discussed how outsourcing can get you to focus more on your clients. If you can accomplish more projects for your clients, then you should be earning more. Similarly, outsourcing can improve savings by streamlining operating costs.
Again, let’s go back to the basic example of a realtor who outsources administrative tasks to a Virtual Assistant or VA. If the business owner hired a full-time office assistant, he/she would incur the following costs:
- Office Supplies
However, with a VA, the business owner would only have to cover his/her professional fees.
For the reason that the VA is not a full-time employee but is a contracted remote worker, you are not required to cover his/her benefits or set aside accommodations for rent, internet bandwidth and office supplies.
It is estimated that the cost of hiring a full-time employee is equivalent to 1.5 times the amount of his/her basic salary.
Now, what if the same business owner decided to outsource administrative tasks to a VA who is located in the Philippines or India where wages are 1/3 of developed countries? His/her cost savings would be much greater.
Because of its ability to significantly streamline costs, many businesses outsource entire departments and processes to third party service providers as a means to increase savings.
India has become the popular outsourcing destination for I.T while the Philippines is the primary choice for telemarketing and customer service.
Outsourcing flourishes during times of economic uncertainty because the focus of businesses shifts from revenue generation to improving cost savings. If your business has more capital, you will have the means to introduce processes that will improve the quality of work rendered for clients.
- Enhances Quality Of Work
A common misconception about outsourcing is that it will compromise the quality of work. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the same way that you would only want to hire the best employees, you should also take steps to contract the best outsourcing services provider.
You should draw up a list of qualifications; skills, level of experience, expertise, trainings and certifications that you need from a third party service provider.
For example, if you decided to outsource customer service work to the Philippines, the list of requirements may include the following:
- Minimum Level 7 English Proficiency (Reading, Writing and Conversational English)
- Computer literate – Ability to navigate the Internet, do search tasks, and proficient in MS Office.
- Desired attributes – Pleasant disposition, cheerful, patient, ability to handle stress/pressure and excellent conversationalist.
- Preferred Demographics – Female; 25 to 35 years old, single.
- Special Skills – Bilingual; Level 7 Spanish.
If you could find the talent to outsource your tasks, then you have the best of both worlds: Lower costs without compromising the quality of work.
Thus, with outsourcing you can handle more tasks for your client. In our previous example, you can simply outsource your client’s customer service to a third party. You can improve quality of work while reducing your cost of doing business.
- Provides Access To Better Solutions
One of the most successful outsourcing arrangements was between Silicon Valley and IT companies in India. The Silicon Valley companies initially outsourced work to India in order to save costs.
However, they realized that the quality of work improved. They were also able to access India’s technology which made their U.S.-based processes much better.
Talent is never a monopoly of one person, one company or one country. Outsourcing gives you the means to reach out and find talent across different regions of the world. They can help you find ways to improve your business processes through better systems and technologies.
In business, time is money. Clients also have deadlines to meet. Delays in deliverables can be costly for their business. Clients signed up with you because they believed you could deliver results.
This is especially true in real estate where the market can be competitive. For example in Australia, property prices remain high while supply remains scarce. The challenge of finding the best properties for your clients can become quite daunting.
In order to deliver consistent results for your clients, you must be able to manage your time efficiently. However, if a big chunk of your day is spent checking your e-mail, taking calls and posting on social media, how much time can you afford on each client?
The best solution? Outsource your non-essential and specialized tasks to qualified third-party service providers. You will have the time you need to focus more on your clients while streamlining costs and improving the quality of work.