Last week’s Women in Micro-Business blog dealt with the subject of “managing growth“, and turning to one commonly used method – outsourcing!
In a rash moment of overconfidence and enthusiasm, I noted that I would continue that discussion today with ideas on relieving the tension associated with growth and the need to get help ASAP, as well as thoughts on making the best use of outsourcing.
Moment of truth ~ I am not an expert in outsourcing! I know many folks who are; but I’ve never engaged in as yet. So I can hardly speak directly to that aspect. What I can speak to is pretty common knowledge about how we ought bring new folks into our work circle to relieve us of some of the “downside” of business success!
I can also address some ways in which we can realistically and practically relieve such stresses. That’s a subject that I’m taking up now with our business partners. So without further ado – let’s get to the point of this week’s post!
Outsourcing is simply the act of obtaining goods or services from an outside source. That’s straight forward enough. But the other side of the dictionary definition is “the art of” obtaining those same goods or services from an outside source.
I call it an “art” because many women in micro-business have never hired anyone to work for them – either as an employee or independent contractor. Thus they have never “fired” anyone as well! There’s a reason for the term “solo-entrepreneur”, as most micro-business owners start their journey in the world of commerce. Without such experience it’s easy to make mistakes that end up costing us dearly!
So how do we make wise decisions when seeking to obtain the help desperately needed as we grow? Some thoughts from a woman who hired (and fired) a number of employees over 7 years in another business:
1. Know (what) before you go – Know specifically what your needs are, with emphasis on specifically. What’s your most pressing need? What falls through the cracks now, which is critically important, that didn’t before you entered a business growth spurt? Or from another angle – what’s most likely to fall through the cracks if you don’t add the right service?
2. Know (who) before you go – Know the qualities you are looking for when seeking to add needed help. Know the type of skill set you need. What personal qualities would you want in the person or persons you engage to relieve you of some of the work load? And know what values you hold that absolutely must be part of the value system of the person or persons you bring on board. This is most important when you’re considering adding an independent contractor with whom you will work closely. He or she must hold same or similar values about work ethics, personal and professional ethics and whatever else is near and dear to your business ‘heart’!
3. Research-Research – Armed with your lists above for knowing before you go; research. Research where to find the person or persons who has the potential to meet your needs. Start with the circle of folks closest to you – family, friends, business friends, folks with whom you network consistently. Tell them your “what and who” and ask who do you know? This group of people is most likely going to have personal and/or professional experience with those they refer.
Ask those closest to you who do refer to tell you their “why”. Why do they think the person is a good fit for you? You want to know if they’ve had both personal and professional experience with their referree.
What do they know about their family (spouse, children, etc). It’s amazing how a spouse, children – even an ex- can spoil a great working relationship when there’s not a common understanding of his or her role. If a potential independent contractor has a chaotic home life – it will eventually impact their ability to be the positive help we need!
As you seek the right folks with which to entrust aspects of your business, continue out from those closest to you and don’t fail to search and research what’s available via the internet and social media.
An aside. . . I bring this to attention because this week’s news includes an FBI investigation into the life of Jared Fogle, former Subway spokesman who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. It’s not known if he has broken the law, but the former leadership of Fogle’s foundation was arrested last Spring on charges of internet porn. While Fogle may not be guilty of any wrongdoing, it has cost him his lucrative relationship with Subway, as well as the shadow of suspicion that may follow him for a lifetime!
As I said – KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!
4. INTERVIEW, INTERVIEW, INTERVIEW – This seems obvious, but often times we don’t think of “hiring” an independent contractor (an ‘oursourcee‘) as a “hire”. But if they are paid for their work, then we are hiring them as part of our overall business growth strategy. You will be entrusting not only your business reputation, but your personal reputation too. Bottom line: the future success of your business depends on outsourcing a portion of your business workload to a person who must be the right ‘fit’ in all aspects of their lives.
I’ve barely scratched the surface and didn’t touch the subject of growth-tension relief. So next week’s post will continue this theme with more ideas and “tips” to help make your business growth the true sign of success you desire.
And keep it that way as you move into the future!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://affiliatedwomeninternational.com//wp-content/uploads/2015/05/linda-google-NB-profile-pic.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]I have a ‘fiery’ passion to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]