Considering Outsourcing: When it’s Right and How to Do It
The decision to become a work-at-home mom is often fraught with doubts. Will you be able to make a living? How can you manage splitting time between work life and home life when you’re always in the house? Will your kids feel neglected when you have to work? Would you be better off working outside the home? What if you come to resent a spouse who gets to go out into the world and interact with other people every day while you’re stuck with a laptop and a screaming baby? Yes, there are a lot of nagging questions to consider when you move from the corporate world to your cozy home office, but one that crosses very few women’s minds is what they will do when they succeed beyond their wildest dreams. What do you do when you have so much work that you can no longer handle it on your own? How do you know when it’s the right time to outsource, and how to go about doing it?
There are several events that may indicate it is time for you to hire some help. A high level of stress and a low level of sleep are both signs that you are pushing yourself too hard. You can probably continue to do this for awhile, especially if you’re still pretty young, but burning the candle at both ends for an extended period of time will only serve to make you useless on all fronts eventually. Another good indicator that you need a second professional on board is the inability to accept work. If you find yourself turning down clients left and right, with little time to give your trademark personal attention to those who have loyally hired you from the beginning, then it’s time to rethink your business strategy. A few other signals that help is needed can become apparent in several areas, such as an empty fridge, a filthy house, and a husband who has to wear last week’s dirty jeans. Neglecting the house is the first indicator that you’ve been too busy, since your priority list probably goes 1) family, 2) work, 3) housework. And it’s only a matter of time before the ripple affect moves up the list.
So, once you’ve determined that you do, in fact, need to outsource some of your professional responsibilities in order to expand and keep your business viable, you’ll need to determine the best way to go about it. Of course, it’s always easiest to have someone physically present, simply for ease of communication, but bringing a stranger into your house is likely not an option that you want to pursue. Ditto on hiring friends. It may seem like an ideal solution, but the best way to ruin a friendship is to go into business together. Luckily, outsourcing via the internet has become a pretty easy undertaking.
You might be tempted to advertise on Craig’s List to find someone locally, but there are two problems. First, you will be limiting yourself to a local supply of candidates, and second, you could get any Tom, Dick, or Harry calling you up for a job. Instead, sign up for a service like ODesk that connects you to other professionals so you can limit your pool of applicants to those who are more likely to be qualified, while expanding your search to a much broader geographic area. You can also easily review work histories, employee reviews, and samples of their work to help you decide. You will save yourself a lot of time and heartache by choosing this route and you might just net yourself a new business partner.
Jennifer Kardish writes for an invoice factoring website in the UK. Learn more about how factoring can help save your business time and money.
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