Productivity Tips

When to Outsource Tasks

Written by James Garvin for Gaebler Ventures

Many entrepreneurs starting out have limited capital to get their business up and running and take the proper shortcuts where they can to avoid any unnecessary up-front costs. However, there comes a point, where an entrepreneur is better off outsourcing a task or project rather than try to tackle it themselves.

Time is money and the longer it takes you to get your business established and products ready to sell, the more opportunity cost you are giving up.

Boot strapped companies walk a tight rope between time and money. To cut corners and save money, founders often try to tackle as many tasks as they can by themselves since their labor does not cost cash, only time.

However, there does come a point when outsourcing certain projects is a must, and the sooner you can realize that putting up cash to pay for critical tasks to get completed the better off you'll be.

The first thing the founding team should do after they have organized their business is to develop a project roadmap to identify the key activities and events that need to happen before you can be open for business. This will vary widely from industry to industry and company to company, but being able to see all of the tasks that need to get done down on paper will help the founders visually see just how much actually has to get done. When you keep everything internally in your mind about the things you get done, there is no visual reminder showing you just how overwhelming starting a business can be for some.

Once a project roadmap and all of its tasks have been laid out on paper, prioritize and order those tasks. Rank the top tasks that are a must and identify tasks that can only be done when another one is completed. In essence what you are building is an informal project plan. Once you have taken some time to construct your plan and map, identify those tasks that you can do yourselves the best. If you need a website, but are not a web designer, that is a good sign that this is a task you cannot do better then someone else.

After you have ranked all of the tasks that you and your founders will tackle yourselves, identify those critical tasks that you will be outsourcing and determine how you will outsource those tasks. Rather than being just a doer, you are now managing others to do work for you allowing multiple tasks to get done at the same time where it would have taken you weeks or months as you move from one task to the next.

The internet has created some amazing platforms and means to communicate with individuals, groups, and organizations around the world that specialize in outsourcing tasks and projects from very simple administrative tasks to complex web design projects.

Sites like E-Lance are a great way to get trustworthy professionals helping you with any project task from A-Z. GetFriday is a virtual assistant firm based in India that can do everything from managing your emails, conducing market research, web design and more.

Once you start outsourcing some of the projects and tasks while you and your founders continue to work internally, you will see just how much more quickly and effectively you can move closer to opening your business and bringing in cash flow.

James Garvin began his education studying biotechnology. In recent years he has turned his interest in technology to helping two internet startup companies. The first business was an online personal financial network and the second was an e-marketing platform created to help entrepreneurs demo their web sites. Currently a student at University of California Davis, James is spending his summer incubating two new online businesses and writing about his entrepreneur experiences.

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