I got an email the other day from someone who had download the free report (“11 Simple Principles You Absolutely, Positively Must Understand Before Marketing Your Small Business Online”) from my site.
He had an interesting question for me about outsourcing…
“I did read the report and, you did make some great points. One thing stood out for me when reading through the report. You mentioned pick one thing and get very good at it. The other things that are important should be outsourced. I am wondering if these principles are for a company larger than mine?”
Here’s my response:
“In regards to picking one thing and outsourcing the rest, I’d say that especially applies to smaller companies. Yes, budgets are tighter, but so are your time constraints. There is a lot of time involved in learning how to do SEO, PPC, email marketing, etc. and, more importantly, doing it the right way.
I see so many business owners struggle in trying to do everything themselves (and not just in relation to online marketing) in an effort to keep costs down. But in the process they waste money on courses that are outdated or just flat out give bad advice, create AdWords campaigns that aren’t set up correctly so they blow money on clicks that have no chance of resulting in business, approach SEO in a way that takes twice as much time and is half as effective as getting an expert to handle it, etc.
A bigger company may be in a better position to hire a skilled internal marketing person to handle all this stuff…a small business usually can’t and, in most cases, would be better served outsourcing things that they’re not good at or don’t enjoy doing.
In a non-marketing example, I hired a bookkeeper last year because updating QuickBooks was always a chore for me. I didn’t enjoy it, I knew I wasn’t entering all the data correctly and it would take me forever come tax season to go back and figure out what I’d screwed up. Now I don’t have to worry about that because I have an expert who takes care of the hard part for me and I just need to spend a little time keeping an eye on things to make sure it looks right and the business is growing like I want it to. The time I used to spend on QuickBooks I can now spend my time focusing on things are in my area of core competencies and help generate leads and sales.”
I totally get trying to do everything yourself in an effort to save money. When I first started out, I didn’t want anyone else touching any aspect of my business. But over the past few years, I’ve hired outsourcers to help me in areas that I’m not good at, don’t enjoy doing or could pay someone $10 or $20 per hour when I could spend that same hour on tasks that could generate $100, $1000 or more per hour.
Yes, I’m biased toward outsourcing because I’d like companies to outsource their online marketing to my company. But I’ve seen first hand the difference finding good, strategic outsourcing partners can have because making that change from a “do it all myself” approach to a “outsource so I don’t run myself ragged focusing on stuff others can do better or cheaper” approach has been a major part of my company’s growth over the past 2 years.