A recent study cited in the New York Times found that one of the surprising ways for people to increase their happiness is to buy more time by paying for personal services, like taking a cab, ordering takeout meals, or hiring a housekeeper. When people can take their least-liked tasks off of their to-do lists, they see a big increase in happiness that is worth the tradeoff in terms of money. We’ve all experienced the happiness that comes from ordering takeout at the end of a long day or coming home to a clean house or a clean hotel room that was tidied up by hired housekeeping help, instead of having to do it ourselves. But the same concept of “buying time” in our personal lives can also apply to your business. If you’re a business owner, you need to look for opportunities to invest in business outsourcing.
Here are a few reasons why outsourcing and sub-contracting makes sense, and can make small business owners happier:
Time is Money: There’s an old saying that “time is money,” and this is especially true when you consider the value of your time as a business owner. What is the value of an hour of your time? Consider your annual income divided by the number of hours that you work – consider as well the full value of your company, the employees who depend on you, and everything else that makes up the full productive output of your business. Let’s say that a value of an hour of your time – at a conservative estimate – is $100. Isn’t it worth hiring someone else to do your laundry, deliver your groceries, or otherwise help lighten your workload at work or at home?
Do What You Do Best: Lots of business owners pride themselves on being hands-on managers who fulfill every job description within the company, as needed – from CEO to janitor. It’s great to have a hands-on view of your business’s operations. But the downside is, sometimes if you have a tendency to micro-manage or a reluctance to delegate, you will spend too much time doing “little” jobs that take you away from the big picture of your business. Outsourcing lets you focus more on doing the most important managerial functions that “only” you can do as the business owner. Don’t get bogged down in minutiae – look for ways to outsource your less-essential tasks so you can be productive at a higher level.
Make More Money: The best part of business outsourcing is that it doesn’t just save time – it helps you make more money! Ideally, if you’re choosing great partners to outsource your business functions to, they will help you be more productive, more profitable, and more inspired. Business owners don’t outsource just to save time or gain some convenience; they do it so they can work with specialists and experts who can bring new insights and new opportunities to the business. Outsourcing isn’t always about cost cutting or watching the bottom line – it should help you boost your top line revenues as well.
Just because you’re a small business owner doesn’t mean you’re in it alone. Don’t feel like you’re supposed to be so independent and all-knowing that you have to do everything yourself. The most successful business owners know how to delegate, how to break down their company’s operations into smaller tasks, and how to outsource the grunt work while freeing up their time and mental space to tackle the company’s highest-level strategic challenges. Outsourcing isn’t just for home anymore; it can help make your business life much happier too.