Outsourcing isn’t a new concept – people have been paying other people to do things for them for hundreds of years – sometimes we don’t even realise we are outsourcing – we don’t give it that label; it may feel too business-like or middle-class to acknowledge it in that way.
But when do we start to consciously consider outsourcing for any aspect of our life?
Outsourcing is certainly a solution to many problems – not enough time, need to be in two places at once, not got the required skills/knowledge/experience, no interest in doing something, a need for support, ego-driven decision making, too many demands – the list is endless.
There is also the cost/benefit analysis of outsourcing to be considered. If you can earn £50, £75, or £100 an hour then to hire a cleaner at £15 an hour or a VA at £30 an hour is definitely cost effective when your time can be spent earning more than it would cost you to get that job done.
Listening to the response of others when asked this question, it doesn’t seem to be something that the average man or woman considers until they feel some level of pain. It seems that it was a problem or a situation that arose that brought in the conscious thought of what is needed as a solution.
Pain is often the first reason we act; until we feel the pain we are unlikely to make changes or improvements because ‘things are working fine as they are’ so we don’t feel the need to do anything. It isn’t until we have to do something that we do it. Not many people are motivated enough to do things without that forced reaction.
It may be that you have grown up in a culture where outsourcing is considered part of a way of life. You are more likely to hire in help earlier than somebody who has no experience of paying for an outsourced service.
And if you go networking you are more likely to be exposed to companies and individuals who offer outsourcing services and can provide you with information that will help you decide if it is the right fit for you.
The question of when we consider outsourcing is therefore dependant on our experiences and our views of doing so and on the questions we ask of others about how to do it and what it will mean for us.