Reposted from the You and Your Money blog
If you are looking into starting your own small business, it may seem like there are hundreds of skills you will need to pick up to be able to run your new venture competently. From people management and accounting to IT and marketing, there may be a lot of things outside of the scope of what your business actually does for its clients or customers which need to be managed.
However, in reality, you don’t actually need to become proficient in all areas of your business to make it a success. In fact, it is often better if you don’t try and do everything yourself and instead focus on what you are good at, and on the overall vision and drive of your enterprise. This is why knowing when and what you should outsource to other businesses is one of the most important skills you can have as you start out in business.
If you have time to do everything yourself, or even to learn how to do everything needed to run a business, either your business is suffering for it or you are personally, from overworking. Neither of these are good things. Of course, you could hire people, however many of the tasks don’t need someone on them full time, and other things, like if you need a customer service helpdesk, require an investment in infrastructure as well as staffing. Outsourcing to third party companies like Pro Back Office gives you access to as many fully trained, expert staff as you need – but you only have to pay for the time they spend working for you and they are already equipped with the tools and software, as well as office space, that they need.
Whether you plan to run a business that serves other businesses or one which markets to the general public, you still need to appreciate that small businesses tend to operate within an ecosystem, rather than in isolation. A small business that does web design will have other small businesses as its clients, but it in turn will use small businesses for things like accounting. Being part of this web of businesses benefits everyone, as you make contacts and it can often be the case that your suppliers can also become customers, or can recommend you to the other businesses they work with. This is hugely advantageous, however can only be achieved if you take a step back from trying to do everything yourself.
For some things, you may outsource to large businesses who can provide you with lots of staff, whereas for others you might choose small businesses you can partner with.