At some point in the life of the owner managed business comes the realisation that there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things the owner wants or believes they should do.
It is a test of a good manager to identify the skills that are better outsourced and those to retain in-house.
Marketing and Management accounts are often good choices. They need ongoing and skilled attention and will make a big difference to the health of a business. My field is Marketing so that is what is looked at in this blog.
The decision to outsource is the first step. Next is finding the right partner
‘Partner’ is chosen deliberately because you want to be working with a provider who is prepared to understand your business in depth, your ambitions and your business philosophy. They will be able to represent your business as if it were their own. They will be in it for the long run so will have to live and learn from any mistakes they might make. They will not be a ‘fire and forget’ business.
It is my belief that outsourcing to a Marketing provider should not be an arms length arrangement. The principal needs to be involved in the decision making and so feel ownership of the marketing programme, this means regular face to face catch up/development meetings are key alongside normal contact. It is down to good communication.
Once both have agreed a plan – usually with a 12 month horizon – then, as you would with any significant investment, it is a question of monitoring and amending to respond to change.
Outsourcing is bit like donning one of those ‘Ironman’ suits. It allows you to extend your reach while retaining control.