How Outsourcing Can Free You Up to Do What You Do Best

This is a sponsored post by Casey Graham, the CEO of The Change Group. His company provides outsourced financial management services and bookkeeping to churches and small businesses. Casey is also an avid blogger.

I have heard it said that organizations are filled with two types of work: people work and paper work. Many leaders I meet with WANT to do people work but are STUCK doing paper work.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/sodafish, Image #9613139

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/sodafish

Doing tasks are very important, but the role of a leader is to influence others to grow to their full potential. So, how do you deal with the tension of managing urgent tasks and spending the appropriate amount of time developing people over a period of time?

One word: Outsourcing.

It is old school thinking to believe that we have to do everything ourselves or have someone on our team to do it. The world is full of organizations that now exist to help leaders do what they need to do: LEAD!

The Change Group is built to help church and small business leaders never have to think about their bookkeeping and financial management ever again. Here are benefits of outsourcing tasks that can result in increased leadership.

  1. Hiring The Best For Half The Cost. When someone outsources to an organization, most of the time they get the expertise they need at a price they can afford. For instance, most of our churches would NOT be able to afford a Chief Financial Officer that helps them strategically navigate the future of funding their vision and mission. Now every church we work with gets HIGH-CAPACITY leaders for less than they can hire a part-time bookkeeper. That lifts the leadership capacity, and influence goes up immediately.
  2. Acquiring a Team vs. a Single Person. Outsourcing allows you to hire an entire team of people that work on your behalf. This is a huge benefit because the whole team never goes on vacation at the same time, giving you access 52 weeks a year! There are higher levels of accountability because multiple people are checking the work. The leader has to spend ZERO time training this team because this is what they wake up in the morning thinking about. This frees up the leader to lead and increases his leadership capacity.
  3. You Can Fire with Little Internal Consequences Let’s be honest: firing people is never easy. However, from time to time, it has to be done. It is far easier to fire someone for poor job performance that is not internally connected to your organization. In our organization this creates great urgency for us to make our clients raving fans. Knowing this benefit is true drives us to want to succeed at a higher level.
  4. Gives the Leader Energy. We know for our clients that most people leading organizations don’t wake up thinking about how to do better bookkeeping and increase financial leadership. A lot of leaders TRY to do this, but fail because it just drains them. When we take this burden off, the leaders and staff gain tremendous energy because they can live in their sweet spot. Trying to spend your time doing energy-draining activities COSTS you more than you think. The next level of growth in your organization might come through allowing others to do what they love, so you can do what you love.

To connect with Casey and The Change Group or for questions about outsourcing bookkeeping at your church or small business, click here.

Question: What would outsourcing make possible for your leadership? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.jodyfransch.com Jody Fransch

    This post has given me a fresh perspective on outsourcing. All the points mentioned are excellent, but I particularly like the first and last one. Hiring the best staff at half the cost is so true! This gives the leader the peace of mind to know that the job will get done and be done well, and at the same time he/she can put first things first and focus on what truly matters. Not having to worry about these cumbersome tasks is a like a breath of fresh air thus resulting in increased energy and drive do what we really love.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/michaelhyatt Michael Hyatt

      I agree. I know for some people bookkeeping and financial management are a calling. Thank God. But not for me. I see them as a necessary evil. Outsourcing provides a way for people who can't afford a full-time bookkeeper a way to get those tasks off their to-do list, so they can get back to what they were truly called to do.

    • http://www.thechangegroup.tv Casey Graham

      Thanks Jody! We love to help leaders do what they do best!

  • http://www.maclakeonline.com Mac Lake

    Great post. We use outsourcing in our communications and video areas which allows our fulltime team to focus on priority projects while the people we outsource to take on simple, less creative, yet time consuming projects. This saves us from hiring another fulltime person in that area, yet allows us to keep productivity up. Thanks again for a continual flow of practical posts!
    My recent post Leaders as Teachers

    • http://www.thechangegroup.tv Casey Graham

      Mac! Thanks for the reply… I am going to do a video for your site soon! Thanks bro!

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/chrishuff chrishuff

    "Hiring The Best For Half The Cost. When someone outsources to an organization, most of the time they get the expertise they need at a price they can afford."

    I work in a field where outsourcing occurs. I must say, outsourcing doesn't mean getting the best at half the price. In my field, it's "Hiring Someone For Half The Cost."

    This article would have been better if it was focused on the benefits of outsourcing bookkeeping. For example, "You Can Fire with Little Internal Consequences" is not a good statement to make. For example, I'll say that after bookkeeping internally for several years, I decide to outsource. After several months, I determine the company isn't performing to promised expectations. I can fire them (based on contractual rights) but then I have to bring everything back internally even if I then outsource to a different company because there is the whole transition phase. That bullet point should have read "You Can Fire Without Fear of Emotional Impact On the Company You have Fired."

    • http://www.thechangegroup.tv Casey Graham

      Thanks for replying to the article. Good insights for the next article we do!

  • Eric Morrow

    Casey, I think you're right in that small business owners in particular need to outsource work that they aren't experts in and for the reasons you outlined (lower cost without hiring full-time employees, expertise, and work only when you need it). Another idea for owners to consider is what kind of work they are buying – they need to delegate responsibility for well-defined tasks to outside experts, not abdicate that responsibility. I wrote about that idea recently here – http://wp.me/pH3jL-p. Thanks to Hyatt for bringing us another great and practical post!

    • http://www.thechangegroup.tv Casey Graham

      Eric, thanks for the reply! I will check out your idea on your link!

      • http://wp.me/pH3jL-p Eric Morrow

        I apologize – the URL had an error with the period. Please follow this http://wp.me/pH3jL-p link.

        • http://www.thechangegroup.tv Casey Graham

          thx Eric!

  • http://yourethepoint.com @jeremymoore

    Great points, we should always be looking to do more ministry while setting great examples of stewardship for our people to follow.
    Keeping the cost/excellence curve in mind is one way our church makes sure we aren't spending unnecessary resources in areas where we've already got a great solution. Outsourcing helps us do that as does building a strong volunteer base.

    My recent post Top 3

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ndstrupler ndstrupler

    Creating momentum takes mass and speed. More people get the job done faster, but it takes a greater amount of leadership.
    thanks for your inside.

  • http://www.andrewpmoore.com Andrew P Moore

    I am the operations manager for an outsourced IT consulting firm. We frequently augment existing staff or replace internal support teams. We have found a great value in how our clients react to our work. Clients get an entire team, they get a help desk and project managers for a little more or sometimes less than a full time internal support person. They no longer have to worry about managing that person or group and they can focus on other areas.
    My recent post 2010 Lowering Employee Turnover for MSPs in a Thawing Economy- Part 1

  • http://www.successconnections.com/101ways Melanie Strick

    Having the time to lead is crucial for entrepreneurs — but it has to fit within your budget! I like outsourcing with a plan for ROI. In other words, knowing that the team I'm investing in is either

    a) freeing me up to make money
    b) completing tasks that will generate leads/money

    It helps me feel more confident with my investment. I actually developed a cool little freebie tool for this called 101 Ways to Triple Your Income & Time Off. It helps me avoid any delusions of "OH, I can do that real quick myself!'

    Great post, thanks!

  • Randy Bosch

    Some organizations bring all disciplines in-house for an integrated common experience. Outsourcing to "experts" when you need their specific help does a far more important thing – it brings the full breadth of their experience – that is not linked to shared experience with you – to the table, rather than just the "group think".

    And, don't "cheap out". As a rather irenic consultant of mine (a fabulous resource) once advised – "If you have a dog, why bark?".

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  • http://twitter.com/adamrshields @adamrshields

    There needs to be some balance to outsourcing. Institutional knowledge is important, maybe not as much for small or new organizations but even for those knowing what the background is on something can be very important. But on the whole I agree. I am working with a church that will not outsource their email. They insist on having their own servers, their own retention (one year no questions asked) policy, their own 1 gb user accessible storage quota. It would cost much less and they would get much more if they would release the reigns a bit. But on the other than they refuse to outsource their accounting and they have a top notch staff (who also happen to oversee IT and are part of the problem with the email.)
    My recent post Lowell Snow’s Prayer Guide

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  • http://www.helpdeskoutsourcings.com jimmy@it outsourcing

    Outsourcing is the strategy wherein an organization procures raw material or other processes from outside agencies or organizations, rather than manufacturing them in-house. It involves subletting an organizational process or activity to third party. Such a strategy helps to optimize costs and enables the organization to focus on its areas of competencies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001214631622 Robert Rawson

    From where I'm sitting it's hard to imagine why a lot of businesses don't already outsource. I have a virtual assistant in the Philippines, a team of coders in Romania, Estonia and the Russian Federation and business a network of about 50 other employees in various other locations (including Canada, Australia and India). If I had to hire all of these people in one place, the expenses would be astronomical.

    We have been working on software for the last year – http://www.timedoctor.com – which is designed to help manage remote staff (although it can be used in any office environment). We have closed our office and all of our staff work from home. I believe this software will truly help revolutionize the way people look at, and do business.

    At the moment, our software is FREE to try and is in BETA release for the next 6 months (where it will continue to be offered at no expense).

    • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt Robert Ewoldt

      My brother-in-law outsources to a virtual assistant all his pre-pipeline sales work, because he hates to do the research to find new clients to target. So, he just has someone else do it for him; it saves him time, and he only does the stuff that he really enjoys, that brings him the most return for his effort.

  • http://Busyness.com Dr. Brad Semp

    Hey Casey – excellent job of summarizing some key benefits of outsourcing. Outsourcing really is a key approach to scaling an organization – especially if you are an entrepreneur or small business owner. The #1 question asked by my clients is “How do I decide what to outsource?” My basic answer is:

    (1) Identify everything that can be outsourced
    (2) Prioritize so that the activities that you are not good at or that you dislike doing are at the top of the list
    (3) Make sure that whatever is at the top of the list either has a documented process (if not, build it)

  • Outsourcingprosoregon

     Thanks for the great blog on Outsourcing. I couldn’t agree more. I own a Portland Oregon Bookkeeper and Accounting Services company.  Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.infinit-o.com/ John Marvin De Leon

    If businesses decide to entertain the idea of outsourcing, then it would drive companies to become more dynamic. At the same time, leaders will finally be assured that specific projects will be done in a more professional manner because the level of expertise outsourcing companies offer are higher. Thanks for sharing this, Casey.

    – John from Infinit Outsourcing