As many of you know, I still do some consulting on landscaping projects around the country. About a month ago, I was onsite for a local government job that required my certification (Certified Landscape Professional). While I was driving I saw the Bob’s Mobile Lawn Mower Repair trailer and truck. The first thing I thought was that this might be a great outsourcing opportunity for a small lawn care or landscape operator. The next thought I had was about outsourcing for small business in general. And the next thought I had was about coffee…
But back to outsourcing for small businesses.
If your team is still on the small side, you might not have the volume to keep your team busy all the time. You might be trying to stretch yourself (or your team) to get everything done, squeezing as much as possible from everyone. This can be great in the short term, but if you do this for too long you risk burning out yourself or your team – or both. The next option is to bring on additional people, but you might not have enough work to keep them all busy, all the time. Running a small business requires a degree in juggling with a major in balance. But it doesn’t have to be.
You can outsource a good chunk of your business so that you can focus on what you do best. If you’re the best salesperson on your team, should you be the one fixing the lawnmower, or is it better for your business to have someone else do that while you go and make more sales? You’ve probably already learned that doing your own books is not the best use of your time – you’re a landscaper, not an accountant. A friend of mine loves tools, but he will buy the cheap’o version of them first to find out if it’s worth using in the long run. Sometimes the novelty is just that – a novelty, but other times, he learns that the tool is awesome and he’ll go buy the best he can afford. Outsourcing is a great way to fill in the small needs of your business until you decide you need a fulltime, in-house person for that job.
Being the boss means more than being the person that collects the fat paycheck. You’re the person who pays the bills. You’re the person that has to find new work, keep the equipment running right, and make sure there’s gas in the tank, the tools are all sharp, and the radio’s working. Other than that, it’s pretty much easy living, right?
If you’ve got a small’ish business, what do you outsource so you can keep your eye on the game?