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Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Too much to do and not enough time?

I’m going to give you a solution to take some of that stress of your plate.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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In this episode, I will look at outsourcing by asking and answer the following questions:

  • What is outsourcing?

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  • Why would I need to outsource?

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  • When to outsource?

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  • What duties could I outsource?

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  • Where do I look to find outsourcing?

Alright, there is a bit to cover so let’s get started.

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What is outsourcing?

This is a simple answer, outsourcing is contracting work outside your place of business.

This could be down the street to the local accounting firm or off-shore to hire a VA (virtual assistant – could be a jack of all trades or detailed to a specific task).

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Why would I need to outsource?

Earlier in the book, I talked about the type of operator you might to be; a business opportunist, the supervisor, or a skilled worker. I said in a perfect world, a balance of all three would be the best. That’s not being realistic and I know how difficult that can be.

Setting up a great organizational system will help alleviate many responsibilities that are currently falling on your shoulders, but you will find some duties or responsibilities that would be difficult to complete by you or your present staffs’ due to lack of time or expertise.

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“This is where outsourcing can help”

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Big businesses have long seen outsourcing as a strategy, and today’s technology has made it a more accessible tool for small businesses, and for many, outsourcing has made a powerful impact on their growth, productivity and bottom line.

Most business owners have great talents, but many times they think they can do it all.

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Does this sound familiar?

In reality, you might think or wish you could do it all, but if you step back, you will soon realize that there are other people out there that cannot do it better, but does it cheaper than your time is worth, and the result will be far better.

Taking the first steps toward outsourcing can be time-consuming, but figuring out how to build your business with help from outside professionals can offer increased efficiency and profits.

By letting go of some of the reins, you will free up more time to focus on more important things in your business.

When should you outsource? I will answer that question along with the others, right after a word from our sponsors.

Before the break, I said I would tell you when you should outsource.

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When to Outsource?

When you and your current employees are unable to manage the day-to-day business of your property, it may be time to consider outsourcing.

I would not wait until it was too late. As soon as you see the workload becoming too hectic, but you can’t justify hiring new in-house employees, take a look at what duties could be outsourced.

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What duties could I outsource?

These days technology has advanced to the point where professionals are able to work from anywhere in the world and with little time, you will be able to find extremely qualified professionals.

Before you start, a word of caution, because you can outsource a task doesn’t mean you should.

Before deciding which tasks you can outsource, take a hard look at your business and determine your strengths and values. There might be some things you like to do or would like to get off your plate, but be careful of the things important to your core business or for security reasons you should not surrender.

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Okay, that aside, here are the type of tasks you could outsource.

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They fall into three general categories:

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  • Highly skilled, or executives with expertise.

For example, find a human resources expert who could come in a few times each month to provide consulting advice, employee evaluations, motivational programs, etc. This without paying a full-time salary.

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  • Highly tedious tasks

Accounts payable, data entry and shipping inventory are a few examples.

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  • Expert knowledge

Examples might include: IT support for your accounting system or your network, social media consultants, web designers.

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They are all important tasks, but you or your staff might not have the expertise.

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Here are more examples of commonly outsourced duties.

  • Virtual assistants

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  • Marketing directors

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  • Graphic designers

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  • Transcriptionists

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  • Web designers

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  • HR consultants

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  • PR directors

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  • IT specialists

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  • Customer support

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  • Accounting

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  • Tax preparation

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  • Manufacturing

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  • Data entry

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  • Research & Development

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  • Legal services

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  • Creative services

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  • Healthcare services

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  • Building maintenance

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  • Supply and inventory

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  • Purchasing

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  • Food and cafeteria services

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  • Security

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  • Fleet services

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  • Video creation

                   and the list goes on

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Where do I look to find outsourcing?

You want to make sure you find the right outsourcing partner. The first place you should look is in your own backyard, your neighbourhood.

Ask other business owners or your accountant, lawyer, or banker if they can recommend a provider offering the services you need.

Using online platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter make it easy to expand your personal networks and are places to ask for recommendations.

If that does not work for you, other options could include placing ads on work-at-home websites

If you are a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, you will find a list of outsourcing businesses in the resource section.

 

Are these making sense? Let me know in the comments.

 

What is the next step?

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After you’ve found a provider, your work isn’t over yet.

Ask for and check their references and then take the time to create a specific contract that outlines exactly what performance is expected.

Explain your expectations and the steps included in the job clearly; never assume that contractors are thinking about what you’re thinking. It is important that the requirements and expectations are laid out in the beginning, and don’t assume anything.

Be prepared, there will be a learning curve on the team member’s side, so initially, plan to spend more time with them and as your team member gets better, you will have the freedom to focus on more important tasks.

Once you have spent time with the new member and they have proven they can do the job, step back, relinquish control, and allow your new team members to do the job you’ve hired them to do.

If you are going to micromanage your outsourcing, the savings in your time will be gone and the whole point of outsourcing will be lost.

While outsourcing has its great advantages for a small company, it can have challenges.

If you choose to work with offshore providers, language barriers and time zones could be an issue. Focusing on making your own communications clear can help overcome confusion for those who are not native English speakers. And time zones create more opportunity than an inconvenience. Assign a task at night, and the next morning, wake to find it complete and waiting for you.

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In conclusion

The benefits of outsourcing offer you as a hospitality property owner great advantages. It allows you to build a team of skilled professionals without adding the expense of full-time employees, and to avoid getting bogged down with tasks that can be completed without your attention.

It’s an inexpensive alternative and a proven strategy for growing a business without letting it take over your life.

When you outsource, you can focus your time, attention and resources on your property’s main abilities and spend your time setting new goals and finding ways to achieve them.

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Do you currently outsource, if so what?

Let me know in the comments.

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In the next episode, I will be looking at revenue management strategies for your property.

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PS. Have you been checking out the new “INNsider Tips” series released every Thursday? They are short weekly videos that are designed to help you, hospitality property owners and managers grow your property. Make sure to check the out at KeystoneHospitalityDevelopment.com or on YouTube by searching INNsider Tips.

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