‘Control freak’ has such negative connotations. What I really mean is, how to outsource when you’ve spent an incredible amount of time and energy building your business from scratch to hand over tasks to just anyone. 
I’ve never met a business owner who didn’t have some hesitation about outsourcing and quite rightly so! It’s terrifying to think of someone else handling business-critical tasks and it’s near impossible for them to meet your high standards. 
 
As much as this is true, it's the small business ‘superhero complex’. This is a common, but thankfully not usually fatal condition that effects all business owners at some point in their lives. It’s where your business is growing and you are struggling to do it all to a consistently high standard. There will come a point where you simply HAVE to hand over some jobs to the professionals. Whether it be web design, accounting, PR or Admin! 
 
So, with all this in mind, here’s my top tips for outsourcing efficiently and with confidence… 
 
1. Do your homework! 
Recommendations are so important when outsourcing. Do you know anyone who has used the services you require recently? Don’t just take their word for it, ask your potential new supplier for references, testimonials and don’t forget to check out their Facebook Page for reviews and comments. If a potential client wants to agree to ongoing Virtual Assistant services with us, we always offer them a call with an existing Client. Our Clients are a friendly bunch and are usually happy to oblige. This type of call gives you an open space to ask questions business owner to business owner. 
 
2. CLICK! 
It may sound a bit corny, but ‘connection’ is everything and going with your gut instinct (or `business brain` as we like to call it) is absolutely vital to outsourcing success. Your new supplier or consultant will become a critical extension of your business, you need to know and like them in order to build a successful professional relationship. Equally, they need to ‘get you’, which leads me perfectly on to my third tip... 
3. Understanding! 
Does your potential supplier understand who you are? Are they keen to learn what you do; how you operate, what drives you? What you expect of people and what people expect of you? If not, don’t waste your precious time. If you are paying someone for their skilled services, it is absolutely non-negotiable that they understand yours. Simple things to look out for include: 
• Have they visited your website? 
• Do they understand or any experience in your industry? 
• Are they curious and asking the right questions about you AND your business? 
 
4. How do the credentials stack up? 
It is incredibly important to check credentials of potential suppliers. By this I mean are they registered with any trade or professional bodies, do they have the required registrations, standards and/or insurance? Equally, you may wish to check out Companies House for information such as addresses, dates and insolvency data. I regularly carry out this type of research for our Clients so feel free drop me a quick email if you’d appreciate some further guidance or to learn more about other useful places to seek out company information. 
5. Finally…COST! 
Cost is an incredibly important factor, but it should not be the only consideration. How do their rates compare? At Alchemy Virtual Assistance, we are very good at what we do, our rates are competitive, but they also reflect the quality of skilled service we offer. In our line of work, we become an extension of the business. Our Client’s time is the most valuable resource to their business, so we believe our job is the second most important one. Therefore, the last thing we want to be known as is cheap. Are your potential supplier’s rates reasonable and in line with your expectations? How do they stack up against others in their field? 
 
Remember, more often than not, you get what you pay for. 
 
Paul 
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