Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Whether to Outsource and How to Value Your Marketing Efforts

Here is a quick guide to help the small business owner determine whether to outsource specific marketing tasks and how to decide what his/her marketing efforts are worth.

Should I Outsource?

  1. Try the classic litmus test for delegating: “If someone else can perform this task at least 75% as well as you can, delegate it.”
  2. Do I have the necessary expertise to get it done at the desired level of quality? This is particularly important if more than 75% is desired.
  3. Is my time best spent on this or something else?
  4. Do I have the necessary raw materials sitting around (e.g., notes, samples, drafts, etc.) but can never find time to get it done?
  5. Do I have all the ideas in my head but no one to share them with who can run with them?
  6. Will it take more time for me to find someone to do this task or do it myself?

What Is It Worth?

  1. What are the potential results (i.e., what do I stand to gain) from having this marketing task complete? Assign a dollar value to that. It could be a percentage of sales, a number of new leads, etc. Find a metric that will mean something financially to your business.
  2. What is the value of my time (and my staff’s time) and how long would it take us to do this? Assign everyone an hourly rate and estimate the time it would take.
  3. Given our schedules, is the duration of the task appropriate/acceptable? For example, you may have determined that a task will take you 8 hours to complete, but it may take you a month to carve out those hours and complete the task. Is that going to work for you? If not, to have this solution expedited, what does mean for your business (in dollars, if possible)?
  4. If there is an impending deadline associated with the task, will we be able to meet it working regular hours and without sacrificing our client work? What would eliminating the stress be worth to us?
  5. What is it worth to me to have someone transform my raw materials and ideas into a finished product in a measurable and valuable way?
  6. If someone could provide me with the tools to perform this function better/faster/cheaper in the future, what would I be willing to invest in my future?
  7. If I were to hire a part-time employee to perform this task or block of tasks, what would the expected annual salary be and what percentage of that would be dedicated to it? Consider that dollar figure as a potential gauge for incoming proposals.

Your comments, thoughts, suggestions, and questions on this post are welcomed.


Uma said...

This is very comprehensive! I also feel that even taking the first step toward outsourcing can help clarify many of these questions. Just by sitting down with another professional and brainstorming, you can really hone in on your ultimate goal and receive enough feedback to possibly endeavor the task yourself. And in some cases you may realize it's a much bigger project than you initially thought.

Great work, Madame Diziere.

Tracy Diziere said...

Thanks, Uma! You are so right about taking that first step and learning along the way.

Elaine Fogel said...

Good common sense advice here, Tracy.

Lisa Raymond said...

This is a great checklist for small business owners! It outlines perfectly any perception why we might take on the marketing task ourselves, and backs it up with sound explanations as to why we shouldn't. I think part of the problem is, most business owners don't realize how much money and time they would save down the road if they did outsource. It's all about educating the client and deepening the relationship. Thanks - great post!