Every home-based business owner yearns to grow their revenue and brand reach. They often aren’t prepared for the changes that ensue when they finally meet their growth targets. Their biggest frustration is needing to find qualified employees or contractors to assist them.
Hiring the wrong talent can have a disastrous impact on your growing business. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid.
Relying too heavily on micro gig platforms
Sites like the old Elance and Odesk (now merged as Upwork) have become very popular platforms for home-based businesses to both find and outsource work. Unfortunately, the quality of the services that you will find on these platforms is highly questionable and finding the right candidates is a challenge.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use them at all. However, you should limit services that you purchase to simple tasks that can be easily streamlined.
Failing to check applicant backgrounds
Do you think that anybody would hire a full-time employee without checking references or conducting a criminal background check? It is surprising how many online and home-based businesses don’t exercise the same due diligence.
Regardless of where they are located, you should be able to find some information about the employees or contractors that you intend to bring on board. The CEO of Greenhouse Recruiting Software suggests checking their online profiles and running cursory Google searches of their names. You should be able to quickly vet candidates based on their prior work histories.
Failing to prioritize the tasks that you outsource in intermediary growth stages
Growth is a continuum for most businesses. In the early stages, you will likely be solely responsible for production. Your ultimate end goal may be to grow to the point that you become solely an administrator for your company. You won’t be responsible for day-to-day production activities.
Between these extremes, you are going to experience different stages of growth. At some points of your growth cycle, you are going to be generating too much business to handle everything on your own. At the same time, you won’t be able to afford to outsource all activities. This can be a challenging experience, because you are going to need to learn to prioritize tasks and decide what to outsource.
Here are some questions that you need to ask yourself before outsourcing:
- What tasks are you best suited for handling on your own? You are probably not going to want to outsource the tasks that you are best at, because you will get a better return on your investment by hiring somebody to handle functions where they offer a comparative advantage.
- What is the value and cost of outsourcing any given task? If the cost exceeds the benefit, then it obviously isn’t in your best interest to outsource it at this time. You’re going to need to wait until you can find a lower cost service provider or significantly increase the incremental value that you will earn from it. This often requires trimming other overhead expenses to lift your overall profit margin.
- How necessary is the task? You may have noticed that some tasks are not particularly useful for your operations. Rather than outsourcing them, it is best to simply cut them from your business model altogether.
Assessing the benefits of outsourcing certain tasks is key to making sure that you get the highest possible ROI from it. This is a crucial part of growing your company, because you will otherwise be forced to scale back your operations and resume handling everything on your own.
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