While highly rewarding, a career as an independent management consultant is hard work; make no mistake about it. You’ll work long hours, possibly juggling a number of projects concurrently. When you aren’t helping your clients, you’ll have all the other aspects of running a business to take care of.
However, you don’t have to shoulder the entire burden yourself. Instead you can take advantage of the benefits of outsourcing.
Thanks to digital connectivity and the ability for people to work online from anywhere, you can actually outsource many of your essential, but non-core activities to freelance contractors or virtual assistants. Furthermore, you can do so at very affordable rates if you don’t mind using external help from overseas.
What Can You Outsource?
If you hadn’t thought about outsourcing some of your activities, the prospect can be a little worrisome, simply because of the fear of losing control. However, if you pick the right organisation, contractor, or virtual assistant, the benefits of outsourcing can far outweigh the risk. Of course, you also have to be careful of what tasks you outsource.
You can certainly outsource some of your administrative work—anything that doesn’t directly help you to work effectively with clients.
Sometimes it can be beneficial to consider outsourcing some services for your customers too. For example, if a project requires some activities falling outside your area of expertise, you can outsource rather than turn the project down.
What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing?
Some of the primary benefits of outsourcing your own business management tasks, like bookkeeping or travel arrangements are as follows:
- It can simply unburden you of some workload, which in turn can help to prevent you from suffering burnout—a common issue for busy consultants.
- It can help you be more efficient. When you’re under pressure with customer projects and trying to cope with peripheral tasks as well, you risk making omissions and/or errors in both areas.
- It can help you grow your business by enabling you to focus on consulting and marketing (although of course, it’s possible to outsource your marketing activity too).
- With some of your peripheral activity outsourced, you can spend more time doing billable work. The productive hours you gain will more than pay for the cost of a virtual assistant, especially if you outsource to developing countries such as The Philippines.
- You can achieve better results by outsourcing tasks which you don’t enjoy or which you don’t consider to be strong points in your skillset. A good contractor may simply be able to complete some tasks more effectively than you.
Choosing the Right Service Provider
If you want to gain some of the benefits of outsourcing, you’ll need to take care in your selection of service providers. It’s possible you may even need to work with more than one virtual assistant, depending on what tasks you want to outsource. Naturally, some virtual assistants are better at certain tasks than others.
If you really don’t want the complexity of dealing with two or three different contractors though, there are some organisations that provide a full range of VA services.
These firms can assign the right people to cover each of your outsourcing needs. If you find one of these providers that operate out of a developing country, you can take advantage of their low rates. You’ll be able to get many of your business management tasks covered for you at a fraction of the price you charge for your consulting time.
Outsource From the Outset
While you might feel you should look after all aspects of your new consulting business until you find your feet, there’s actually a lot to be gained from outsourcing some of your workload from the word go.
In fact, having an extra pair of hands or two in the early days can help you focus on finding consulting clients and delivering your services effectively.
Management consulting is hard work, but the rewards are many. Get yourself a little outsourced help at the outset. Then you can take your workload in your stride and spare a little time to appreciate the benefits of being your own boss.
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