The Sweet Tea Effect: A Case for Outsourcing…

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Did the title freak you out? No, we’re not advocating for the mass departure of American business to countries where costs are cheaper. Right Column believes that small businesses are the backbone of the nation and we want to do everything we can to support small business owners. So what are we talking about when we say “outsourcing?”

Imagine a nice glass of sweet tea. (It’s August and Right Column is based in Hotlanta, GA!
Sweet tea is being sold by the tanker-loads this time of year! Okay, back to our word picture…) So you’ve got a nice, icy glass of sweet tea and you’re sitting outside on the back porch watching the kids play on a hot summer evening. The kids notice that you’ve got a cold drink and come running. They each grab a straw out of the glass jar of straws (that just so happens to be right next to your glass) and start chugging away… before you know it, you’re refreshing beverage is all gone and you’re left parched on the back porch.

Now, it’s a silly word picture, but the point here is simple. There’s only so much tea in the glass and the more straws that go in, the faster the tea is gone.

It’s the same with your priceless time and energy as a small business owner. There are only twenty-four hours in a day and only seven days in a week. You own a business because you’re an expert in something– HVAC? Hair Styling? Landscaping? Restaurant? Insurance?

Each day, you start with a full glass of energy and time.

Each task on your list– or the unexpected ones that pop up– are straws in your glass.

There’s only so much in the glass.

Do you wake up in the morning thinking, “I can’t wait to work on the books. Payroll is the best!” What about, “This week, I’m going to build a kickin’ website!” We know you live for checking on the security of your website and network– admit it. Okay, probably not. You started your business to do what you do well, not to get bogged down in all of the necessary evils.

The good news is that there are other small businesses, just like you, that are available to make your life easier. You don’t have to be a web designer, an IT specialist, or an accountant. You can outsource those tasks for much cheaper than you can hire someone to do it and, often times, get a higher quality of service. Let’s look at a hypothetical situation:

Jamie runs a barber shop. His father ran a barber shop. His grandfather ran a barber shop. His family cuts hair. That’s what they do– and they do it well. What they do not do well is bookkeeping. Purchasing invoices, receipts, etc. pile up and at the end of each month, Jamie spends hours trying to sift through it all. It means late nights and the loss of personal time because it can’t interfere with barber shop hours. Jamie considers hiring someone part-time to handle the bookkeeping, but hiring someone thoroughly qualified to work a part-time job is tough– and expensive, plus it means managing someone who is not a barber. Jamie just wants to run his barber shop. 

Here’s an opportunity to outsource. Jamie can hire a company to manage his bookkeeping for a fraction of what it would cost to hire a part-time worker. But that’s not the only benefit. Jamie now has access to accounting experts who can help him manage his company’s finances so effectively that his business thrives. Jamie has his nights and personal time back and loves what he does even more. 

When you’re an entrepreneur, spending your hard-earned money can be difficult. But you have to ask yourself what your time is worth. Are there companies out there who can help you to have more time to do what you do best? If you find yourself answering “yes” to this question, connect with your local Chamber of Commerce. They can help you find the resources you need.

If you read Jamie’s story and saw yourself in it, Right Column is here to help you. We offer an array of financial services, from bookkeeping to CFO-level insight, with the goal of helping small business owners keep their focus on what they do best.  Connect with us if you’d like to learn more about how Right Column can come alongside you to grow your business.

Addendum: My kids saw the glass of tea I used for the picture and had it drained in 15 seconds.