One of the greatest problems
new business owners face is having more work than they can handle. Imagine a scenario where your business starts off on the right foot. You become a niche-celebrity of the hour and get showered with business offers from all sides. Unfortunately, seeing how you are still relatively new in the industry, refusing work may seem to you a bad practice. However, keep in mind that you should never accept more work than you can manage, as you will end up letting some of your clients down and earning bad reputation you probably won’t get a chance to fix.
On the brighter side, even if you do make a mistake of taking on greater workload, there are a few ways in which you can deal with it. There are two most common (and most successful) methods – outsourcing and reorganization. Both of these have their sets of advantages and drawbacks, so let’s review some of them.
Hiring More People
Probably the most straightforward solution to dealing with increased workload would be to hire more people. Still, this is not always as simple as it sounds. Your office may not be big enough. You may already have more people on your payroll than you can handle, and sometimes you will have to look for highly skilled workers, which significantly narrows your hiring pool. One of the solutions you can resort to is hiring freelancers or remote workers. Skill-wise, it may not be as efficient, but it can be a great temporary solution to your problem.
When Should You Outsource?
The question of whether you should outsource or reorganize is the one that can be answered with a simple mathematical calculation. Still, you need to have all the factors present if you are to reach an accurate solution. For example, an alternative to outsourcing is more than just hiring new people. It also means providing them with adequate workspace and work tools, both of which can cost you quite a bit.
Furthermore, according to people behind Crystel, the greatest problem with expanding your own capacities lies in training and experience. You see, in order to get experts for that workplace, you would have to offer your potential employees a heftier paycheck than you can afford. Otherwise, you would have to train them, which means paying for courses and sometimes even instructing and monitoring them yourself. Keep in mind that your time is also a resource – a finite one. Even with all of this, it might be years before they are able to outperform their more experienced colleagues from other companies.
So, if all of this seems like more than you can afford (money- or time-wise), outsourcing is definitely a better option. The greatest drawback of this solution is that you won’t be able to personally supervise everything, but then again, nearshoring can fix even that.
Take a New Approach
The 21st century is the age of technology. One person, equipped with the right digital tools, can easily do the work of an entire department. However, this is not all you can do. A lot of people make a mistake of believing that if you want to have something done properly, you have to do it yourself. On the other hand, when your workload starts increasing, you can either choose to share some of your business responsibilities or decide to stay a garage-startup forever. In this scenario, some people start assigning and grooming team leaders and managers; others take the aforementioned high-tech approach and hire a virtual assistant. Either way works.
Finally, although it is vital that you manage to do everything you promised, not all of your tasks will be of the same priority. You see, by solving some minor tasks first, you can then give some of your teams a free schedule and allow them to switch to something else. On the other hand, you may fear that you won’t have enough resources or energy to do a major project last, which is a valid reason to start from it. No matter how you look at it, this is something highly situational.
In the end, accepting more work than you can momentarily handle can be quite risky, but it can also end up being a good thing. It can sometimes motivate (or even pressure) you to rapidly expand your business, possibly even faster than you believed possible. Sure, it would still be for the best to be realistic about your business’ capabilities, but if you ever make a mistake of overestimating yourself, there are always one or two things you can do to make things right.
Dan Radak is a marketing professional with ten years of experience. He is a coauthor on several websites and regular contributor to BizzMark Blog. Currently, he is working with a number of companies in the field of digital marketing, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies.