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6 Things You Can’t or Shouldn’t Outsource

Is leading and managing about delegating as much as possible? This is certainly debatable and depends a lot on the amount of workload that everyone carries. It also depends on ones own opinion and management style.

However, regardless of your management style, there are certain things that you cannot outsource and may not be able to fully delegate.

Below are some of these tasks that cannot be outsourced.

1. Evaluating the success of your business

You can certainly hire outside financial analysts and consultants to to give you their opinion on your business’ functions, but this is one thing you must always actively monitor. Since it is YOUR cash, the ultimate accountability lands on you. If a financial analyst or consultant is wrong with their assessment, it can mean your loss. This is why you can not fully outsource (or delegate) the management and monitoring of your income streams.

Even when your business grows big enough where you must step aside and hire professional management, you still should ensure that you are kept in the loop. It is important that you occasionally monitor or have someone report to you any updates or concerns for your businesses.

2. Complete accountability

There is a lot you can delegate and outsource. But one thing that is impossible to delegate or outsource is complete accountability. Why? Similar to the last point, no matter how much you delegate to others, anything potentially damaging to your business will affect YOUR wallet.

It is important to delegate responsibility as much as you can afford, however you can not expect to have guaranteed perpetual income without some occasional monitoring.

3. Managing your staff

Of course you can delegate this, but you certainly can’t outsource managing. The most management that you can possibly outsource is to contract or temp workers but this is by no means a permanent solution. If you need a CEO, President, or any manager, you must hire someone, not contract out to a firm.

4. Hiring your staff

There are plenty of human resource functions you can outsource. You can even sub-contract out to employment agencies or headhunters to help you locate eligible workers. However, they certainly cannot make the hiring decision for you. Those you outsource to do not have your firm’s best interest in mind and no one could possibly know what requirements are needed better than insiders in your company. Just like managing, you will need to hire a recruiter/interviewer if you don’t want to handle the interviews yourself.

5. Motivating your staff

Like managing, the only people qualified to motivate your staff is you and your managers. Consultants can advise you on effective motivational techniques, but ultimately, motivation must come from within your company, not externally.

6. Determine the culture of your business

If you need to instill change in your organization, consultants can often do a great job at advising you on altering the personality and culture of your business in order for it to better foster change. However, it is ultimately up to you and your managers to shape the personality and climate of your business. Setting a casual or formal atmosphere, one with strict 9-5 working hours or a ROWE policy are all decisions you and your managers must make. Consultants can only help point you in the right direction.

Are there any other tasks that you think can not be outsourced? Are there any tasks already listed that you think can be? Why?

2 comments… add one
  • Ayo Adekunle July 10, 2010, 11:14 am

    please help me out. I run a private school which has grown to two hundred pupils a few years back.But decline set in when I enrolled for a masters degree in International relations.(full time) Ihad to leave running the school in the hands of my staff while pursuing the programme.
    However by the time I completed the degree programme,the population has greatly declined. All effort made ever to revive this school has not yielded the desired result.
    please help me out

    • Matt Thomas July 16, 2010, 1:12 pm

      Hi Ayo, my response to your question is too long for a comment, so I’ll be posting my reply in a new blog article. Please check back shortly for my reply in a new post.


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