I’ve discussed outsourcing before on When Life Gives You Lemons, specifically related to blogging, but not everybody has a blog and a huge concern about outsourcing for most people is really just the financial aspect.
I don’t doubt that 99% of the population would love to outsource the tasks that they don’t particularly like doing, if only money wasn’t an object. For most of us, however, money is a concern. It’s the reason why we find ourselves scrubbing the floors at 11:00 AM on a Saturday morning instead of watching somebody else do it.
Sometimes, when I’m scrubbing the corner bathtub or pulling weeds in my yard, I dream of hiring a cleaning service and outsourcing my yard work. When I’m bathing my dogs, I’d rather just drop them off at the groomers instead of enduring their dirty looks for the rest of the day. When J is changing my oil, I’d rather just drive up to an oil change company and get it done for triple the cost. Sometimes, however, it just doesn’t make sense to outsource.
You Should Outsource If..
If you can use the time your are saving to make money.
If you have a salaried job, and that is your only source of income, this likely won’t apply to you. If you go to work at 9:00 AM, get off at 5:00 PM, and make the same amount of money regardless of whether you stay and work late, you likely won’t be able to make more money with the time you save with outsourcing the task.
I freelance write on my spare time, as well as offer some services to bloggers to make their lives a little easier. I babysit, too. All of these make up a nice side income portfolio.
Because my babysitting schedule depends on the family’s needs and schedules, I can’t just pick up extra shifts when time allows. However, I can take on more freelancing and blogger clients if I have the gift of extra time; I’ve had to limit myself to how many I can take on because I have other responsibilities.
If the money you can make is greater than the money you are putting out.
So let’s pretend that I determine that having somebody come weekly to maintain my yard for me is worth it, because I can take on two additional clients with the time I am saving (about 3 hours/week). For the sake of this post, let’s pretend that I didn’t have to seek out additional clients, and that they were kindly standing by waiting for me to offer my services to them (ha!).
I phone the gardening and landscaping companies and come up with an average quote of about $100/week. That’s around $400/month.
Let’s say that by taking on my additional clients, in that 3 hours/week, I would be able to make about $40 per client, or $80 per week. In a month, I could make $320.
Is hiring the landscaper worth it?
I am still out $80/month, but I’m working for just as long.
It breaks even and you really hate the task to be outsourced
Let’s pretend, now, that I can make $100/week by taking on new clients, in the time that I save by hiring the landscapers. I am making an extra $400/month, and outsourcing my yard work costs me about $400/month. I’m breaking even.
I might jump at the opportunity to break even, because I hate yard work but love my freelancing work (or, at the very least, prefer it to yard work).
Have enough money but not enough personal time
Of course, you shouldn’t just outsource if it benefits you financially. If you have more than enough money (and no debt) and struggle to find enough time in the day to spend some time with your family or work on yourself, outsourcing tasks like home care may be the best idea for you.
Do you outsource anything?