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Outsourcing; The Prescription for Business GROWing Pains?

Case Study: Suri, a young marketing exec from San Francisco, CA, made the decision to leave her high paying job at BJI Marketing to work full-time in her online custom artwork business. After a couple of years of playing the lead role as a “starving artist”, Suri was finally able to hit the six figure salary mark, she was aiming for.

Suri’s success did not come without struggle. As the needs of the business grew, Suri spent less time creating high end masterpieces, and more and more time with shipping, framing and other customer service issues.


Three and a half years in, Suri was ready to make a change. She hired a virtual assistant to handle the customer service concerns, followed by the addition of a student artist she found at the local community college.

The process was not without trial & error, however as the wheels began to smoothly turn, Suri reported feelings of relief, joy and a new found enthusiasm towards her craft.

To many entrepreneurs, Suri’s actions seemed like a no-brainer. Yet others felt that employing virtual assistants (also known as outsourcing) is absolutely the worst thing a small business owner can do for their business.

This post will weigh-in on both the pros and cons of outsourcing. We’ll start with the Pros.


  1. Outsourcing can save you time in your business

  2. Outsourcing allows you to complete task beyond your skill-set

  3. Outsourcing can save your business money

  4. Outsourcing can help balance lifestyle (due to the amount of time it can save you)


  1. If it’s done incorrectly, can have negative results on the company’s deadlines

  2. Uncertainty if the outsourced job will be completed correctly

  3. The time investment required for training (not a quick process)

  4. Difficulty finding quality outsourcing personnel

Success Steps

The question remains, is outsourcing a good choice for growing an online business? One way to help make this determination is to complete the following steps:

  • track your business activities for a week

  • put a dollar amount to determine the value of each task

  • review and identify which task you are currently doing that could be outsourced and in the long run save you time and money

For example, consider the task of SEO (valued at $5.00 an hour). To continue performing that task would be valuing yourself at $5 an hour. (I’m sure most of us are NOT in business to make $5 an hour)

Look at it this way, in order to continue to grow and scale your business you simply cannot play every position on the team.

At some point, you’re going to have to remove yourself from the field, put on your coaches hat and concentrate on making the plays.

Despite the logic, the decision to outsource will depend on the readiness, and personal preference of the business owner.

Feel free to leave a comment, and to let me know what you think.


Outsourcing References:, or your local Craigslist

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