The logic is sound. Looking after a small businesses IT infrastructure requires skill and experience and can be time consuming. As the owner of a small business, why wouldn’t you outsource the management of your mission-critical IT, freeing up your time to concentrate on what you do best — run your business?
Business owners who defy this logic by attempting Do-It-Yourself IT for their business are a source of frustration for MSP’s. Surely they can see that wasting their time attempting to save money with DIY IT is a short-sighted move?
Despite this, the typical IT business I speak with often fails to heed this lesson when it comes to their own business, attempting to do everything themselves instead of bringing in outside experts. Despite the fact they preach a message of “focus on what you’re good at” they try to do everything themselves — often restricting the growth of the business.
Which begs the question, why do more IT outsourcers not outsource more?
IT Outsourcers Outsourced Web Sites
The first simple answer to why IT outsourcers don’t outsource more is that many IT companies believe that if a task has even vague elements of IT within it, they should be able to do this in-house.
The most obvious example I see of MSP’s keeping a task in house when they really should outsource it is with their business web site. Often basic at best and rarely a site with good quality, valuable content that will attract prospective new clients, some MSP’s labour under the belief that because a web site runs on a server and they as a business are good with servers, that they should do the work of looking after their web site themselves.
The reality is that a good web site is more about content and usability than it is about the platform it’s running on. I’ve seen basic one-page brochure web sites outperform in-house websites that IT business have laboured over for months and even years, all because the job was assigned to somebody internally who had other responsibilities to distract him and while he knew the web hosting platform and had an eye for design, didn’t have the experience to put together web pages that generate leads.
If your MSP web site isn’t bringing in business, do yourself a favour and ask the experts to step in. Derek Brown and his team at Pronto Marketing specialise in cost-effective, lead generating MSP web-sites. Feel free to tell Derek I sent you for special pricing.
IT Outsourcers Outsourced HR
The second example I see of why IT outsourcers don’t outsource more is that the feeling they should be able to do it themselves.
This most often manifests itself in business leaders who know they should spend more time with their staff — handling admin tasks such as holidays and sickness, mentoring and conducting regular appraisals — but because they’re too busy, and anyway, don’t understand why it’s important, so they procrastinate and don’t get around to doing it.
The results can be disastrous. I’ve seen large, successful MSP’s where the business owner manager has neglected to conduct regular appraisals with the result being great staff have felt they aren’t important and moved on. That procrastination by the business owner now explodes into an even bigger time consuming problem of recruiting a new employee.
Services such as RBS Mentor offer outsourced Payroll, Employment Law & HR, Health & Safety, Environmental and Tax services that relieve the pressure on the business owner to do these things. Some companies provide HR Software-as-a-Service. Either is preferable to letting your most valuable asset — your staff — wither because you’re “too busy” as a business owner.
I’ve given just two examples of services effective MSP’s outsource — their web site and their HR — but there are many others including Social Media, SEO, Administration, finances, credit control, even internal IT support.
The key point is, as a business owner and as a business as a whole, when you need to do something you should be asking yourself “Is this the best use of my time?”. Often the answer is “no” and the only thing preventing you outsourcing the job is your own ego.
If a job can be outsourced to somebody more experienced, who can deliver the work to a higher quality than you, in a faster time frame than you, or in many cases faster and better, what’s stopping you?