WHEN IT'S SMARTER TO OUTSOURCE INSTEAD OF MAKE.
If you're like us, you want to use your time wisely. With everything that you do, with regards to your business, (and life for that matter) you have the ability to do something yourself or to pay someone to do it for you.
With everything there is something called opportunity cost. Opportunity cost is defined as, "the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen."
So it is the price of time, energy, or stuff that you have to give up in exchange for other time, energy or stuff. So by doing one thing, you're therefore choosing to forgo another.
For example, if I go to the movies with Suzy, I can't go bowling with Joe. Going bowling with Joe is what it "costs" me to go to the movies with Suzy.
So in your business, OC applies to both your time and your money. We are a huge fan of outsourcing when we can, but this is usually a calculated decision based upon what it would cost us to outsource vs. what it would cost us to do it ourselves.
The math works like this:
For the sake of simplicity, let's call the thing you Make Core Product, and the thing you have to do to run your biz (but isn't your making), we'll call that Peripheral Item. When you want to accomplish a Peripheral Item, (we'll use product photography as an example) do some math (ew!):
my time x my hourly rate + variable emotional factors = amount I'm willing to spend on outsourcing
Ask yourself these questions:
What is my time worth? (Say it's $30/hour)
How long will it take me to accomplish Peripheral Item? Estimate it will take you 10 hours to arrange, photograph & edit 50 photos. After some research, you find a photographer who charges $200 to outsource 50 product photography photos. Which, when run through the formula is less than 10 hours at my Hourly Worth, which would cost me $300 in potentially lost revenue.
(Note: this math is an oversimplification because not everything you do for your business can be tagged at your desired hourly rate, but it gives you an idea of whether or not to outsource.)
Ask yourself: Can I be of more worth to Core Product by outsourcing Peripheral Item?
Finally, does my accomplishing of Peripheral Item drain my ability to accomplish Core Product? If your answer is yes to this question, we would almost always say OUTSOURCE. You will run yourself dry if you are too busy running your business and not able to produce great content or products.
Obviously, you probably can't outsource all of your peripheral items. Maybe one day you can hire someone to check your email and clean your toilet, but right now peripheral items like that fall on you. It's up to you to decide what, right now, can be hired out and let go of so that you can continue producing a great Core Product. And at the same time, keep your sanity.