Business Woman With A Headset On Speaking With A Remote Team Member

Leveraging Internal Resources Through Subcontracting

Outsourced resources help your top employees do what they do best.

Key Points:

  • Outsourced remote partners minimize business risks.
  • On-shore outsourcing saves money.
  • Outsourcing can help your business grow.
  • Subcontracting lets you focus on running your business.

Most companies have at least a few valuable long-term employees with expertise gained from on-the-job experience.

These tenured workers go above and beyond, performing tasks outside their designated roles. And everyone in the company taps them on the shoulder because of their knowledge, experience, and willingness to help.

They’re quiet leaders. And smart companies value and retain them.

Intelligent businesses see the value of quiet leaders and support and foster their growth. Smart companies also recognize these long-term employees’ loyalty because they seek opportunities to grow inside the company instead of looking elsewhere.

Their loyalty, knowledge, and experience create a win-win business opportunity. Because the quiet leader and the business have a shared goal: to take on more challenges and grow.

But quiet leaders need time during the day to focus on tasks that help them grow. This often means abandoning the work they were hired to do (work they’ve mastered) and taking on duties and projects that align to higher business functions.

How does a company allow its quiet leaders to grow?

Companies usually promote their quiet leaders and hire replacements. But that’s not always the best approach.

Why? Here are two reasons:

  • Quiet leaders are born and not made. If one out of ten new hires is as capable and motivated as your quiet leaders, you’re doing well. And in small companies, who usually have little (or no) process for recruiting, hiring, and retaining top-notch personnel, their odds of employing a team of quiet leaders are slimmer. Playing the lottery isn’t usually a sound business strategy.
  • Your quiet leaders aren’t always interested in supervising and training subordinates. And if the goal is allowing the leader to expand her capabilities (and unburden other leaders), it won’t be achieved.

Hiring a quiet leader’s replacement often creates new problems because it keeps them mired in an inefficient cycle of hiring, training, and losing subordinates.

Pareto’s Principle at work.

Companies should outsource as many routine tasks as possible. It’s Pareto’s Principle at work. Pareto’s Principle says that 80% of results come from 20% of activity.

Here’s what we mean:

Success for most businesses hinges on a few primary activities (the 20%). The remaining tasks (the 80%) are essential but don’t add much value alone.

It’s easy to identify the kinds of tasks that fall into the 20% category, like sales, product/service delivery, solving customer challenges, and leading the teams that perform these functions. 20% activities inspire passion, excellence, and a commitment to giving customers a unique experience.

80% activities aren’t as exciting. They’re operational tasks necessary for any business. But both the 20% and 80% activities are critical to business success.

Unfortunately, the 80% activities are draining and take your quiet leader’s focus away from passion and innovation.

Remote partners are the answer - they minimize risks, save money, and help businesses grow.

Remote partners can tackle your 80% tasks - and they’ll do it with the same gusto your employees have for their 20% tasks.

Why not outsource your standard business tasks to people who geek-out on routine activities?

Team 80 is your outsourced resource.
We’ve seen too many small businesses fail for mundane reasons.

Here’s why: Small businesses have a lot of moving parts.

Large companies can throw money and resources at every moving part. But small businesses are strapped for time and cash. They aren’t always aware of the small, but necessary, details that are critical for success.

We’ve mastered small business back-office functions. It’s that simple.

Our systems mirror those of large businesses, like 24/7 global cloud-based data access and robust financial management software for accounting, payroll, and accounts receivable - and we have the expertise to run each system.

But Team 80’s Back Office Specialists are the core of our services. They’re on a mission to end small business failures. Our Back Office Specialists are committed to our customer’s success - and, by extension, your customer’s success - and they can adapt our systems to your unique business needs.

Give your leaders time to focus on business innovation.

If any of the activities listed below are distracting your quiet leaders, it’s time to make a change. Give your quiet leader a promotion.

  • General ledger maintenance
  • Cash flow tracking
  • Bank reconciliations
  • Credit card data entry
  • Managing accounts payable
  • Customer invoicing
  • Managing accounts receivable
  • Payroll
  • Employee benefits management (health insurance, 401(k) plans, etc.)
  • Adding new employees/deleting old employees from the system
  • Preparation of financial statements
  • Interfacing with external tax return preparers

Team 80 is your solution. Get in touch with us today.


Two creative millennial small business owners working on social media strategy using a digital tablet while sitting in staircase

12 Useful Tips When Starting Your Own Successful Business

If you are in the process of starting a small business, chances are you are in need of some highly effective advice and tips.

You are discovering there is more to owning/running a business than simply opening the doors and building a website.

When it comes to starting an enterprise, you need good management. You may already be pretty good at that. But your business also needs leadership. That means spending some time in the future.

Let’s look at the process of envisioning a great company and beginning to behave like one from the very earliest stages. (Good advice from Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM.)

At Team 80, we understand it can be daunting when it comes to starting your own successful, smoothly working business. Here are twelve things successful businesses do:

Tips For Starting A Successful Business

 

  1. Have a Detailed Vision in Sight: This is the first tip as it will be the very foundation that your business is built on. Envision your fully operational company five years into the future (including an exit event.) Choose a Core Purpose and the Core Values that will define your organization and let this vivid vision guide you on your journey.
  2. Write Out an Execution Plan for This Vision: This will be the outline for your entire business. Consider this execution plan for achieving your 5-year vision to be your how-to-manual for your business. It is the tool that you will use to review your milestones, budgets, tasks, and your 3-year, 1-year, and quarterly goals. Make it quantitative: what will sales be, gross margins, headcount?
  3. Choose The Right Legal Structure: A legal structure well attuned to your planned day-to-day operations (including exit) will impact everything from your taxes to your reporting obligations to your personal liabilities. You will choose between being a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, S corporation, or Limited Liability Company. Most small businesses will opt for an LLC, possibly accompanied by an election to be taxed as an S corporation.
  4. Create a Functional Organization Chart: An organizational chart designed around your finished business can help visualize the flow of leadership from ideas all the way through to delivering your product or service to your customers. This is a functional organization chart. That means you don’t initially drop names into the boxes, but, instead, use a shorthand description of what needs to happen within the boxes. Lately, we’ve been recommending adding a separate box labeled “The Future”, to encourage businesses to remember everything changes and to build in the continuous adaptation process needed for sustained success.
  5. Detail The Functions of Each Position: For each of the boxes you created for your functional organization chart, create a Position Agreement which describes what needs to happen within that box, including what outcomes are produced. List up to 5 major roles for each function. Describe how the function supports the Core Purpose of the business and which other functions it supports or relies on for support of its own activities.
  6. Devise a Hiring Plan: Once you have assessed your specific needs using a functional organization chart and Position Agreements, you will need to create a step-by-step hiring process for identifying and attracting the right people. You are looking for 3 specific traits in each position: (1) people who clearly understand the job, (2) people who are passionate about doing the job (share the Core Purpose and Values), and (3) people with the capabilities needed for the job.
  7. Create an Active External Advisory Board: Let’s face it, you are going to be very busy working “in” your business. Setting up an advisory board that meets quarterly helps ensure you set aside some time for working “on” your business. Having advisors who are from outside your business keeps you in touch with the world where your customers and competitors live. A good advisory board is not a place to get your questions answered: its where you go to get your answers questioned.
  8. Develop a Target Market Analysis: A written out analysis of your target market will help your company allocate funds effectively as well as help identify the audience that will most likely use your product or services. Create a marketing persona that embodies your customer or audience. What emotions do you want to stir in your customers? What pain are you addressing? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
  9. Create a Marketing Plan to Address Your Marketing Target: Now that you have identified who your audience is, it is time to develop a written plan for penetrating your target market. Find the channels and mediums where your audience is, and create useful, relevant, attention-grabbing content/advertisements that are geared specifically towards them.
  10. Establish Process for Business Activities: Well thought out business processes will make it easy for your employees to understand and identify day-to-day business activities from making coffee to customer fulfillment. If it is not in writing, it does not exist. Good systems lead to great businesses. Use some of the time your systems save to continually improve your systems, Spend the rest of the time with your customers (or family).
  11. Set an Annual Operating Budget: Take the Quantitative Execution Plan you developed early in your planning and before the start of each year, create a budget that represents that year’s annual slice of your execution plan. Don’t just take the current year results and project them into the following year. Make your budget strategic by having it reflect the “big rocks” in your plan to improve your results. What will you stop doing next year? What will you start doing? What will you do more of? If you have more than 3-5 big rock initiatives, they aren’t big rocks.
  12. Lead Your People/Manage Your Business: It is a reality of business that there is never enough time. You must make time to pause often and think of two things:
    What can I do to help my people?
    How are my numbers?
    We know that sounds a bit unusual. But good business leaders know how to inspire their teams, while at the same time holding themselves and their teams accountable for results. Know your key performance indicators (KPI’s) and make sure your team knows them as well.
    12.5. (Bakers Dozen?) DON'T FORGET TO HAVE FUN!

Rocks and Hard Places

As business leaders, we face daily decisions that leave us very uneasy. We feel caught between a rock and a hard place. We choose the lesser of two evils. We’ve become accustomed to making an occasional bad decision. We accept mistakes as part of the job. Here’s the thing: if you are choosing between only two options, a bad decision is a near certainty.

We know there is a better way. We’ve all heard about “the third way”, “thinking and instead of or” and other such phrases. However, I, personally, find it very hard to remember to look for the third (or fourth) option. Fortunately, I’m really stubborn. I refuse to get to the point where the only choices available seem destined to leave me dissatisfied.

Of course, if I just stopped there, I’d still be left between a rock and a hard place. Here’s the good news. There are some great tools for breaking out of these “False Choice” situations. Almost all of them either require or are enhanced by teamwork. Getting a fresh set of eyes on an issue can help overcome our own biases. And the more diverse the team, the better.

Here are some tips on better team decision-making:

  • Differences in power or authority within a team must be pro-actively neutralized by such techniques as letting the least powerful members speak first.
  • Open sharing of data is critical to optimize the power of teaming.
  • Never choose between just two things: encourage creativity

A great resource on finding alternatives is Edward de Bono’s book, Serious Creativity: Using Lateral Thinking to Create New Ideas. It will stop just short of blowing your mind. There is not just a third way. There are fourth and fifth ways.

Another resource for ways to avoid bad decisions, is Chip and Dan Heath’s Decisive. It has become my go-to choice for a refresher on ways to deal with the built in flaws humans bring to their decisions. One reason we have trouble “thinking outside the box” is that most of us don’t have a clue as to where the box is!

What’s the next big decision you have to make? Doesn’t it deserve a better way?