The 7 most common mistakes when outsourcing

Kate Chastey is the Franchisor of The Passionate PA and after nearly 15 years in business, it’s fair to say she is an incredibly experienced freelancer in her own right. She has worked with hundreds of ambitious business owners on an outsourced basis, and she now mentors each of our Passionate PAs to help them build successful and rewarding client relationships too.

A huge part of Kate’s work is talking to potential clients. It’s a pleasure to meet such a variety of business owners and whether they have already harnessed the power of freelancers in the UK, or whether they are brand new to the idea and don’t know where to start, there are common pitfalls for all.

There are many benefits to outsourcing; fresh talent, highly sought-after skills, commercial experience and new perspectives are just a few. But, these are not always obvious if the business owner is not prepared.

So, today Kate shares the 7 most common mistakes she sees when a business owner begins to outsource, and gives a little advice on how to avoid them!


7 The 7 most common outsourcing mistakes

1: “I want someone to save me time!”

This is the biggest, most common mistake. Time is so precious and there is so much talk of ‘saving it’ on social media and from self-proclaimed productivity gurus. But here’s a newsflash – nobody can save you time. What they can do is help you change how you spend it. This happens by helping you understanding what ONLY YOU can do in your business and then helping you delegate all other tasks and functions – whilst keeping a keen eye on profitability.

2: “I just need a bit of admin done!”

‘Just’ is a dangerous word as this undervalues the tasks and responsibilities in your business. If it needs doing, it’s important. If this is a phrase you’ve caught yourself saying, perhaps it’s time to really review what you mean by ‘admin’ and if repetitive tasks need outsourcing, investigate the zillions of automations and process streamlining tools available. Simple admin is not something to be outsourced to skilled professionals like Passionate PAs. 

3: Poor Scoping and Briefing

Taking the time to scope your outsourcing requirements fully will ensure the whole process is more successful. Good briefing is about clarity, collaboration and knowledge sharing so be prepared for questions from your freelancer as this is how they determine value in both sides of the partnership. 

4: Poor Research

Once you have scoped your requirements fully, find the best person for the job rather than simply someone with availability and a willingness to learn. Ask the powerful questions every freelancers should have the answers to – see this great blog for ideas!

5: Confusing Price with Value

As the saying goes, price is what you pay, value is what you get. Focus on what you will receive from your outsourcing partnership and be really clear from the outset what success looks and feels like to you before saying £35, £45 or even £50 per hour is simply too expensive. If a skilled freelancers can improve the momentum and results in your business, in just a few hours a week, surely that’s worth every penny? 

6: Understanding it’s business!

Most successful freelancers are running business selling their skills and knowledge. It’s not a side hustle or something to earn a bit of extra cash – it’s business. This means clients will be expected to make a commitment, adhere to T&Cs and behave in a professional manner at all times. Oh we’ve got some stories of clients who just didn’t get this – adding us to their family WhatsApp groups, asking us to do inappropriate work (stop it!), or simply not respecting our time and remit. 

7: Understanding the power of a partnership!

This is key to outsourcing being the best decision you’ll ever make. Your professional, well chosen freelancers can and should become invaluable partners to you and your business – with a partnership mindset, truly exceptional things happen.


Want to find out how we do things at the Passionate PA? Meet the team here or book a call with Kate to start scoping what you need and who from by clicking here

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