When we had just started out in business about four and a half years ago like most startups bootstrapping (trying to build with limited resources) we didn’t have the ability to hire great talent full time.
This meant we had to outsource most of the work all the time.
My focus at the time was on building the brand and having the work done by other people even if it meant losing a big chunk of our revenues.
This is the price we had to pay because we wouldn’t have our cake and eat it.
So for two years we spent a lot of time, money, focus and effort building our brand at the expense of raking in revenue.
We lost 70% of our income to outsourcing but it was okay, we looked for how to survive on the 30% and surely we did. Am so happy that now everywhere I go at least there’s some who knows about YOUNG TREPS or has heard about it.
We’ve built a loyal fan-base that has in turn spread our gospel out there and referred lots of clients our way.
Now we do 97% of our work in-house because we can afford to.
Our sacrifice paid off and now we can build on that.
One of the most challenging aspects of outsourcing work however was managing the workflow and timelines. 80% of the work always came in a tad late, this didn’t fall in line with our delivery values of efficiency and accuracy.
That the work we did had to be accurate and delivered on time.I actually had to keep fighting with the guys we outsourced our work to not because of the quality of their work but their delivery time.
Any one who has worked with me will tell you, two things will have me going off and that’s failure to deliver on time as agreed and delivering outright shoddy work if I know you can do better.
Now most people don’t understand my behavior or even my obsession with timely delivery because most people in this neck of the woods don’t understand the value of time.
I can lose money and am fine because I know I’ll make more money but if you lose time there’s no making more time. That time is gone.
A day has 24 hours, you can never adjust them to 30 hours so you can have more time.
Time just like land is a fixed and finite resource. There’s nothing like doing good work if it doesn’t come within the required time.
It’s like an exam, regardless of how much you know you should prove what you know under a certain period of time. Now this is what most people here don’t get.
Your work is part of the bigger chain, that for the next job to go on you have to do your work well within a certain prescribed time.
Other people’s work depends on your work so it’s not about getting done if and when you do.
Take for example, a company will set out to do marketing.They have a clear timeline that goes from strategizing, creating content, designing the content, assessing the content, employing the content on their marketing campaign, following the marketing with sales, reviewing the campaigns results, strategizing for the next campaign and the cycle goes on and on.
Each phase of this process is well defined with expected deliverables and timelines.
Its part of the the company’s operation calendar and we all know the calendar has 12 months, each month has 30 or 31 days, each day has 24 hours which is finite.
So when a project is scheduled to take 8 months from start to finish, every day you delay eats into the bigger schedule.
If you’re given a job and it’s agreed that it should take two weeks, delivering it three weeks later may not really be helpful because in that one extra week a lot could happen, the economy could shut down like it’s the case now, the stock markets could collapse, the forex rates could rise dramatically increasing expenses.
It’s why in most big contracts we have a clause that sees whoever delays the project pay for that delay.
Personally I’ve started working with people but on the condition that, if we agree on a deliverable timeline every day the work delays after the agreed deliverable time we bill you and that money is deducted off your balance because if your delay is going cause us financial stress then you should pick up the bill for that.
This is where most small companies fail.
Time is something they don’t work with.Their solely focused on taking in as many gigs as possible without looking at how much time they have on their hands and how it will affect their delivery.
That’s the reason most big companies with a lot to lose don’t want to work with individuals or small companies even when it would be reasonably cheaper financially but more costly in terms of time. It’s all down to the inability to deliver good work and most importantly “within the planned time”.
If you agree to write a proposal within a week (7days) and deliver it after 10 days when the deadline for handing it in passed, what’s the essence of delivering it regardless of how greatly it’s written!?
Work isn’t good if it doesn’t come within the required time.
Always remember that there’s always a line of people depending on your work to do their work and the whole process from start to finish has a timeline. Your delay, becomes someone else’s delay.
So as you take in work from everyone keep your eye on your time and how to manage it.
Don’t take in more work than you have the time to do.
Learn how to say NO to money otherwise you’ll fail to make money. Your way better of doing few gigs you can do so well and on time that having lots of gigs you will do and never deliver on time.
Jaluum Herberts Luwizza is a founding partner and COO at Young Treps, Campus Doctor, Boroboro.
He is keynote speaker, writer and columnist with the Nile Post.