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Retail Scene

Lisa Casinger -- Home Accents Today, May 11, 2007

Recently I outsourced a task I loathe — cooking. Technically it’s not outsourced because my husband is the new head cook, but regardless of what it’s called, I don’t have to do it. That makes me happy and there are lots of benefits.

Not having to come home each night and cook dinner gives me time to do other things — like laundry, helping my second grader with her homework or watching a few minutes of Batman with my 5-year-old. It relieves my stress level because I don’t have to worry about what to cook and when the incredibly picky eaters complain it’s no longer directed at me. My family eats better because my husband really is a better cook. But the icing on the cake was after the first week when my husband said he now realized what a job it was and he appreciated me more for it.

Running a household is a lot like running a business, which made me realize that many retailers try to do it all themselves. Understandably it’s cheaper to do it yourself (that’s why I don’t have a professional personal chef), but I bet if you looked around your store there’s an employee or partner you could “outsource” a responsibility or two to.

Just think what a relief it would be if you didn’t have to personally manage the mailing list or design the next direct mail piece, come up with yet another creative way to display those picture frames and candles or fill out the insurance/tax/employee forms. You can let someone else do something. Yes, it’s hard. Though I revel in not having to cook dinner, sometimes a stab of guilt attacks me because I’m the Mom, I should enjoy feeding my family. There’s also the control issue; it’s hard to give up control. I’ve found myself biting my tongue when dinner is served and there’s not a green veggie to be found or the pork chops are cooked differently.

Everyone’s heard “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself,” but I’m here to tell you, that’s not true. It might not be done the way you’d do it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not right. Different can be good. Do you try to do it all or do you outsource some tasks? How has it worked for you? What jobs do you outsource? You might just be surprised if you stopped and thought about what you could let go and what you could gain simply by letting someone else help.

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