Talent, hire or outsource?

Slowly but surely my @edmund is gonna be damn awesome in video editing. He finally picked up After Effects (don’t know why he can’t get PhotoShop, yet can do After Effects, oh well).

He’s like damn awesome with sound already (duh musician), and if he can remember the rules for framing (he remembers it when he isn’t holding the camera… if only he remembers it when holding the camera…) and wala. My personal video editor (for the company, not myself). So I have one awesome photographer and one awesome videographer that are 100 percent reliable (cause I know where they stay, and things do catch fire easily #justsaying).

This doesn’t mean I don’t need additional manpower, it just means I have my trusty safety nets.

This is why, we train up talents in-house, cause while outsourcing is the thing of today, what if your outsource fails? You’re doomed? Dum dum dum.

I’ve always considered outsource an extra pair of hands, if they fail, fear not! We need not panic, cause we can do it anyway. It helps though, really it does. With more pairs of hands, we get things done faster and sometimes, speed matters. (Plus, there’s no long-term commitment, so to speak.)

That said, it still depends on the nature of your business. If you’re a restaurant, you really do not need a professional videographer or photographer in-house. What you do need are chefs and waitresses/waiters. And from time to time, especially during peaks, you’ll need to outsource and get extra manpower to aid influx of business.

Think about it, the logic of outsourcing isn’t to let someone else do your core business, but get people with the expertise to fulfill your needs while you focus on the core of your business. I can go on and on about this. At the end of the day, you need to define what are your business needs. Every business is different, there’s no one fit for all.

Okay, here’s an example. I’ve been running my fashion label for a couple of years. In the last two years or so, to focus on SAUCEink, I focused more on supplying (B2B) rather than selling (B2C). As such, PRINCESSA’s local reach dipped.

In 2017, the plan was to focus a little more on B2C, and of course, we’d really like to grow the brand and not just supply and make ends meet. But HOW?

It’s funny really, after running a platform, you kinda forget a lot of the skills you once knew when you were actually running an end-to-end business. Goods actually have to come in, and things actually have to move out. Transactions may be digital, but products are very much physical. Not to mention, the coordination of people and what not. These are all things that once knew, but somehow…

I turned to a few friends and asked for help. But for some reason, business must be really good these days, they never really gave me a concrete quote. After waiting a week or so, with goods already in the warehouse, I decided, ah screw this, I know this shit. In fact, I’m doing this for my clients, so why not just do it for myself, right?

Trust me, there’s always pros and cons to just about everything.

I already knew how this worked, I actually do this for a living. But when it comes to my own stuff, I become super anal and procrastinate (speaking of which, read this “Procrastination is Bad, But How Can You Overcome it?“). I’m sure you people do too.

It would have been easier if someone just came in and did it, cause it would have been done so much faster! Sometimes emotional attachments hinders the speed of growth. Not to mention time vs. value.

I have a rate card in my head for my time spent. It doesn’t always make sense for me to hands-on and do it. The time I spend doing this, I could possibly hear three times more aiding my client. And we already know the initial phases building a company isn’t all that profitable.

But like I said, business must have had been too good. I didn’t get the quote. It took me a week to take myself out of the equation, frame my mental state, treat the brand (or myself for that matter) as a client, and prepared my proposal to myself. Hahaha. I k r, reallyyy that much trouble? The answer is yes. Why? Because when you want something that much (it’s a bit passion driven… hurhur) you start to forget some core objectives, for instances, the cold hard truth of no sales/revenue, no nothing.

Plan done, focus aligned. @jameswee came in to the picture.

Not too long after, friends came back and said, “Hey I can do this for you!” “Here’s the quote.” Truth is, I didn’t need it anymore. At that point, the initial “ra-ra” stage didn’t really matter as much. I needed specific target audience, demography, spending power… basically ROI. If I were to spend 1 dollar, I wanted to ensure I could make 10 (plus-minus, I’m still reasonable).

I was willing at the start but not thereafter, what changed? Missed opportunity. I already hired who I needed to hire to do what I needed to get done. As simple as that. So it went down to value proposition, and unfortunately, they couldn’t match it. (There are many types of agencies, the ones that are suited for early phases, and the ones that accustom more to later stages.)

Okay, before I go ovvveeerrrly off point, the key here is that “this” wasn’t PRINCESSA’s business model. We make clothes, and we wanna be awesome at it. So what now? Haha. “Hire lor.

I wanted to outsource, but that didn’t work, so I hired, somewhat.

Essentially the most important part of the business (PRINCESSA that is) is merchandising (supplier, factory, buyers, designers… technically a large part of that is also outsourced). Of course, as a believer of marketing (and slave to it), marketing is a must-have.

I hate to say this, but we have our routines now, so I really don’t blame clients when they feel that our value proposition for them is lacking. But as a the end-client myself, let’s be reasonable, nothing is cost free. It has to be at least a win-win situation. Even my time has a price tag to it.

Damn, I went off point. So, hire or outsource? Here’s what I do, I hire and I outsource. What I need now-now, I outsource. What I need for the long-term, I hire. When I hire, I come up with SOPs. So even if someone leaves (the new gen jumps around a lot), someone can just pick up where he/she left off.

Sounds simple right? Hurhur. Everything sounds simple when you’re reading it. Try executing it then come back to me and say, “It’s so easy.” It isn’t.

Remember, there’s more than one route to the destination.

P.S. Lazy to think? Want someone to think for you? Hahahaha. “Aiya, just hire Sab la.” πŸ˜›

I’ve decided to blog again, because I’m a bit sick of repeating myself. And for some reason people come to me for answers (which I should be charging them for it, but hey, I’m kinda nice if you catch me on a good day), and I don’t mind sharing as long as it benefits someone. I’m not always right, but I can hardly say I’m wrong. Everyone’s experience (and thoughts) is different, I’m just sharing mine, take it with a pinch of salt.

So, show some love people. Ask some questions. If Sab can’t answer it, there’s always @jameswee. He always has the answers, in layman.

Don’t worry, I’ve put on sooo much weight, I’m not gonna crack your screens by doing Facebook Live. My belief has always been to bring the “chioest” side of things to the people. That said, sometimes my “chio” and your “chio” isn’t at the same level. But at the bare minimum, you can’t say it’s fugly (not to mention, at least I don’t shoot with washing machines @maxwongstudio will get it). Haha. Okay, self-praise no-praise (but really, am I praising myself or my team, think about it).

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