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Great businesses are made by leaders who know how to rely on themselves and what they have at hand right now. But resourcefulness isn’t always about getting what you need to ‘do it all yourself’. It’s about recognizing when it could be a lot smarter to look for what you need as well.
Perhaps the most obvious way to look outside the business is to look at outsourcing. However, you need to think about how and when, exactly, you should be outsourcing. There are a few good questions to ask yourself. Are you unequipped to carry out an action to the most legal and compliant standard? Could your lack of experience or quality with a process do damage to the business as a whole? Do you only need the process to be carried out on a short-term basis? If the answer to any of those is yes, then it’s safer and a better investment to outsource than to try it yourself.
Implementation and maintenance
When it comes to all the different tech and tools that your business deals with, that’s another time you should be looking at bringing in help from the outside. Internalizing maintenance is a good idea, but while you’re still training towards that goal, then you’re not going to have the experts on fields like replacement hose fitting in hydraulics. That means that any fixes or implementations you’re likely to carry out yourself are likely only going to be creating a bigger problem down the line.
Nowadays, there are businesses that offer rentals on all kinds of equipment, from simple tools to computers and heavy machinery for construction and manufacturing. Again, if you’re not in a position to buy your own equipment or you worry that the amount of use you would get from it wouldn’t justify a buy, then use someone else’s instead.
Training is best internalised as much as possible. For instance, if you’re training new staff, then you should have gotten to the point where the knowledge and methods they need to know are standardized within the business. But if you’re scaling to new areas, then by all means, don’t try and train yourself then train them. Instead, look at those who already have a full understanding of the skills your employers need from outside the business.
If you’re looking to offer new ideas to the marketplace, then you might not get very far by solely looking inside the business or even looking inside the industry. Instead, some of the most revolutionary practices can come from entirely different fields of work. For instance, looking at software companies started looking at rental models for equipment and entertaining to create the software-as-a-service industry.
True resourcefulness could help you save time and money and find new ideas by looking beyond your own business and even your own industry from time to time. Besides offering the answers you need when you need them at less cost, it also introduces you to new skills and new ways of thinking you can pick up from those contacts you make.