Monday, March 12, 2007

People or Production?

Craig Newmark's brilliant quote...

"The more you think about business as being a community service, the more successful you become."

How right on is that!

Are you building a community? Remember Tim Sanders quote,

"Your Network is Your Networth."

...and I believe that your biggest Return On Investment will always be when you invest in people!

There's been so much talk about Outsourcing and this is one of the reasons I'm so passionate about it. I outsource everything and by doing so I have extra time to invest in people and help build communities both virtually and physically. It's a big deal and I'm so thankful for everyone I've been able to meet and learn from.

Invest your time in people - not in production and you'll be infinitely more successful!

Rock on!


Jason Wallis said...

I believe that in theory, but when you put it into practice with the brass tacks of meetin payroll how does that work? I am trying to implement the plan...

|| davidjay || said...

Exactly :) Payroll is the problem and when you outsource you don't have it to worry about.

Scale with profit centers instead of employees.

You gotta believe it and act on it all the way through.

b lorenz said...

so you invest in other peoples people?

Liana said...


It's a constant battle for us perfectionist-types but even the facts show this is true.

Recent studies show that it takes and additional 100,000 in sales to cover each full-time employee you staff (to cover overhead, cost of sales, & additional assets you'll need) so outsource outsource outsource it the only way, IMHO.

You sooo smart, DJ

melissa said...

I just referenced the your network is your networth line to a friend earlier tonight, then checked out your blog only to see that you mentioned it here. It is incredible how the people in our lives make life that much richer, as we create new relationships and cultivate established ones. As Mark Batterson says, if we take advantage of the opportunities God gives us, there is no telling what He can do in us and through us.

LaCour said...

"My friends are my estate."
Emily Dickinson



|| davidjay || said...

b lorenz - You bet!

Brilliant stat Liana! I believe it!

Melissa and Rachel - love those quotes!

Unknown said...

Not only is outsourcing a wise business decision, but as DJ noted, it's a wise personal decision. In the hotel industry we constantly look for ways to outsource due to it saving money, removing hassle and liability, and freeing us up to do the more "value added" parts of our job that drive margin and profit. For a photographer on a tight budget and schedule, this is a very necessary step.

David Burke said...

For me, in order to grow my business, there is no other way. Thanks for the post!

.::leon::. said...

DJ- I help run a post-processing biz for wedding photographers. If everyone is outsourcing work to ME, who do I outsource to? :P


Raya Carlisle said...

I've thought about this too Leon. I am someone who photographers outsource their album designs to, so I'm in the same boat. I think that you do what the main objective of your business is (post-production, photography, album design) and then outsource the things that are not helping you get new business or take away focus from your clients. For me it might be smaller things around the house that I have to do, but take up time out of my day when I could be building relationships. I'm still figuring out how this works in my life too, but that's my take on it : )

|| davidjay || said...

Leon and Raya- both good questions and one thing you can think about first is outsourcing "cost" centers.

For example Raya when "Pink Penny" handles my albums you actually only do the design element and the relational side of it but all the printing of the pictures and mounting and matting is outsourced.

You do not make money from having that done so that's why it's a cost center and not a profit center but if you were to negotiate an agreement with Queensberry to get a better deal on printing/binding because you bring so many books their way you could start to turn that into a profit center.

There are many other profit center opportunites for you and especially for Leon and when you save time by outsourcing with profit centers you can apply that time to things that will grow your business like relationships, networking and stuff like that!

Scott Robert Lim said...

i agree, i've had businesses where we hired employees and they ended up making more than me!! People need to read that other book you preach about the E Myth. When you outsource your cost, it is fixed so your profit margins are controlled and predictable so you actually know you're losing money before you take the wedding! hahaah.

Outsourcing is not losing control but getting it back!

btw, I'm telling all my workshop people about showit and OSP! people always ask me about my slideshows.

Thanks for the tip about Planche Contact but I'm not familiar with them, will have to google them.

faithsalutes said...

Its who you know, not what you know in my business...

Bust a move.

I am reading Bunkhouse Logic by Ben Stein...he reminds us you have to have innermobility or for OSP application, the ability to upgrade by outsourcing. The ability to give it up and ship it out.

amynave said...

I just wanted to say that I'm so thankful that I can outsource my taxes:)

Today is tax day for me I started thinking everyone should outsource their taxes. There is no way in this world it's worth doing it yourself:) LOL.... Well, it's not worth it to me that is:) Just being able to give it over with no stress is worth every penny:) We can apply that to the rest of our business and the whole NO STRESS is why I outsource:)

Ok gotta go find my shoe box with all my receipts:) just kidding i'm not that bad:)

Very thankful for accountants:)


Michael J Charles said...

Tim Sanders is always on the money!

Thanks for the continued inspiration!


Daniel J. Watkins said...

Outsourcing is, in my opinion, "an answer, not the answer." Too often it's offered up as an over-simplification to a complex business decision(s) which may end up costing people big money who don't take time to do their homework and follow strategic plans where appropriate (or people who unwisely refuse to hire me as their very handsomely compensated consultant! LOL).

If outsourcing a task costs you more money / time than doing it yourself...outsourcing that task inhibits the scalability of that particular function (though, like the price / profit relationship, I submit that the outsource / profit relationship is also a quadratic function...i.e. appears as a wavy line on a graph...but that's over my head to a Kellogg grad! LOL). In a nutshell, if outsourcing something costs you more money...than outsourcing more of it will, at most points on the scale, cost you even more money.

"Outsource everything" applied, would mean you outsource the prospecting and acquisition of customers, the sales function, the accounting function, all operations functions (e.g. post-processing, album design, fulfillment) except shooting (and even some to most of that could be outsourced), the customer service function...basically everything except the photography...but then, do you know what you have done? You've just applied for a job with a national photography company like "Wedding Pix 'R Us" making $150 to $350 a wedding! fine for some. ;)

But if the thrill of being your own boss and running your own business prevents you from wanting to shoot for Wedding Pix 'R Us, then consider the following...

Knowing what and when to outsource vs. what and when not to outsource is the key to boosting your profits. Even need some sound strategies behind your outsourcing choices (i.e. there are lots of labs out there willing to take your money and print your pictures, and there are lots of album companies out there willing to take your money and design or print & bind your album), as well as a little bit (to a lot) of luck that will make a mountain of difference.

BTW -- I'm still on hiatus from the forum (Lenten sacrifice, and it hasn't been easy!) but not from DJ's blog! LOL (And, sorry, I couldn't resist offering my opinion on this topic! It comes on the heals of the fastest post-production wedding edit session I've ever achieved!)

BTW2 -- stay tuned for my "One Click" Seminar where I will teach you how to outsource everything except for one shot -- the kiss -- in your wedding photography business. We at Daniel J. Watkins, Inc. will be launching a revolutionary (and proprietary) service -- Photobots 3000 -- an army of robot photographers who are exceptionally skilled at capturing real moments, real emotions (and all that, uh, stuff...that qualifies them to be "bot-tographer of the year" members of the Robotic Guild of the WPeeJayA, where all members think EXACTLY like their "leader" -- also a mindless drone -- with, no exceptions). Okay, who really misses me and my no-BS approach to BS along with my healthy sarcastic yet satirical approach to comedy???? Really? Both of you? ;)

(BTW -- sign up for my will be released sometime in the next 50 years...)

Daniel J. Watkins said...

Epilogue to my above manifesto...(Google pays me 50 cents for each big word I use, how'd ya know?)...

For those of you seeking a Barnes & Noble MBA...check out The Halo Effect: ... and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers by Phil Rosenzweig (ISBN 0743291255)...just be sure to give Gary Fong the Amazon referral! ;)

I haven't read The Halo Effect yet...but in my single / pre-kidz daze I read a LOT of biz-buzz-fad books, which makes this one particularly appealing...just waiting for Rosenzweig to appear on the K @ W podcasts! ;)

Brady -- if / when you buy this book, give me a review.

|| davidjay || said...

Can I preorder 100 robots Dan! I'm in!