Ever come up with a creative business idea after leaving the office but drew a blank while at your desk? We all know the story… unexpected client requests, triage, the hustle of a busy marketing agency.
The ride home, however, can let the mind wander freely and benefit from uninterrupted streams of thought. That’s good. Clear the mind and get creative.
OK, so that’s one problem solved. Now look at the flipside of being too busy… being too unmotivated.
For example, an internal project on the backburner will more likely suffer from procrastination than some urgent client-fire we have to put out.
According to the Harvard Business Review, when deadlines close in we have to ask ourselves to think and act more efficiently1. And a popular MIT study demonstrates that conclusion. That is, when college students gave themselves more time to complete assignments, well, you know what happened2.
So, we need time to think yet we also need some sort of motivator to get things kick-started.
Now, back to that commute home from the office. Imagine that an agency owner does indeed think-up a great new idea for an app that would actually help manage projects better at the office, minimizing distractions.
Work would get done more efficiently, so that’s good. And there’d be more time to get creative with big-picture ideas versus the daily grind. The app may even become marketable to one’s very own clients, which further supports the agency’s persona of industry expert and opens new revenue streams, too.
However, app development is complex, that’s a big initiative. Where to even start?: Let’s kick it down the block until next quarter.
Procrastination and distraction… they can both result in psychological distance. But outsource partners can close that distance. On both fronts.
First, in the case of SaaS or app development, the solution is almost always complex. It’s hard to get started, easy to stall. Moreso than website development, apps are feature-rich and that takes more planning because it takes more programming time and talent. And app developers have to be more conscientious of unique device operating platforms and on-screen responsiveness.
Digital tools that help operate a company can’t be piecemealed together with just a bunch of plugins. The programming solutions have to be customized. And they have to be designed in a universal fashion, which means critical links in the chain need to work across the board. So if a change is needed some day, there are central places to make those changes… not a unique band-aid at every single link along the way.
With those approaches, that brand-new intellectual property will also be scalable over time as business needs evolve, which is an absolute-must-have essential.
An outsource partner excels at creating those types of digital solutions. That is their sole focus, after all.
There’s no way anyone can crack that nut on their own. Outsources have dozens and dozens of different development specialists on hand, every discipline. Not just a few Jack-of-all-trades freelancers. Plus, they have subject matter experts, designers, project managers, analysts.
Bringing that expert partner in early can foster the ideation that gets everyone off the dime and gets it done. Beyond the expertise in development, there is also expertise in planning. No one likes filling out paperwork, which, of course, is an essential part of anything related to development. Especially intellectual property development.
The outsource helps define and refine a thorough scope of work. Creating a veritable cookbook before ever popping anything into the oven (even though the recipe will be subject to change along the way).
Second, remember how our hero was too distracted to even think up the idea in the first place? And the staffers were all distracted, too?
When we are partnered with the very solution we need, it creates confidence and cuts through the static, enabling agency owners to do what they do best… think intelligently. Hone their expertise. Specialize. Create a niche no one else has. In fact, SaaS development can become a key component of that expertise.
And then once the project is undertaken, the outsource takes all of that distraction of development and production offsite, off the agency’s plate and out of the hair of other office personnel. Think of it as a staffing solution. A wholesale cost. In many cases, it can be as low as $39 to $69 per hour. One hundred percent productivity.
If it’s a client project, it’s a transparent pass-along cost.
If it’s an internal project or a client project, it’s a variable expense that eliminates the fixed costs of staffing up, which can just kill AGI.
And when that internal project improves the agency, makes it more valuable to clients and creates an additional revenue stream, the outsourcing cost is further diluted.
Everyone loves a good aha moment. Whether it’s solving something anecdotal like a brain teaser in the Sunday newspaper or solving some puzzling business issue at the agency. Being able to block out distractions and get to the business at hand is what truly closes psychological distance.
Q: Who Solved The Riddle of the Sphinx?
As punishment for past crimes, the Greek goddess Hera cursed the city of Thebes… sending a Sphinx to imprison it (a monster, not the same as the statue in Egypt).
It would dispatch anyone coming or going unless they could answer a riddle…
“What being has four legs, then two and then three?”
To enter the city, Oedipus answered, “Man, who crawls on all fours as a baby, then walks on two legs and finally needs a cane in old age.”
As a reward for thinking up the solution, the Sphinx leapt to its death and the curse was lifted. Oedipus entered and was named king.
- Hamilton, R., ”Bridging Psychological Distance,” Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2015/03/bridging-psychological-distance, Mar 2015.
- Ariely, D., Wertenbroch, K., “Procrastination, Deadlines, and Performance: Self-Control by Precommitment,” Sage Journals, Association for Psychological Science, https://erationality.media.mit.edu/papers/dan/eRational/Dynamic%20preferences/deadlines.pdf00441, May 2002.