Focus on Your Core Competencies & Eliminate Distractions


What are the Best Maryland Businesses Doing Differently?

The complaint we hear most often from high capacity decision makers in an organization is that they face daily distractions from their core focus or their “A time.” We see this a lot in CFO’s and COO’s. They are not able to dedicate the time they need to the core mission of their organization, instead they are putting out fires—from employee issues to data breaches—and they in turn are just getting by rather than helping their organization to get ahead.

According to a University of California Irvine study, “it takes an average of 23 minutes and 14 seconds to get back to the task [after a distraction].”

Imagine this, you have blocked off two hours to get some crucial work accomplished. You spend 20 glorious minutes in full focus, until an employee of yours appears in the doorway, “do you have two seconds for a quick question,” they ask pleadingly. “Of course,” you say, as you minimize your document and give the employee your full attention. You end up speaking to this employee for fifteen minutes, and subsequently working on her issue for another thirty. By the time you get back to your original task, almost an hour had gone by and your “A Time” has all but been spent.

So why are we stuck in this spiral? Consider this, you wouldn’t ask your CFO to make uninformed legal decisions on something that has a huge impact on your business without ensuring they have a legal resource to turn consult but the same often does not hold true for other high risk decisions or areas of expertise. As the business and technology landscape changes, many decision makers find themselves struggling to keep up with the latest thing impacting their business. And the price of not keeping up can be immense—so why do we put ourselves through the stress and exposure to potential risk? The reasons vary from financial reasons to just not knowing what other options are out there.

We’ll walk you through some options and considerations so you can shift your focus back to fulfilling your mission and stop worrying about those things that fall outside of your company’s expertise.

Whether you rely on a partner or internal resource for certain areas of competency may depend on the size and needs of your organization. Not sure where you fall when it comes to IT? Check out this quiz!

First, what are some of the areas successful businesses have transitioned off their plates and on to a third party?

Rationale #1: I’m saving money by keeping these areas in house.


Based on the size and sector of your business, that may be true but consider these costs often left out of consideration.

Most employers look at the cost of an employee as their salary plus benefits but the less scrutinized costs associated with the areas outlined above can add up quickly!

  1. Technology. Areas such as IT and marketing can require complex technology from hardware to specific programs needed to manage the workload associated with their roles.
  2. Training. Fields such as IT, HR and Digital Marketing are ever changing at a rapid pace and the risk of not keeping up can often put your company in harm’s way from legal ramifications to lost business and downtime. Ongoing training is essential to just to keep up let alone master the evolving environment. Take the cost and burden off of your team and leverage a third party that specializes in these areas—their livelihood depends on staying on top of the changes and making sure their resources are not only trained but have mastered each area.
  3. Recruiting. There is a big price tag associated with finding and hiring the right resources. Whether it is a recruiting fee or the time you or your people devote to interviewing and onboarding, let that be someone else’s burden and use your time to move your core business forward.
  4. Management and Development. Your time commitment doesn’t end at on-boarding. The on-going management and development of that resource is a burden that falls on you or your highest capacity team members and that is keeping them and you from devoting more time towards your bottom line.

Rationale #2: It is difficult to find a third party resource I can trust.


There is no denying that it can be challenging to find the right fit for your organization when it comes to a third party partner. But once you do the confidence and peace of mind pays off in dividends. If you have an internal resource, chances are you had to invest heavily in filling that role, and as we mentioned above, getting them up to speed and continuing their growth. Plus, what happens when that resource is out sick, on vacation or has a need for longer term leave? You are left scrambling to find someone (who will likely be less qualified) to cover for them. For areas such as HR or IT, all it takes is one wrong move by your fill-in to have a huge negative impact on your business. Let’s say your head of IT is out of the office for the week and a data breach occurs? Can you take a chance on having a less qualified resource handle the fallout? If you outsource, find a third party solution that has multiple resources with the same level of expertise so you never skip a beat.

The most successful businesses eliminate distractions for their teams allowing them to focus on their core mission, outperform the competition and have a clear path for growth and longevity. Don’t get stuck in a never-ending cycle of just keeping up or worse, falling behind. Evaluate those areas that you can transition to a third party resource and you could have more time, peace of mind and greater expertise in essential areas.

Whether you rely on a partner or internal resource for certain areas of competency may depend on the size and needs of your organization. Not sure where you fall when it comes to IT? Check out this quiz:


About Advance:

Advance Business Systems helps organizations focus on their core mission by providing technology that can increase efficiency and effectiveness and services that eliminate the distractions that many organizations face.

Managed Services:

The right resources and a plan are critical to an organization achieving and exceeding their goals. Advance provides services such as IT planning and support that will take IT off your plate, keep you from worrying about data security and position your business for the future.

Business Technology:

Having the right business technology solutions in place, such as multifunctional copiers, interactive white boards and document management software, can greatly improve the flow of information through an organization.