As a business owner, outsourcing is a word you must hear tossed around a lot. But just in case you are unsure what the term encompasses, here’s a little reminder:
According to Investopedia, outsourcing is the practice of hiring a party outside a company to perform services and create goods that were traditionally performed in-house by the company's own employees and staff.
Over the years, it has been seen that the strategic use of outsourcing as a business strategy has drastically increased.
However, for some business owners, outsourcing some of their duties might be a major concern, as there is a lot of fear involved in the thought of handing over some of their tasks to complete strangers.
There are a number of duties that can be outsourced to professional and skilled third parties, some of which include: bookkeeping and accounting, tax preparation and filing, event management, creative tasks such as writings, graphic design and so on. Generally speaking, you can outsource any task the skills for which you don’t possess yourself.
Before outsourcing though, ensure your company has clearly defined goals and objectives. Make sure you know what needs to be done within which timeframes, and be ready to provide clear instructions.
Here is how outsourcing can help you reach your business goals:
Save time, save money
Outsourcing certain duties means that you get to save time and save money. Bring on a new employee can take a lot of time, from placing out the right adverts to conducting various interviews and hiring. Most employment processes span as long as 2-3 months at the very least, not to mention the time it would take for the newly employed person to adjust to the company routine.
There are certainly tasks that you want to hire for, but have no experts already on board. This will make the hiring process even more difficult, as you are not sure who you are looking for, unless you have a very qualified HR to help you out.
If you were to find an agency, or even a freelancer to help you tackle these particular tasks you can’t currently incorporate into your way of work, they will likely be completed faster and better.
For instance, if you are a digital agency who dabbles in content marketing, outsourcing your proofreading to a language expert will save you both time (your team won’t have to handle this task) and money (it can be more cost effective to pay a freelancer based on performance, than to hire someone full time).
Let’s give you another example. If you are operating in retail, you likely have no previous experience with app development, or with digital marketing, or even event promotion.
Yet, all of these things can help you make more sales. If you were to hand out these pieces to different companies who are already pros in their field, you would instantly be giving your core business a boost, without having to worry about the tasks themselves. You can easily find someone who does DevOps, or a company that organizes events.
The importance of experts cannot be undermined in business development. Someone who has previous experience working on projects similar to yours will already know how best to approach the task. This means shorter delivery times and better results.
This also means that you will have the benefit of acquiring new knowledge simply by chatting to your outsourced workforce. While you may not wish to become a developer, you should never underestimate any knowledge that can help you run your business better.
Being in touch with other established companies will make you take a look at how things are done at yours, giving you plenty of fresh ideas.
Shared decision-making and risk bearing
Outsourcing some of your work means that you have more qualified people to brainstorm with before making important decisions. Having more qualified people in that field who work in different roles will inform your decisions more, and will thus yield better results in the long run.
Depending on the type of tasks you have hired someone to accomplish, you can also share the responsibility of success. If an outsourced team is doing all of the marketing, they will naturally shoulder most of the weight, meaning less stress for you on the daily.
Before you outsource any of your work, make sure that the company you hire has a proven track record, and that they have handled work with similar tasks before. Feel free to interview several applicants, both freelancers and agencies, and don’t just choose the one with the lowest prices.
Quality comes at a price, and finding the right balance between cost and experience can take some trial and error, but once you find someone you work well with, there is no reason not to make the partnership a long and mutually beneficial one.