At a certain point, every growing business begins to expand into unfamiliar territory. You start a business specializing in one thing, then end up with a foot in a dozen different industries. Let’s face it: nobody can be an expert in every subject. And you don’t have to be.
Many businesses resort to outsourcing— or bringing in outside firms to perform services traditionally done internally— in order to be more productive while staying focused on their core competencies. Whether you need support in marketing, accounting, distribution, or some other area, outsourcing can cut costs, boost profits, and help your business grow. Interested in building a business with outsourcing? Here are some things to consider before getting started.
Run a cost-benefit analysis.
Before you make any serious decision regarding outsourcing an aspect of your organization, consider whether or not it makes sense financially.
For instance, maybe you just created a website for your business and now you want someone to write content for the landing page. It wouldn’t make financial sense to take on a full-time, or even part-time, employee and keep them on the payroll after the project is finished. In this situation, outsourcing the job would be the best solution.
After all, the only real reasons to outsource in the first place are to make more money and conserve resources. So crunch the numbers and decide whether outsourcing will actually be a cost effective method in your case.
Determine your purpose for outsourcing.
Outsourcing should be used to take care of essential tasks that aren’t necessarily related to the core of your business. That’s why so many small businesses have another firm or individual handle their accounting and bookkeeping records, because every business needs to keep track of its finances even if it’s outside of the finance industry.
In your business, identify common repetitive tasks and time-consuming activities outside your area of expertise. These are ideal candidates for outsourcing. By delegating these tasks to other people, you will be able to focus on the core tasks of your organization and work towards developing a better product or service.
Whether you’ve contracted a freelancer or a firm to do work on your behalf, clearly communicate your needs and expectations to them. Stay in regular contact with them and review the work they do.
Even though you’ve outsourced a certain task, it’s still ultimately your business, and you’ll face the consequences if they make an error or do a sloppy job. It’s for this reason that you should only work with outside firms that you trust and whose work you hold in high esteem. Then you don’t have to worry about micromanaging everything they do.
Let’s pretend that you’re a book publisher. The core tasks of your organization are finding new titles, manufacturing physical copies, and marketing new releases. All of these tasks are handled in-house and you have a team that is responsible for each of these processes. But how do you actually distribute the physical copies of the books you sell to commercial buyers— like bookstores— and individuals who purchase books through your online store?
Your expertise is in how to run a publishing company, not in transportation logistics. Thus, this is a situation where you could outsource the task of distribution to another company that is more well-suited to handle that process. A transportation management company can handle things like tracking services, processing freight claims, completing background screenings and a MVR check for new drivers, and much more.
Outsourcing can help your business stay productive while cutting down on costs. It’s a strategy that fuels growth if used in an effective way.
As a result of outsourcing the daily monotonous duties of your organization, you can stay focused on your core tasks and deliver a better product or service to your clients. By outsourcing specialized tasks that fall outside your area of expertise, you’ll be making sure they are executed at a high level.
With outsourcing, you won’t have to waste any time or money trying to handle everything at once. Instead, you can focus on what is most important to you.