What you’ll learn:
- Why it makes sense for some businesses to outsource
- Signs that you might be ready to start outsourcing
- Benefits of hiring contractors over full-time employees
As a solopreneur or small business owner, it’s important to keep it real: you need people and resources to back you up. It’s not sustainable for you to do everything for your business. Over time, you’ll need to delegate tasks or responsibilities to another person. Deciding whether to hire a full-time employee or co
Small business owners, solopreneurs, and freelancers all have one thing in common—they’re doers. They aren’t afraid to dive right in, take on a new challenge, and work hard to move their ideas and ambitions forward. (It’s part of the reason we love building products for this community so much.)
But at a certain point, smart leaders have to delegate. That might mean bringing on full-time employees and growing your internal team. If you’re not quite ready to make that jump, outsourcing probably makes more sense. It all depends on your budget, your goals, and the type of work you need done.
Not sure what outsourcing is or what to outsource, check out our FAQs.
Why businesses should consider outsourcing
Outsourcing gives some small businesses the coverage they need to take on more work. If you’re experiencing growth (your client list is expanding, your calendar of booked work is full, your sales are trending up) outsourcing can be a fast and efficient way to increase your business’s bandwidth without having to dramatically alter the structure of your workflow or eat up too much of your budget.
Outsourcing might make more sense for small businesses that don’t require long-term support. It’s sometimes used as a stop-gap solution for businesses that aren’t quite ready to take on a full-fledged hiring process. That said, full-time employees certainly have their benefits. For one, you’re guaranteed a long-term commitment and more flexibility in terms of that employee’s ability to support the business beyond a set scope of work.
Top signs that outsourcing is right for your business
You’re feeling stressed out and overwhelmed by how much work you have to do—but isn’t that par for the course? Unlike traditional employees, people who go into business for themselves expect to take on an additional amount of responsibility. But how do you know when you’ve reached max capacity and need to call for backup?
- You spend too much time on operational tasks. When the majority of your time is being consumed by operational tasks like invoicing, accounting, sending payment reminders, and other admin tasks, you lose precious hours in the day. That’s not to say that those tasks aren’t important—they are. But at a certain point, you aren’t the best person for the job anymore. Outsourcing operational work can free up your time to focus on projects that drive revenue for the business.
- You notice the quality of your work is suffering. When you have to keep a dozen different plates spinning, you cannot give your full attention (and talent) to the work you’re actually meant to be doing. Most freelancers and solopreneurs don’t have a knack for business operations—their talents lie in the work they do, such as web design, copywriting, marketing, or whatever skill they specialize in. If you notice that the quality of your output is diminishing, it could be time to bring in some support so you can give your core business the attention it deserves.
- You want to streamline your payments process. Getting paid on time is always important, but especially necessary for small businesses that don’t typically have the financial resources to weather unexpected gaps in cash flow. Operational tasks, like bookkeeping and accounting, are often outsourced for this reason. There are so many benefits to standardizing the payments process and having support when it comes to collecting payments, sending reminders, tracking revenue, etc. (If you’re not ready to outsource this process, consider using platforms that can help you keep your payments process more organized.)
- You want to manage costs. Full-time employees can bring a ton of value to your business, but they can also be expensive. If your revenue is inconsistent, outsourcing may be an effective way to get help only when you need it. When projects are green-lit, expand your headcount with short-term outsourcing. When projects come to a close, reduce your headcount. Outsourcing gives you a level of flexibility that full-time hires can’t.
- You need expertise that your current team doesn’t have. Working on a project requiring specific skills that neither you nor your internal team has? Outsourcing is your quick fix. Contract talent to come in and get the job done so that you never miss a beat and don’t have to make long-term adjustments to your workflow.
4 benefits of outsourcing
Not sure if outsourcing is the best move for your business? Here are some of the additional advantages to consider:
Businesses that leverage resources effectively are more likely to succeed. How do you make the most of your and your team’s time? Assign the more strategic action items to your internal team and outsource the more tactical to-dos.
Outsourcing helps your company grow faster. To reach your goals, you often have to delegate some of your responsibilities and prioritize those that grow your business. It might be possible for you to handle certain tasks like marketing and accounting early on. . However, enlisting the help of an outside company with niche specialties can help your company grow, take on larger clients, and eventually employ more full-time staff.
Win new business
Outsourcing could be a stepping stone to taking on larger, more ambitious projects. Let’s say an agency specializes in print and digital advertising but doesn’t provide in-house video production. In that case, bringing on a video production collaborator might help them win a contract they might otherwise have lost. You can also expand your portfolio and network in the process.
What your business can do before outsourcing
Want to streamline some admin tasks but not ready to outsource? Start by looking at your payments process and automating where you can.
Hopscotch makes it super easy to get paid instantly without any fees. When it’s time to send an invoice, you can manage the entire process in a few clicks and keep track of everything in one clear, streamlined ledger. Get started by creating an account today!
What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the decision to contract an outside company or third party to create goods/perform services that might otherwise be handled by in-house employees.
Why should you outsource?
There are many reasons to consider outsourcing for your business. The main reason to consider outsourcing is the opportunity for growth. There comes a time when you won’t be able to take on new tasks or accept contracts that could drive revenue. By outsourcing, you can delegate tasks to other individuals and focus on scaling your business. Other reasons businesses choose to outsource include tax incentives, niche expertise, and saving money.
What are typical things that are outsourced?
Outsourcing can involve many different tasks or business operations. The most common areas are HR or payroll management, marketing services, administrative services, and web development—but options are endless for what you can outsource.