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 contract an outsourced partner isn’t easy. There are, however, a few questions you can ask yourself to help guide your thinking. Let’s jump into it!
Most small business owners who are considering outsourcing are also experiencing growth. Whether it’s horizontal or vertical growth, outsourcing is a fast and efficient way to increase your business’s bandwidth and capabilities. Often, outsourcing is also used as a stop-gap solution for businesses dealing with employee turnover.
Full-time employees certainly have their benefits, though. For one, you’re guaranteed a set number of hours and flexibility in terms of the employee’s ability to support the business beyond a set scope.
Outsourcing comes with its own set of benefits too. If you’re a small business that doesn’t require long-term support, outsourcing can give you the right amount of fuel you need to get a job done.
Not sure what outsourcing is or what jobs you can outsource? Check out our FAQs below.
How to determine if outsourcing is right for your business
You know the feeling: you’re drowning in work, or you’re growing so fast that things start slipping through the cracks. Maybe you’re bidding for a project but need to expand your company’s capabilities to compete. There are a ton of different reasons why small businesses may outsource, and there a few tell-tale signs that outsourcing is right for your small business.
You’re growing and want to serve more clients
You have serious demand for your service but not enough bandwidth to serve more clients. Boom. Outsourcing is a quick and easy way to increase your company’s capabilities, so you can jump to the next level.
You want to cut costs
Full-time employees are costly. If your revenue is inconsistent, outsourcing may be an effective way to smooth cash flows. When projects are green-lit, expand your head count. When projects come to a close, reduce your head count. Outsourcing gives you a level of flexibility that full-time hires can’t.
You need expertise that your team doesn’t have
Working on a project that requires expertise that neither you nor your internal team have? Outsourcing is your quick fix. Contract talent to come in and get the job done so that you never skip a beat.
Three benefits of outsourcing
If you’re still not sure outsourcing is right for you, here are three ways external talent can benefit your small business.
“You have the same number of hours in your day as Beyonce” (via Saradhi, our Head of Engineering). Ok, that quote isn’t actually from Saradhi, but you get the point. So, 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-do’s.
Win more business
You stand to win larger deals by outsourcing capabilities. Suppose an agency specializes in print and digital advertising but does not provide in-house video production. In this scenario, contracting a video production partner may help the agency win larger, more lucrative contracts. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Full-time team members are expensive. From health benefits to preparing year-end tax paperwork, there’s no shortage of support that you have to provide your team. Outsourcing work means the onus of taxes and benefits is the responsibility of your outsourced partner, not you.
How to look for in an outsourced partner
Ready to outsource? Stay tuned for some tips on how to find the right outsourced partner.
What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the practice of partnering with a third-party to execute tasks, operations, and functions for your business. Outsourced partners traditionally support or supplement services performed by your employees.
Why should you outsource?
Every business is different. If you’re drowning in work, or you’re growing so fast that things start slipping through the cracks, outsourcing may be right for your business. Another great reason to outsource is if you’re looking to expand your offerings but don’t want to endure the cost of a full-time employee.
Outsourced partners are expensive, is it really worth it?
If you crunch the numbers, you may find that outsourced partners are more expensive than full-time employees (on an annual basis). Don’t be thrown off by the numbers. Outsourced partners afford you a level of flexibility that full-time employees can’t. It’s also important to consider that you’re not responsible for providing contractors with health benefits, which can save your business money.
What are typical jobs that are outsourced?
Straight up: you can outsource pretty much anything. From HR to web development, there are contractors and agencies out there that can help your small business leap ahead of the competition. Stay tuned for tips on how to select the right outsourced partner for your small business.