The decision to start outsourcing can be a good solution for all types of businesses. From freelance workers needing help with bookkeeping to large companies wishing to offer better customer service, worldwide outsourcing is on the rise. In fact, it is estimated that the outsourcing industry generated $507 billion in revenue in 2014 alone.
The idea of hiring someone outside of your business may seem daunting. However, the fact is that it’s getting easier and easier to connect to quality professionals all over the world. When you start outsourcing, you also benefit from important cost-reduction opportunities. These opportunities mean that it may be just the thing to help your business grow and flourish.
Here are 5 signs that you should start outsourcing:
Carrying out specialized skills
Remember, the decision to start outsourcing is about supplementing the departments you already have, not replacing them. Whether you’re a freelance web designer or you own a large retail company, you’re likely to need specialized skills at one point or another.
For instance, a web designer may need help with bookkeeping in order to devote their time to what they do best, designing. On the other hand, workers in a medium-sized logistics company may not have the skills required to promote the company. Workers benefit when you start outsourcing to a marketing professional.
Trying to carry out specialized tasks yourself or asking workers to take on tasks outside of their field means projects may not be done properly. This could be a good opportunity to work with an outside contractor.
Tasks you (or workers) despise
This doesn’t mean outsourcing all the tasks that in-house workers don’t like doing. Few people enjoy every single aspect of their work, and for the most part, they get on with it anyway.
It’s common for hires or business owners to carry out tasks outside of their specialty, especially when it doesn’t seem viable to hire someone new to take on the workload.
However, when you or the workers you hire despise doing these tasks, it may bring down morale, pull resources away from things that need more attention, and affect the company as a whole.
For instance, the owner of a small company may know how important it is to regularly update the company blog, but despises writing articles and wastes hours trying to come up with new ideas. In this case, hiring a freelance writer to provide articles on a weekly basis would free up their time and allow them to focus on more important things.
When outsourcing is the cost-effective choice
Some companies are put off by the idea of outsourcing due to the seemingly high upfront costs. One important thing to remember, however, is that taking on a contracted professional (or several) usually works out at a better value than adding a new full-time local hire, as you’ll only be charged for the work that’s been done.
Compare this to hiring new in-house personnel, where as well as their salary, you’ll also need to take into account their insurance, payroll taxes, benefits, etc… When you outsource a task, this should all be included in the overall costs.
Fulfilling temporary tasks
Outsourcing can be a good solution for fulfilling temporary or cyclical tasks. There may be several tasks that only need to be carried out once or twice a month, such as IT maintenance or payroll.
It wouldn’t be cost-effective to bring on a full-time IT specialist if they’ll only be fulfilling temporary tasks. Instead, it would make sense to outsource this, and only pay for the time they’ve worked.
Other examples of popular outsourcing tasks include website design and maintenance, accounting, marketing, and customer service.
Handling your workload
Large corporations may have the resources for specialized departments, but freelancers and small business owners usually don’t. Whilst a large workload is definitely good for business, struggling through it and not being able to finish projects on time is not.
As well as the risk of burnout, spending all your time committed to your work will probably affect the quality of what you’re producing. Consider your top priorities and focus your time on what you’re best at. Literally everything else can be outsourced.
Where to start outsourcing
Once you decide that outsourcing could be a good solution for your business, the next step is finding high-quality freelancers to work with. So where do you start? There are many platforms which connect businesses to remote workers all over the world, but depending on the industry, some are better suited than others.
Here are some of the most popular tasks that businesses outsource, and the best places to search for people to contract:
The bottom line
Outsourcing isn’t for everyone, but it’s certainly a good way to free up time and focus your energy on the things you do best. If your company is entering a stage of growth, the workload becomes too heavy, or you can’t handle taking on several roles at a time, it may be the perfect time to seek an outside contractor.