When startups decide to outsource, they’re doing it to save one of two things: Time or money.
When work begins spilling over into your personal life, you know you’re on track toward success–and that something has to change if you want to maintain your productivity and sanity.
And if you’re hemorrhaging money each month by employing in-house customer support, human resources, or accounting representatives that you don’t necessarily need, it’s probably time to take a closer look at your needs and consider outsourcing.
Before you back away in horror at the thought of allowing outside hands to touch your sterile project, consider this: Outsourcing can allow startups to function seamlessly by taking care of ongoing, nonessential-but-important tasks, like website support or telephone customer service, and enabling founders to focus wholeheartedly on current goals.
Outsourcing can also enable you to accomplish things you and your team don’t currently have the bandwidth or expertise to do. Choosing to outsource anything at your startup shouldn’t be a quick decision, and it isn’t always a quick fix for issues within your company, as business development specialist Alleli Aspili warns:
“Deciding to outsource, like any other business investment, requires effort before it gives returns. With proper assessment, a clear outline of work expectations, and alignment of quality standards, customer service outsourcing may become a company’s biggest asset yet.”
So when should a startup decide to outsource?
Maybe you knew that your product was awesome, but you weren’t expecting the rest of the world to agree so strongly. Maybe a recent campaign brought in tons of new users that you weren’t fully prepared for. In any case, if you’re caught off guard by sudden growth, chances are, there’s going to be lots of slack to pick up.
If cash flow is still a problem and bringing in new hires won’t work for you, this is a good time to outsource tasks that aren’t your top priority–or specialized tasks your current team isn’t qualified for–freeing up your time to handle more urgent matters.
Every startup has an area of work that is essential, but not substantial enough to invest in a full-time, salaried employee. This is where you might consider outsourcing tasks to qualified individuals or agencies. Being a business owner means you’ll need to continually make decisions on prioritizing your work.
Knowing your necessary-but-time-consuming work is taken care of can bring you peace of mind and help you concentrate on your highest priorities.
If your startup is finally making money but you find you are seriously strapped for time, it’s smart to reevaluate the way you’re handling work. Where is your time best spent? Concentrate on those tasks and consider outsourcing what you can to qualified individuals or agencies.
That might include customer support, human resources, server management, or even unfilled executive positions.
If your startup is working through any of the above issues, it’s wise to consider outsourcing as a potential solution. Outsourcing may not be for every company, but as long as you do your research and work with qualified people or agencies that understand your startup’s mission and audience, your ever-growing to do list will be in good hands.
I’ll leave you with this quote from the Young Entrepreneur Council:
Remember, you don’t outsource to make a service disappear; you outsource to reduce your cost structure and keep your internal resources focused on your business.
What area of business do you think is most often outsourced? Are there any tasks or roles you believe should never be outsourced? Let’s discuss on Twitter!