As a business owner, it might feel like you can do everything. But this often isn’t the case if you own a small business. Sometimes, it’s best to outsource certain types of services your company needs to operate efficiently. But, how do you learn how to outsource? Here’s what you need to know, plus seven places to start outsourcing.
First, you’ll need to ensure that your business is ready to start outsourcing.
Do you have the time to delegate and the money to do it?
If not, now may not be the best time. But, if you know you can cover paying other people and can put your time to better use, outsourcing is a great idea.
Also, you’ll need a solid contract in place. Most businesses and contractors that you work with will have their own contracts, so remember to read them and talk to a lawyer if needed before signing anything.
Next up, you’ll want to ensure that you’re getting the results you want and that the contractor or business promised. For example, if you outsource social media content but still aren’t seeing results from it, it may be time to move on.
When should you outsource?
There are a few reasons to start outsourcing. But when should you start?
If you’re experiencing any of these, it’s time to start.
- Maxed out time or skills — you no longer have time to “do it all” or want to take your business to the next level but don’t have the right skillset.
- Scaling fast — your business exploded overnight, and you need help sorting through everything but don’t have a team already.
- You’re behind — you’re gaining customers or clients fast and aren’t meeting deadlines because you’re too busy working on admin tasks.
If you’re struggling to keep up with demand, can’t meet clients’ current needs, or want to scale but aren’t ready to hire full-time employees, you should start outsourcing.
What are the disadvantages of outsourcing?
There are a few disadvantages of outsourcing. Here are a few:
- Losing control of how certain tasks are handled
- Costs that include paying the business or contractor for work, and paying for tools/needs
- Security risks, especially when outsourcing tasks like HR or social media
- Reduction in quality control (sometimes), depending on your standards and what you’re looking for vs. paying for
While most of these disadvantages can be mitigated by choosing the right company or contractor to work with, they are things to keep in mind.
When should you not outsource?
First, you should never outsource if you don’t have the money.
Don’t put yourself or your business in debt or refuse to pay because you can’t afford it.
Second, you shouldn’t outsource if you don’t have time to delegate or fix things if or when they go wrong.
When working with a new company, there will be bumps, as is expected with any business. But it can’t be fixed if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for and can’t ask for what you need.
Yes, it can be. That’s why knowing what you’re getting into and how much everything will cost before you start is important. But, if it saves you time and earns you more in profit because you can focus your talents elsewhere, it’s worth it.
Is outsourcing a good business strategy?
Yes. Most businesses outsource some tasks to other companies or contractors at some point or another. It can be a great investment if you plan on growing your business.
How To Outsource In Your Small Business
Where can you start with outsourcing when you’re ready to do it? Here are seven places to start with!
Hiring, onboarding, and managing employees is something that many small business owners don’t want — or know how — to deal with. In many cases, outsourcing human resources can be beneficial to your company.
Recruiting services and other companies can provide global employment solutions to find and train employees at both the national and international levels. So now you don’t have to do the heavy lifting when it comes to recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and managing employees
Although you can hire someone to do payroll, there’s really no need to pay someone a full-time salary to perform this task when there are other options.
Many small business owners do their own, but payroll mistakes can be common. Instead, invest in someone to do your payroll as a contractor. This allows you to focus your time, energy, and financial resources on other important business tasks.
Unless your business specializes in marketing, this is one of the best services to outsource. Marketers are experienced at researching your target audience and figuring out new and innovative ways to reach them.
Whether you invest in in-person or digital advertising, hiring the right marketing company can take your business to the next level — which is one of the best reasons to outsource! And that means less that you have to do to market yourself, which leaves you open to other aspects of business.
If you’re planning to produce products, you might consider opening a manufacturing facility. Although this can be an ideal solution for some business owners, the truth is that it can be very costly. This is why many small businesses choose to outsource this process.
The right manufacturing facility will depend on your business and the type of products you produce. You can choose a nearby manufacturer, or you might choose to take it overseas. The choice is yours.
Of course, feel free to get multiple bids and figure out what makes the most sense for your business, and don’t be afraid to see the process in action before committing!
Did you know that IT is one of the most commonly outsourced services? There are also a couple of ways to go about this. You can regularly work with an IT company or reach out only when experiencing a technical issue.
Either way, outsourcing this service could save your company bundles of money. And this is great if you aren’t tech-experienced — they do the heavy lifting for you!
You might need web content for your company’s website, blog, and social media platforms. This often means hiring writers and graphic artists. To keep up with some of the latest video marketing trends, such as TikTok and Instagram Reels, you might consider hiring a videographer or video editor.
Although you could hire in-house writers, graphic artists, videographers, and video editors, most small businesses will find it more cost-efficient to hire these individuals on a freelance or contractual basis. Not only will it save you money, but you’ll also be able to search the internet for the most talented professionals to help your business grow.
Although you might choose to hire an administrative assistant, a virtual assistant is a great alternative. From responding to emails and scheduling appointments, to setting up social media posts, virtual assistants can do nearly anything an administrative assistant can. You also won’t be paying a full-time salary, saving your company a lot of money in the long run.
How To Outsource Business Tasks
As you can see, there are many things that your small business could outsource. And these can save your company thousands of dollars and allow you to spend more time focusing on your business.
But don’t stop there! See where else you can outsource, especially if you want to put your focus into other areas of your business.
You were wondering how to outsource. Now you know! What will you outsource first??
AUTHOR Kimberly Studdard
Kim Studdard is a project manager for online entrepreneurs and small businesses. When she isn't spending time with her daughter and husband, or reading her growing pile of horror books, you'll find her working on her HR degree and working towards FIRE.