Outsourcing is a common practice in all aspects of life because one person can only do so much and only has so many hours in the day. As a homeowner you outsource tasks such as unclogging the toilet, fixing the garage door and deep cleaning the household. As a parent you outsource your child’s education to the local school, and you outsource childcare to babysitters when you have errands to run or you just need a break. Well, business is the same. You can’t do all of it yourself and you shouldn’t have to.
Outsourcing Business Needs
Business outsourcing is “the practice of having certain job functions done outside a company instead of having an in-house department or employee handle them; functions can be outsourced to either a company or an individual (freelancing).” Outsourcing has become a major business trend over the last ten years for everything from payroll, accounting, and employee training to social media management, sales and customer service.
There are many simple day-to-day tasks that you might feel silly for outsourcing because you think you should be able to get them done yourself to save money. Or maybe there are bigger tasks that you just don’t trust anyone but yourself to handle. Letting go and trusting someone to help can be difficult but outsourcing is something that helps business owners of companies both big and small boost efficiency and productivity and sharpen focus. If you are wondering if outsourcing is right for you ask yourself these questions.
What does it cost to complete the task in-house?
Cost is important in business so of course you need to weigh your options financially. You might think that it is cheaper to keep tasks in-house but that is not always true. Many companies report that they have saved money by outsourcing certain business needs.
Do you currently have an employee who is trained on that task?
If not, you will need to hire and train someone, put them on the payroll and offer other benefits. Or you can outsource to someone who is already well trained in that area who can complete the project with no need for you to manage them and provide them with office space and supplies.
Do you or your employees have the time?
This should be a simple yes or no. If your employees are overloaded with their current projects, you don’t want to pile on more because that is when tasks fall through the cracks. This doesn’t mean the task should fall on you to complete either. It means you should look into finding someone outside of the company that has the time to get the work done in a way that takes minimal amount of effort on your part.
Is it your company’s expertise?
Now this is an important one. For example, if your company’s expertise is designing and making baby clothing then that is exactly what you should focus on doing. You are the expert in manufacturing high-quality clothes but maybe you aren’t well versed in marketing, brand building or social media ad campaigns. These are the tasks you should outsource. Stick to what you and your employees know how to do and what you are good at.
Taking the little tasks and projects off of your plate that you either don’t have the time for or the expertise for will free up time and mental energy for you to focus on what you are good at. Asking for help doesn’t mean you failed. It means you know your limits and your companies limits and you’re more willing to put the success of your business above your pride. Outsourcing is a growing trend and is the perfect way to meet your company’s goals without overworking yourself and your staff and compromising on quality of work. Ask yourself, what projects or tasks could I outsource today?
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