Choosing whether or not you should outsource parts of your business can be daunting. There are advantages to doing so, but keeping projects in-house can also be beneficial in different ways. Also, there really isn’t a single right answer to whether you should outsource, since every business and individual is different. There are plenty of outsourcing pros and cons, that you will learn about in this article.
Regardless of the type of work you’re thinking to outsource, there are several different outsourcing pros and cons to consider. While the impact of these benefits and drawbacks can vary, they can help you make a smart choice about whether or not one option is clearly better than the other.
What Is Outsourcing?
In the past, outsourcing was typically used for things like filing taxes or managing specific legal issues. This made outsourcing pros and cons much more simple and straightforward. Today, it’s possible to hire independent firms or contractors for a huge variety of tasks.
Freelancers can be found to work on projects such as website design, writing copy, or creating your brand. A virtual assistant can help you manage everyday tasks such as balancing inventory, handling social media or making phone calls. Marketing teams are available to help launch a product, improve your site’s SEO, and make sure your products are bought.
Hiring an independent contractor or firm isn’t the same as hiring an employee. Many times, the arrangement is very temporary, lasting for a specific time frame or covering a specific project.
But even when the arrangement is ongoing, the relationship is different. With employees, you’ll be able to specify and control the methods and techniques used to reach your goals. When you outsource, you’ll be able to specify the outcome, but you won’t have the same level of control over how the work is done on a minute-by-minute basis.
Communicating well is crucial when outsourcing since you’ll need to clearly convey your expectations in order for them to be met. If you have very specific ideas and goals, then you’ll need to make sure your contract with the freelancer or agency is clear and covers off of those aspects. Giving out vague specifications can end up resulting in a finished project which doesn’t even resemble the result you desired.
Outsourcing Pros and Cons
Advantages of Outsourcing
- Outsourcing saves you time and effort. Managing a business can be time-consuming and exhausting, especially if your business is small. Outsourcing some aspects can help you have time to focus on the tasks you’re skilled at, streamlining your work and saving you energy.
- You’re able to get help from experts. Hiring a full-time expert isn’t an affordable option for many businesses, but with outsourcing, you can get high-quality help for specific tasks when you need it.
- Outsourcing allows you to choose from a huge pool of skilled individuals with special talents and abilities. Training typically isn’t necessary, and the internet allows you to hire worldwide.
- You can avoid trial and error. Learning to do things yourself may be feasible, but it can also take a lot of time and many mistakes before you figure out the best methods. When you outsource to someone with experience and skills, you can avoid these mistakes altogether.
Disadvantages of Outsourcing
- For many fledgling startup companies, cash is incredibly tight. In these cases, it’s often better to put in extra time and effort to work on the projects in-house instead of spending the limited money on outsourcing.
- You will have less control over the process. You won’t be able to make every single decision and weigh every choice to decide what’s best for your business.
- Finding a reliable contractor can be daunting. You’ll want to make sure the person is trustworthy, prompt, hard-working, and talented. Most freelancers are eager to do a good job, but there are a few rotten apples in every field.
Does Outsourcing Really Work?
The key to making sure your outsourced projects are done well is fairly straightforward. If you do your homework beforehand, you can rest assured that you will have a good experience and a satisfactory result.
This means that you’ll want to communicate your wishes clearly. Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure your contract is well-written and covers every detail necessary. You’ll want to vet the freelancer or agency you hire, checking with their previous work and clients to ensure that they’re reliable and trustworthy.
You’ll also want to make sure you add up and compare potential costs. After you’ve received quotes from several different contractors or firms, then you’ll want to weigh the cost of hiring one of them versus the cost of doing it yourself or hiring a regular employee instead.
It’s also wise to ask yourself whether or not this project is crucial to the success of your business. If it is, then getting it right should be worth any extra cost that you may have to pay.
While the initial steps for outsourcing can be time-consuming and daunting, outsourcing can help you be a better entrepreneur. Instead of trying to do it all and burning yourself out, you’ll be able to focus on your skills. Moreover, you will do the things you love. Meanwhile, you can tap into the talents of others for tasks you’re not so adept at accomplishing.
The decision of whether or not to outsource is going to be different for every company, but if your business has grown enough to make you feel too busy to handle the day-to-day tasks anymore, then it’s probably a good time to weigh the costs and benefits and other outsourcing pros and cons.
For some companies, there may be additional outsourcing pros and cons to consider. An example is whether or not differences in native languages or time zones could affect results. But the outsourcing pros and cons listed above will be valuable for almost every business to consider when deciding whether or not outsourcing is a wise choice.