Four Signs It’s Time To Outsource In Your Business (And When You Should Wait)
Whether you’re a solopreneur or a business owner with many — or few — employees, deciding to outsource business tasks is a big step. You may wonder if you’re ready to bring in outside help and let go of certain things, or you may worry about your budget and whether you can even afford to outsource.
Entrepreneur Jen Crompton gets it — when you’re a business owner, you become a master of every minute of your time. This means you have little time left over when you’re trying to juggle it all on your own.
If you’ve been thinking about outsourcing, read on. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we highlight Crompton’s guidance on when you may want to outsource tasks like accounting, administrative work, or IT management, as well as when outsourcing may not be right for you now.
1. You can’t keep up with your growing business. Business growth is a good thing, but you need to be able to manage the increased workload and demands. If you’re not ready to bring on your first employee or add to your existing team, outsourcing can be a smart solution. Instead of recruiting, hiring and onboarding full-time employees, you can work with a freelancer or contractor and fill in your gaps. These professionals are already experts in their field and can get to work immediately — no need for formal onboarding.
2. You need to scale based on the season. If you operate a business with predictable ups and downs, the extra work during the busier times may be more than you or your team can handle, Crompton says. Therefore, finding an outsourcing partner who can help you scale up or down based on activity enables you to maintain productivity and avoid hiring and firing.
3. You don’t have the skillset. Maybe you’re not an expert in bookkeeping or logistics. You can save yourself the stress by outsourcing tasks in areas where you have limited expertise. Be okay with investing in a professional to tackle tasks much more efficiently and effectively than you could independently, Crompton says. By doing so, you’ll free up your time to work on what you do best.
4. You’re simply out of time to get it all done. To keep your business profitable, you can’t let things fall through the cracks. Even though you may not have time, you have to get things done. By outsourcing the activities you’re not necessarily good at or you don’t have the knowledge to do well, you free up your schedule to work on the revenue-generating tasks.
While outsourcing can make sense in many situations, it may not always be the best bet. Crompton points out a few scenarios in which you may not want to outsource after all.
1. You’re working with a tight budget. If you can’t afford to outsource now, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck managing everything forever. You can always circle back to outsourcing when you have the funds to make the investment.
2. You don’t have the internal resources. While many outsourcing options are close to turnkey, there will still be some internal management required, Crompton says. If you don't have the internal resources to oversee the outsourced function or provide necessary direction, then you may not get the results you want.
3. You may benefit more from a consultant. Ask yourself if you need help on a one-off basis or if you need more ongoing support. A consultant is still technically outsourcing, but this professional could provide the help you need on a short-term basis and then you move forward on your own.
4. You’re working with sensitive information. If you are working with a client with security clearances or other legal issues, you may want to keep this work in-house, Crompton says. This is because you can maintain more control and transparency with an employee over an outside professional.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Jen Crompton is an entrepreneur, small business owner, speaker and digital marketer with more than 15 years of experience developing marketing strategies, writing content and building communities.