Right now, more and more people are setting up their own businesses. The pandemic has meant that many people have lost their work – through company collapse or redundancy – and are actively seeking career paths that they can exert more control over. Others have been furloughed for long enough to come to the conclusion that the career path they were in wasn’t actually suited to them and that they want to try something else, building their own fortune rather than building someone else’s on their behalf. Others simply found that they have a skill or product that sells and they want to continue this, making it their full time role as opposed to a hobby. Whatever your reason for running a business, you’re going to have to get to grips with a whole host of practices and areas of business operations to experience success. If you’re relatively new to the field, you may also be relatively new to the concept of outsourcing – but this really is a business practice that can greatly benefit your business. Here are the basics of outsourcing that should help you to come to an informed decision as to whether it suits you or not!
What is Outsourcing?
Let’s start out by determining what outsourcing actually is. Outsourcing is a common business practice that involves a business distributing services or job functions to a third party. This third party will complete the task for an agreed fee, without the individual completing the work needing to be employed by the company that is outsourcing. Countless tasks can be outsourced, from web development to blog writing services, product photography, accounting, manufacturing and so much more. Companies can also outsource their work around the world. You can outsource onshore (within your own country), nearshore (to a neighboring country or one in the same time zone), or offshore (to a more distant country).
The Benefits of Outsourcing
So, why would you consider outsourcing as opposed to doing work yourself or hiring a permanent member of staff to carry it out? Well, put simply, there are countless benefits that come hand in hand with outsourcing and it can prove a much more effective and cost effective option for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Here are some to consider.
- One-off projects – sometimes, businesses will find that they need a task completed, but only as a one-off. Perhaps you need a website created and put live, but you don’t need a web developer or web designer working as a permanent member of your team, as when your website is live, you won’t really look at changing it again for a year or longer. In this instance, you wouldn’t want to hire someone who you will then be committed to paying a monthly salary to. Instead, you just need to job completed by a competent individual once, in exchange for a one off fee. This is where outsourcing to a freelancer or agency will prove ideal.
- Equipment – does a task you need to complete require a lot of expensive equipment? By outsourcing, you can get someone who already has this equipment or facilities to complete the work. This means you pay them to complete the task, but don’t have to fork out a small fortune for equipment or facilities to complete the work yourself. Take manufacturing as an example. Many businesses will find that they don’t have the money to hire out a commercial space like a factory or warehouse or to buy all of the equipment and machinery required in the manufacturing process. By outsourcing to a manufacturer, you can get your goods manufactured for a good price without making these huge investments.
- Time – do you need a task completed quickly and don’t have time to recruit someone to do it? The recruitment process can be time consuming and lengthy. By outsourcing, you can get the help you need quickly – whether you outsource while you’re waiting to find the right employee, or whether you decide to outsource to cut out the recruitment process altogether.
Outsourcing Your Work
So, how do you go about outsourcing your work? The following steps should help you along the way.
Decide What You Want
Before you dive in the deep end, you need to device exactly what it is that you want from your outsourcing. Why are you considering outsourcing a certain task? Is it because you don’t have the sufficient knowledge or skill in house to complete it? Do you want to free up your time by taking routine, simple work off your hands? Do you require short term assistance with a certain role? Asking these questions will make sure that outsourcing rather than recruiting is definitely the right option for you. Knowing your goals will allow you to set goals for the freelancer or agency and will also allow you to measure your success going forward and can help you to make informed decisions about how long to continue outsourcing this work.
Determine Your Budget
How much are you willing to spend getting this work done? Different freelancers and agencies will charge different rates. Some will charge hourly, while others will have a set project rate. Setting a budget will determine which services you can consider and will ensure that you don’t spend too much.
Once you know what you’re looking for and how much you are willing and able to spend, it’s time to seek out the talent. Start searching online. Here, you will be able to find websites and individuals on platforms like LinkedIn who will be able to help you. When you find candidates you consider to be good potential, start looking into their portfolio and reviews. This will give you insight into how other clients have found them and whether others have been happy with their services.
As you can see, there is a lot to take into consideration when it comes to outsourcing. But this is a business practice that you are likely to engage with at some point or another. Hopefully, the information above will help you experience as much success in this area as possible!