Outsourcing has become a popular business practice. That’s because today’s marketplace is teaming with contractors who offer a variety of specialty services, ranging from marketing and bookkeeping to social media monitoring and writing/editing.
As a result, this pool of skilled workers can be an attractive option to small business owners. They require less supervision and typically offer a cheaper hourly rate once the added baggage of payroll taxes, health insurance and worker’s compensation commonly associated with full-time employees are factored in.
While hiring a contractor may seem like a no-brainer, there are many things to take into consideration before pulling the trigger, such as when is the right time to outsource? Let the Lucrum Consulting team explain.
Not a primary service? Outsource it.
Before taking the plunge, take a look at the business’s primary services. Is the task in question something the company specializes in? If the answer is “no,” then the answer’s clear: hire a freelancer.
But don’t immediately jump in with both feet. Lucrum suggests starting small – outsource work to a bookkeeper or personal assistant, let a contractor design your logo, or hire a freelance writer to generate content for your blog. Business owners find taking this baby step frees up their schedule considerably, giving them more time to focus on the initiatives that matter most, such as business strategy, project management or the financial health of the organization.
Will keeping the service in-house yield a marketplace advantage?
Let’s use the hospitality industry as an example. Restaurants specialize in offering outstanding fare, hiring exceptional wait staff and creating an environment that is warm and inviting. With this in mind, it wouldn’t make sense for a restaurant owner to employ a full-time IT person. After all, the success of the restaurant isn’t contingent upon how quickly the receipts print out or how fast its website loads.
In other words, the restaurant isn’t going to gain an advantage in the marketplace by hiring a full-time IT professional. So, keep the following thought in mind: if the service in question isn’t mission critical to the day-to day operations of the company and won’t contribute directly to its profit margin, outsource it.
Is it a one-off need?
Believe it or not, encountering a spontaneous need that requires specialty services outside of the company’s scope happens all the time in business. Entrepreneurs who have gone through a rebrand for example, understand this concept. All of a sudden, they’re tasked with identifying someone to assist with the development of a new logo, website, collateral piece, etc. But once the work is completed, the company resumes its normal operations.
If faced with a similar challenge, it’s usually best to outsource the project to a contractor as the service doesn’t require a full-time position. The manpower it would take to hire, train and bring a new employee up to speed wouldn’t be worth the time and energy in the end. Therefore, hire a contractor. They’ll hit the ground running, making an immediate impact on the company’s growth, productivity and bottom line.
How to find contractors or freelancers
There are a myriad of solutions out there where individuals offer services to business owners; the key is to know which ones are the right fit. The first option is always the best: referrals. Ask co-workers, business colleagues or other professionals who they use.
If your request is unique and referrals aren’t producing any leads, consider online solutions like Craigslist, Upwork, Freelancer.com or Fiverr. There are dozens of websites that offer various specialties of freelance contract work so be sure to research for the specific job or task to be outsourced. One Lucrum client started a new company and submitted his company name and compensation offer to a website specializing in logos and other design work. In a matter of hours he had several choices to pick from and only paid the previously offered amount for the one logo he liked. Talk about efficient!
The right time to outsource is different for every company. The key is to know which questions to ask and then make informed decisions based on the company’s immediate needs. If your company is struggling to manage the day-to-day business of the organization, it may be time to discuss outsourcing as an option. Let Lucrum Consulting help. Give our team a call today at 704.927.0462 to get started.