Running a business can be overwhelming for many business owners because it requires one’s utmost dedication and time. This challenge is especially true when business owners have many tasks to attend to, but their expertise lies elsewhere. In such cases, outsourcing can be a tremendous asset to the business.
Outsourcing is the business practice of contracting or obtaining goods and services from an outside source or foreign supplier. Outsourcing allows companies to delegate certain job functions instead of having an in-house department or employees handle such tasks.
Why You Need to Outsource
There are several reasons why you should start outsourcing, and here are some signs to help you consider obtaining this type of service:
- You’re overworked. Being busy is a sign that your business is booming, but sometimes it can get overwhelming, preventing you from meeting deadlines or delivering promises and outputs. When there is too much work to be done, it could become too time-consuming that you cannot focus on other functions, such as meeting client demands, which may affect your business negatively.
- You’re becoming too stressed out. When you are overworked, you are also stressed out and always thinking about work. Perhaps you spend too much time doing tasks because you don’t know how to do them exactly. Or you don’t see where doing menial tasks fits into your daily operations. By outsourcing tasks, you alleviate the stress by letting someone else pick up the slack, especially for minor duties or functions.
- You’re becoming forgetful. When you have a lot on your plate, you tend to forget other things. When it comes to running a business, even the simplest tasks like answering phone calls or emails or updating the website and social media pages may slip out of your mind. However simple these tasks may be, these are crucial and part of customer service. Outsourcing these activities can improve customer relations and, at the same time, help you from forgetting similar tasks.
- The business has become stagnant in one area or more. If you have noticed that your business seems to stop growing or not improving, consider getting help through outsourcing. If your business is selling goods and services, your outsourcing partner can boost sales by doubling marketing and lead generation.
- You need help expanding. Suppose the business is doing well and you plan on expanding your services to other areas. In that case, you may need help to streamline the following areas: communications, customer service, ordering, delivery, and information services.
- You’re looking to tighten the budget. If the budget is getting tighter and maintaining an in-house staff is causing a dent in your capital, outsourcing functions such as bookkeeping, human resources, IT, and marketing services could be a more affordable option.
- You don’t have any work-life balance. If work is becoming too much that you’re missing out on personal growth, outsourcing allows for more time for yourself and with family and friends.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing
Before hiring an outsourcing company, you have to know and understand some advantages and disadvantages to outsourcing. Here are some outsourcing pros and cons:
- Cost-efficient. One of the most significant advantages of outsourcing is its cost-efficiency. When outsourcing, the company you hire has all the equipment they need to work, whereas with an in-house staff, you have to buy all the equipment.
Also, you don’t have to think about office space, maintenance costs, internet connections, and other expenses with outsourcing. The money you save from outsourcing can improve operations, marketing strategies, training programs, and others.
- Access to a quality talent pool. When it comes to hiring staff, you do not have to work on the entire hiring process to look for quality talent. The outsourcing agency will be the one to provide you with staff that suits your required skills.
Another advantage to hiring an outsourcing firm is you gain access to talents from different parts of the world so that when you finally decide to expand internationally, you already have a ready talent pool at your disposal.
- Focus on critical functions and tasks. Many outsourcing agencies and companies offer back-office services, such as accounting, customer service, human resources, and the like, giving you more time to focus on scaling operations or creating additional services and products.
- Difficulty in maintaining accountability. When outsourcing work and tasks, you cannot monitor the outsourced team or agency’s work, as traditional management practices may be more challenging to implement.
- Lack of sense of belonging. An outsourced team may feel disconnected from the company or other team members. They may also struggle with important information not being shared with them.
- Lack of communication. Communication can become challenging when working with outsourced teams, especially when offshore teams work in different schedules from the in-house team. Since there is no face-to-face contact and most communication is virtual, quick questions or concerns may be addressed differently or may have some delays.
- Threat to security and confidentiality. When hiring a third-party agency, there is a risk that confidential information may become compromised as they will have access to customer data and other important information. Ask the outsourcing company if they offer protection for their clients or if they have any intellectual property policies in place.
Outsourcing can solve many business problems, such as tapping others’ expertise in specific functions or aspects. If customer service or online marketing is not your forte, there is a talent pool of experts who can do the job for you. Or, if you are looking into cutting costs at certain aspects of your business for future expansion, outsourcing may be for you. But do not forget that outsourcing also has its disadvantages. It is your responsibility to determine how much you want to outsource and what matters most to you and your business.