By Tamara Pupic
Overcoming the limitations of a small team by seeking outside help
Should I rely on outsourcing to grow my business?
Outsourcing can be particularly helpful to start-up founders. It allows them to overcome limitations of a small team and get certain, cumbersome tasks done.
If managed properly, outsourcing allows entrepreneurs to focus on crucial tasks – building a product, developing a strategy, talking to investors – as opposed to being burdened under the pile of administrative work.
According to a survey by Deloitte on global outsourcing, 53 percent of businesses are outsourcing IT functions and 69 percent are outsourcing their technology needs to cloud providers.
Delegating efficiently both to your in-house team and to the freelances you’ve hired for a certain task is a sign of highly developed executive skills. Entrepreneurship is all about execution, isn’t it?
What should be outsourced?
This question hides the key of the successful use of outsourcing to advance your business. If not done properly, it can kill or seriously damage your start-up.
Why? Simply because there are certain tasks nobody can do better than you. Therefore, all tasks that touch the very core of your business – developing a strategy, writing a business plan, or creating a pitch deck for investors – should not be outsourced. At least not entirely.
Other, less important tasks, could be sent elsewhere. These might include finding a bookkeeper or an outsourced CFO. Outsourcing PR is a no-brainer for many entrepreneurs – although many of them enjoy telling their story to reporters, doing it as often as it is usually required is a job in itself.
In each case, decide on the specific problem you need to fix and define a task that would solve it. When you are crystal clear on what and how it should be done, measuring the quality of the outsourced job will be easier.
What has technology enabled?
The fast-paced technology development has expanded the meaning of ‘outsource’.
For example, you can now contract a company to develop and execute your social media plans including daily posts to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other accounts.
If you need help with the content required to promote or sustain your business, the outsource offerings include writing blog posts, white papers, website copy, product descriptions, articles, and much more.
Furthermore, collecting information about your customers, both online and offline, can be costly, time-consuming and often lead to unreliable results. Therefore, it’s often wise to contract an expert to help you with gaining an insight into how your customers make their purchasing decisions.
What about software developers?
The most intriguing question of the tech start-up world is whether you should hire an in-house software developer or not.
A few points to consider here are whether your start-up is product- or technology-heavy. If technology is at the core of your product, you should hire an in-house software developer.