Is It Time to Outsource? 4 Questions to Help You Decide

By:
Oct 20, 2013

Outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular with businesses all over the world. Although it can often be cheaper to hire a contractor than hire someone full-time, cost is not the only motivation. Instead, business owners are taking advantage of the global talent pool. We’re no longer limited to working with people who live in the same city, so employers are finding virtual employees from all over the world. If customer service is an important aspect of your business, having global employees is a great strategy as it means there’s almost always someone working and you can effectively have a 24 hour business.

If you’re new to outsourcing, it can be hard to know if it’s time to outsource or what tasks to even outsource. If you’re a perfectionist, it’s even harder, because you might think that the only way to make sure something is done right is to do it yourself or closely monitor someone in house. But it doesn’t have to be like that! Here are four questions to ask yourself if you’re considering outsourcing:

1. Is the service a primary offering of your company?

If the service is not a primary offering of your company (i.e. one of the solutions your company exists to provide) then you should outsource it. There’s no point in spending unnecessary time on tasks that you don’t excel at and that don’t need your expertise. However, it is also possible that there are services your company provides that you are not an expert in; companies tend to evolve past the initial skills of their founders or they would never grow. You shouldn’t be tackling those tasks either, but it’s probably a better idea to hire someone fulltime to offer those services.

2. Can you do the task but hate it?

One of the perks of being the boss is that you do not have to do things you absolutely hate to do – even if you’re good at them. Outsourcing the tasks that you dread can free you up to focus on the stuff that matters to your company and matters to you, which will ultimately lead to much more productive days. Chances are, you’ve wasted quite a few hours avoiding a task that makes you miserable. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you pass along anything that’s even slightly challenging. It does mean that you prioritize the tasks you excel at and enjoy.

3. Is it a one-time service?

There are some tasks that are integral to the success of your business, but that you don’t need to do every week or even every month.

Perhaps you have a product launch coming up and need marketing support to ensure it succeeds. If marketing isn’t a huge focus during other times of the year, the expense of hiring someone in house doesn’t make sense. Instead, you can hire a contractor or freelance team to work exclusively on this project for a period of the time. In order to ensure success, make sure that you engage their services a few months before, to make sure that you have the right people to do the job; if it goes well, return to them every year as they’ll already understand your brand and goals.

4. Is a contractor less expensive than hiring someone full-time?

There a lot of costs that come with hiring someone in-house, including the time that it takes to train them. If it makes financial sense to hire a contractor or freelancer and they do the job just as well, why not outsource? This is an especially good option if your business is primarily online based and you don’t have a need for physical offices.

You might also want to hire a virtual assistant to take care of the daily operations of your business and to manage your personal schedule. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s how to get the most out of a virtual assistant. Outsourcing can be a powerful way to grow your business without having to expand your offices or break your budget; just make sure that you’re clear on what you need to outsource and what tasks are better suited to full-time employees.