I’ve written a lot about the benefits of outsourcing in the past, but how do you actually go about it? As a startup, there is a strong likelihood that you will use plenty of business services in your initial phase. And, of course, you will also use them when it’s time to grow your company and reach out to a bigger market.
So, today, I thought it was time to address how to outsource properly. I’m going to take you through some of the basics of getting the right people in – at the right time. I’ll also give you some ideas of how to look at your business and decide on the right services to seek. Let’s get started.
1. Outsourcing Essentials
There are some services that you should have in place, regardless of the amount of business you have coming your way. An accountant, for example, will be able to advise you on almost every financial aspect you need to address in your business. They will also be able to cut down your taxes and identify areas of opportunity. Similarly, it is also advisable to have a business lawyer on a retainer or similar arrangement. They will help give you the protection you need – from IP theft and contract laws, for example.
2. Identify Your Immediate Priorities
Your first job is to identify which tasks you need to outsource. Is there anything that is holding you up, or something that is taking up your time? If so, it’s an easy win. Just pay somebody to do it – and it’s done. You can carry on with your more important tasks, and you will be in a position where you can move onto the next stage. Of course, if you don’t have much money then you will need to be selective about the tasks you outsource. However, for those jobs that are simple, but time-consuming, then it will be cheaper for you to hire a service to do it for you. You could go down the route of finding a virtual assistant, or even advertise on a service such as People Per Hour.
3. Research Your Options
If you are just passing on mundane tasks such as data entry, then it shouldn’t take you long to find a suitable candidate. However, if you realise you need IT support, for example, then you need to be a lot more thorough in your approach. Never take a website description as Bible, and always get in touch with the service you are interested in. Have a chat with them, find out about their experience, and always ask for a quote. Furthermore, you should contact other agencies, too. Never go for your first option without investigating others.
4. Always Refer to Your Business Plan
If you haven’t made a business plan yet, it is advisable that you do so as soon as possible. Without one, you will have no direction, and no hope of ever getting funding, either from a bank loan or a private investor. It’s an essential part of turning your startup into a fully-functioning business. It’s also something that you should refer to at all times when you are thinking about outsourcing. It will keep you on track and give you an idea of where you need to concentrate your efforts.
Well, I hope that’s helped. As ever, let me know your thoughts!