Outsourcing certain tasks to freelancers, independent contractors or other companies can be a useful way to grow your small business at a minimal cost. Outsourcing can save time as well, since an individual or company focused on completing a single project for your business may complete the work faster than a employees who must also attend to numerous other tasks that are part of their regular jobs.
What Outsourcing Is and Why It Is Useful
Outsourcing is simply securing the services of an individual or company outside of your own business, either to do ongoing work or, more commonly, to complete a specific project, such as designing your company website. Small business owners frequently use outsourcing for tasks such as bookkeeping or tax accounting, or to push their business to the next level through efforts such as creating a major advertising campaign.
Outsourcing can be more cost-efficient than hiring additional permanent employees, and it may provide easy access to certain professional skills that your current workforce lacks. It’s sometimes easier to locate a good provider of professional services than to go through the process of finding and hiring a permanent employee. Plus, hiring employees can mean increasing the overhead for the business, since it will involve taking on the additional tasks of dealing with payroll taxes and benefits, among other expenses.
When Outsourcing is a Good Option
As your small business grows, as you make plans for its continuing expansion and as each new work need arises, consider whether the work is best assigned to an employee or whether it might be more beneficial to outsource the work. There are several common circumstances where outsourcing is frequently a good option.
Consider outsourcing work that represents a temporary need, as opposed to work that you envision needing to be done for your business on a continual basis. Examples of such situations include hiring an outside tax accountant to prepare your business taxes each year, or using a human resources firm to help you fill an important executive position in your company. Other situations involving temporary needs include creating an email marketing system if your business seeks a significant online presence, or meeting a need for seasonal increases in store employees or customer service representatives.
What Not to Outsource
While outsourcing can be a valuable resource for growing your small business, there are certainly times when hiring a permanent employee is the better choice. Most business owners prefer to have a trusted employee handle ongoing work that is essential to the core success of their business; the business can depend on this employee for the long term. For such tasks, it’s helpful to have someone who is intimately familiar with your business and whose personal financial success is tied to your company’s continuing financial success.