Once you’ve made the big decision to start up your own business, it’s time to get your hands dirty and actually put your plan into action. However, as daunting as it is, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is the choice between hiring a new member of staff and recruiting the services of an outsourcing company.
Every business owner has been there before, trying to weigh up the pros and cons of hiring someone new to their workforce versus hiring a third-party to do the job for them. On one hand, hiring a new member of staff means that you’ll be able to grow and nourish a new staff member, train them to fit your exact needs and help them grow their career. It’s a much safer long-term investment despite the costs involved.
The importance of specialised staff
But outsourcing is something that every business uses no matter how large or small they are. There are even a couple of roles that businesses prefer to outsource due to the highly specialized skill sets required to perform those jobs. For instance, tech support is something that is seldom required in an office assuming all the computers are working fine. However, when something does break, you may need a specialist depending on what exactly broke.
Another great example of outsourcing trumping a new employee is design. Design is extremely specific and it’s a creative task, meaning that everyone will give you different results. If you give a vague order such as “design a logo” then the artist’s vision will be different in each submission you get and you’ll have to choose which one you prefer. You could hire artists and designers based on their previous work. Their portfolio might have something eye-catching that you really like and you can request your work to be made in a similar fashion.
This is why outsourcing is so important. There are times when you need to hire someone for an extremely specific task and no amount of training or money can teach an employee to do the same role due to the amount of experience. So without further ado, let’s take a look at a couple of outsourced services that every startup needs to grow.
Computer and Tech Related Services
For most people, tech support is an umbrella term that encompasses everything tech-related in your office. For instance, you’ll often hire a tech service that advertises data security, efficiency and growth, but how exactly they achieve it can be rather vague. This is because most tech support services are turn-key solutions that seek to take over your business and give you the support you need. You could say you want to increase data security, or perhaps you want to grow your business using technology. These directions are often taking to the extreme and your tech support company will advise you on everything from hardware to software in order to achieve your goals.
This is great if you’re not tech-savvy and you want a simple solution to a simple problem. However, more complex issues can arise once you gain a little more independence and you start to buy more specialized equipment. For instance, server maintenance and administration is a job role that typically requires a dedicated, experienced and well-trained employee to tackle. However, until you find the right team member to do so, it can simply be outsourced.
As you work in business and learn all the lingo used by tech professionals, you’ll start to learn what each component of your tech does and how they work together. You could go from asking a tech support service to “set up the internet” to asking a specialized network engineer to optimize the data transfer speeds between your office computers. In short, as you get more experienced with technology, you’ll need more specialized workers to provide you with the service you need, and the only way to achieve that in a short time frame is to outsource.
Design Related Work
Whether you need a logo made or a website changed to look more professional, you’re going to need a designer to help you create something specific. There are designers that specialize in everything from websites, to business logos, to even posters on specific subjects. With so many highly specialized individuals, it’s no wonder that design is, and will always be, a thriving freelancing path.
Because designers tend to specialize in specific fields, it’s always a good idea to look at someone’s portfolio before you decide to hire their services. Freelancers are usually open to suggestions and the back and forth communications make it easy for you to pinpoint what design you need. Most freelance designers will also offer you advice and give suggestions based on their experience.
Perhaps and idea you suggested wouldn’t really work, or maybe the designer has an alternate color palette that may work better for your intended design.
In most cases, hiring an in-house designer isn’t such a great choice for a startup unless your work revolves around design. An in-house designer only has so many jobs to perform and it’s impossible to give them enough to work to warrant their high salary.
Not only does it limit their creativity, it also stunts their growth because they aren’t working with multiple clients and their work can eventually get stale. As a result, the best designers are usually the ones who have been working freelance in the industry for a considerable amount of time.
But that’s not to say that new freelancers aren’t worth looking at. In most cases, a new freelancer will have a small portfolio and not much actual experience working with clients.
These new freelancers are often capable of producing incredibly detailed work, but it’s up to you to decide if their experience is worth the cost and risk.
Finance Related Services
To start, you need to consider how much time you spend on accounting and managing your payroll. A great deal of your working life is spent managing numbers, and unless you have some training in accounting, you’re probably either doing it wrong, inefficiently or too slowly.
Most trained accountants could drastically cut down the amount of time you spend on finance related matters. Once you factor in things such as tax laws and regulations, it becomes a massive headache that you simply aren’t qualified to overcome.
This is why an accountant is an incredibly useful staff member to outsource. Accounting only needs to be done a few times in a single week so it’s cost-effective. It can also give you, the business owner, a massive headache trying to solve on your own. With so many different rules and regulations, wrapping your head around your money can be a daunting task, so why not give that job to someone else?
Hiring an accountant makes more sense once your business is larger and you are receiving multiple streams of income and spending money on a regular basis. However, as long as you couple your outsourced accountant with some online accounting software to track things like expenses, you’ll have a much easier time dealing with your finances. This will open up more free time for you, it will reduce your stress, and your business will be much more efficient overall.
To recap, outsourcing is a wonderful way to get specific jobs in your business done. It will reduce your overall operating costs and you’ll find that it can drastically reduce your stress and business risk if you hire a well-trained and experienced professional to handle your specific tasks.
This post has been contributed by Ryan Gatt, it may contain affiliate links.