Outsourcing: When To Do It, And When To Avoid It
[is-gateway name=”HicksNewMedia” id=”INFOtainmentNews”]Running a successful business is all about knowing when to take a hands-on approach and when to delegate. But it’s one thing to give a task to your personal assistant and quite another to outsource the job altogether. However, with smaller businesses especially, chances are you won’t have an in-house team managing every aspect of your company from the word ‘go’. So when should you you make the most of your own know-how, and when is it better to leave things to the professionals?
These days (allowing of course for some fluctuation according to your industry), social media is one of the key ways people will encounter your business or products. So do you really want to leave that in someone else’s hands? You know your company’s ethics, goals, demographics, and overall style best of all; letting an external party leave their mark on all that could separate you from your clients in a way that could prove detrimental to your burgeoning business. Even if you’re not already completely social media-savvy, that’s a knowledge base that can be built up through lots of Internet research and unlike lots of other aspects of your business, it’s a skill set you can and should acquire for yourself.
Keep it in-house!
Do you already know a lot about coding and design? Have you designed web sites in any professional capacity? If you haven’t, best enlist the help of those in the know. There are a ton of designers out there, many of them talented but caught in the Catch-22 of employability vs. experience (“We can’t trust you with this work; you have no experience!” “But I can’t get any experience because I don’t have any work!” You get the idea) and so willing to work for a fair price. If your eyes glaze over at the mention of design trends and usability, this probably isn’t the area to keep in-house.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
If your business is mainly conducted online, what do you know about your website’s search engine rankings? What are the words people Google that turn up your business in search results pages? What’s the traffic to your website like? How many visitors do you get, and what times of day do they tend to visit? Are you using black hat or white hat SEO techniques? If your response to all of these questions is a blank stare, you may want to consider outsourcing your SEO. Companies that specialise in raising a site’s Internet profile (through more technical methods like organic link-building and competitor analysis, as opposed to social media) are on the rise, and can be a big help to businesses who want to keep their names at the top of search engine results pages.
While employees should be impressed upon to keep communal office areas tidy, the fact is that in a professional office space, you’re going to have to allocate funds for professional cleaning services. Skimping on cleaning can result in a sloppy office, which will look totally unprofessional to your clients and anyone else you might want to impress. Plus, keeping the office clean and germ-free reduces employee sick leave which, as a small business, can be very detrimental to your profitability if you’re having to pay employees who’re not doing any work!
Accounting tends to be a mixed bag when it comes to this particular decision – on the one hand, accounting’s the most time-consuming aspect of a business, and it can be simpler, more cost-effective and more timely to hand it over to people who know the system and what deadlines to meet. In return, you get up-to-date information from experts, as well as forging an important business connection. On the other hand, bigger companies especially may prefer to keep their financial records in-house and private. But if you’re a smaller business owner, there’s definitely more to be gained from outsourcing your bookkeeping.
You should always put aside the resources to train your own employees. Again, as with social media, this ensures that you have control over their introduction to not just the workings of your business, but to the overall feel thereof. Plus, having effective in-house trainers makes for a more effective business throughout.
Keep it in-house!
What other aspects of your business should you outsource? For that matter, what should you always keep in-house? Share your experiences and opinions in the comments!
Image by Victor1558