Outsourcing work: unnecessary or a good idea?

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Date: 19 November 2020

A company gets their outsourcing contract signed

As a small business, outsourcing work can be both a blessing and a curse. Often as a small business owner, you will have built your empire from scratch, with hands-on effort and self-sustaining work. Beginning to outsource can feel like sending your child off to school - will they do their work correctly? Could you have just done it better yourself?

Outsourcing can also be a relief. When you've had to put in so much work and had to shoulder so much responsibility, it can be a relief to delegate power.

But outsourcing comes with its own pitfalls as well as benefits. It can be difficult to know whether or not outsourcing is a good idea. You have to ask yourself: should I use outsourcing in this area, or just do it myself?

To make your decision, consider these questions.

1. Can I afford to outsource work?

As a small business, it is important to avoid taking unnecessary risks. Outsourcing will increase your costs, so if you aren't in a position to afford this you will have to find a way of getting the work done yourself.

On the other hand, there's a chance outsourcing could lower your costs. If you are spending excess time attempting to do something yourself or the task is preventing you from getting on with tasks that generate income, it may be smart to switch to outsourcing.

2. Will I receive quality work?

Much like any business transaction, you want to make sure you are receiving quality work if you are paying for it.

There is a fear that, by outsourcing certain task, things won't be done exactly how you want them. This is why, if you decide to use outsourcing, you need to make sure you are using a service that will provide exactly what you are looking for.

It is important to communicate clearly your expectations in a schedule of works or brief. You should also consider putting a service level agreement or contract for services in place. This should outline exactly what you expect from the company or contractor you are outsourcing to including quality of work required, timescales and how any commercial disputes will be resolved should they arise.

3. Do I have the knowledge?

Often, outsourcing becomes necessary when something becomes beyond your reach. Many of us don't have expertise in all areas of business, however much we might wish we do.

Of course, you could teach yourself in areas you struggle, but often it is both more cost-effective and time-effective to outsource these tasks to someone who knows what they are doing. For example, if you aren't familiar with coding and data it would make sense to outsource to a database migration service.

4. Do I need to do the work?

Starting a small business is difficult. But, with enough hard work and luck, you can reach a point where you feel stable and reliable. Once you've reached this point, you need to ask yourself whether you really need to do everything yourself.

The reward for your success should be able to pick and choose the work you want to do - the aspects you feel passionate about, and that fulfils you as a worker.

If you are comfortably making enough revenue to outsource the work you don't want to do, why not outsource?

The pros and cons of running your own small business are incredibly subjective. When it comes down to it, you will know when outsourcing is right for your business and when you're better off doing something yourself. By considering these questions, you should have a better idea about whether outsourcing is the right move for you or not.

Copyright 2020. Article made possible by site supporter Jeremy Bowler

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