Everyone is outsourcing. From start-ups, small businesses and the large and well-established ones have outsourcing playing either a major or minor role in their organisation. It is a practical way to get things done at an affordable cost.
Just because everyone is outsourcing does not mean you play the idea based on their own rules. You need to come up with your own and you need to make a decision whether to outsource or not using practical rules and parameters that will be discussed shortly below.
Outsource what you do not have
IT support is definitely the most outsourced service. Why? It is because most organisations lack the technical know-how and technological infrastructures to have it.
Outsourcing your IT support is efficient in terms of cost management, in sharing the infrastructural risk that only comes with having a third party IT support group, and more importantly, in accessing data management expertise that you may have a hard time finding locally in your area. It also reduces your need for local training since you can immediately outsource experts and not people you have to educate first before they can contribute.
Examples of IT support you can outsource can be as basic as virus protection, network architecture and backup & recovery to advanced IT support such as disaster recovery, e-commerce maintenance and security management.
Outsource according to what you can entrust to others
You cannot outsource everything all out. You need to know what you should keep in-house and what you can have someone overseas to do it for you. What are examples of services that you can outsource overseas?
- Marketing – You can outsource your needs for public relations, copywriting and email marketing.
- Payroll and bookkeeping – Avoid issues that concern your taxes by outsourcing your payroll functions. Outsourcing experts to manage your payroll can help reduce inaccuracies with your tax reports, deficiencies and deductions.
- Social media marketing – If you need promotion, content development and a social media strategy for your small enterprise, outsource it. Doing it yourself may lead to inconsistency in terms of your objectives and strategies. Look for a firm or an agency who can establish and cultivate your brand well.
- Virtual assistance – especially for solo entrepreneurs, a virtual assistant can help when it comes to routine tasks being handled in the business. Someone to answer calls (thanks to sophisticated phone technologies), organise daily schedules, prepare and answer emails, book travel tickets, maintain blogs and so on. Again, with technologies that we have today, being an entrepreneur does not mean you have to have an office, a staff or even a receptionist to handle business routines.
You can help save time and effort with outsourcing. You can free up activities that someone overseas can do for you as you concentrate your efforts on the core aspects of your business. Remember that outsourcing does not work in a one-size-fits-all way. You need to align your objectives and your goals to reap its benefits.