Whether starting a business following a job loss or launching a side hustle, it’s likely that you will need to outsource some tasks. The trend had grown at an exponential rate in the 2010s, and the pandemic has forced other firms to follow suit. This is especially true for startups.
Outsourcing may be the key to growing your business in a cost-effective and fully controlled manner. Before making any commitments, though, be sure to use this checklist for the best results.
Know which jobs to outsource
Deciding which tasks should be kept in-house or outsourced should be at the top of your agenda. As a new business owner, it’s easy to assume that you should complete all assignments that you have the skills to do. However, saving money on wages could be counterproductive if it prevents you from using your time to drive the company on.
As a rule of thumb, unskilled and semi-skilled jobs can probably be left to remote workers. If operating from home or a small setting, it will be crucial to consider spatial limitations and equipment accessibility. Issues like IT and data management will often be best left to a specialist company. It’s convenient and better for the bottom line.
Find the right partnerships
Even when the DNA of your team looks a little different to a traditional SME, employees will remain your greatest asset by far. Therefore, it’s imperative that you take the time to screen all employees and companies. Now more than ever, only the most efficient companies will succeed. As such, only the best candidates should be considered.
Whether it’s a customer support worker or a courier, you should check that their character traits match their skills. After all, they will represent your business either directly or indirectly. This should extend to influencers that will promote the brand on your behalf. When you enjoy healthy working relationships, other elements fall into place.
Understand the logistics
The world falls smaller than ever. It enables us to work with companies, freelancers, and suppliers from all over the world. However, you will need to research the logistical challenges. Time is money. So, whether you want to send money to China or ensure that products get through customs quickly doesn’t matter. Intense research is vital.
UK businesses will need to understand the impacts of Brexit while trade deals between other companies must be respected too. In addition to speaking to the necessary authorities, you can get support from other SMEs. Direct competitors probably won’t offer their advice, but brands from other industries will. Reach out to them.
Most agreements with outsourced workers and partnering companies will be honest and legit. Sadly, there are some that will try to take advantage of the distanced business relationship. Firstly, you must ensure that any payments or partial payments will ensure that you receive the work you’ve ordered. Either use verified workers or third-party platforms.
Another potential threat comes in the form of intellectual theft. Implementing non-disclosure agreements is a very useful solution. It protects the brand, your client list, and a host of other factors. Furthermore, you’ll create a professional vibe right off the bat, which can help you attract the best talent. Conversely, it will deter the ones you wish to avoid.
Change your mindset
Finally, you should acknowledge the fact that you don’t know everything. We all have strengths and weaknesses. After recruiting the best people to support you on this journey, it would be madness to stifle them. Encourage them to show the initiative and work with autonomy. Your main goal is to ensure that they understand the objectives.
When freelancers or outsourced firms can show their skills and insight with freedom, engagement levels will soar. In turn, they will provide better work. The upshots of this are increased productivity and profitability. Furthermore, it is the most effective way to free up more of your time, thus allowing you to focus your attention where it matters most.
Put contingencies in place
It’s one thing to master the process when things are running smoothly. But what will happen if one of the contractors lets you down? Time is money, and you cannot allow those issues to halt your progress. Investing in the right communication software and tools will aid the cause. Sadly, even those steps won’t prevent all delays and contractor issues.
In truth, it’s worth creating a list of where to find temporary or new freelancers or services. In an ideal world, this list will never be used. However, the knowledge that you have it ready and in place should deliver the peace of mind that you deserve. While this is vital in the early stages of running your company, it’s a concept that should be put in place for life.