What Is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the practice of obtaining goods or services, for particular, non-fundamental roles in a company from an external supplier. The most common outsourcing activity is hiring freelancers or professional agencies to perform highly specialized elements of a project. This could include development work, marketing activities, customer service roles, and more.
There are many reasons why companies decide to outsource skilled activities. Whether you have a big, small, or medium-sized company, outsourcing is sometimes the only option to get things done. Reasons why businesses outsource skills or products include:
- The inability to find it in-house
- The lack of capital to hire staff/purchase product
- The short-term need for staff or product
Benefits of Outsourcing
- Cost Savings: Outsourcing activities reduce costs as you don’t need to invest in extra software, hiring costs, and other costs related to having an employee carry out the work.
- Flexibility: Hiring an expert for a period of time means that you have more resources than before. You can use this to your advantage by getting more done with these additional resources.
- Time Savings: Having to wait for resources to come available can be time-consuming. By outsourcing tasks, things get done quicker and there is no waiting around.
- Higher Efficiency: Outsourcing non-fundamental activities to external personnel means that you can focus on core business activities that will make you money.
- Subject-Matter Experts: Outsourcing activities that are highly specialized is a smart move if you have no one in-house that can do this. Finding a subject-matter expert who can provide the level of experience needed to do the job is paramount in creating great products that are fit for purpose.
- Scalable Capacity: Companies need to scale quickly if they want to be successful and outsourcing is a great way of doing this when you have limited resources. Smaller companies can hire subject-matter experts to carry out important work that is vital in scaling the business in the right direction.
- Competitive Advantages: When a smaller company is looking to compete against larger businesses outsourcing can create a competitive advantage. Freelancers and agencies can help push out new features or fix bugs to keep your employees on top of things. This ensures that work doesn’t become overwhelming for smaller companies.
How to Outsource
- Draft the task and what’s needed
Sometimes you know you need help but you are not sure about what. Sit down and think about what needs to be done. Talk to those with more knowledge in the area and let them tell you what they need. Draft a task description and highlight the skills or things needed to finish this task perfectly.
- Determine the best platform to find these things
Research where you can find what you need. If you are looking for a freelancer maybe Fiverr or Upwork can help. If you are sourcing a product there should be an equivalent platform. Spend time to look around the different platforms and understanding the payment process to make sure you choose the right place for you.
- Reach out through the platform
Publish your task description and what you need without giving away confidential information. The more information you put in your advertisement the more likely you are of finding what you need.
- Rank the results
Wait a few days and survey the applications. Rank the results to make sure you are getting the right ones. Maybe the platform was not the right one after all and you need to publish your task description elsewhere. Pick your top two or three applications and reach out to them. Treat this like any other decision-making process as your decision could cause setbacks if not thoroughly vetted.
- Hire the best for the job
You are looking to fulfill certain criteria so when you have found the right person, or product, for the job, don’t be afraid to get it. There is no use in hiring someone who has some of the qualifications as you will need to hire another person with the other skills. Strive to find the best always.
A good freelancer or supplier is hard to come by sometimes so spend time building a relationship with them. You may need their skills again in the future and it would be great to just pick up the phone and call someone you can trust as opposed to having to find someone new.