Outsourcing vs. Keeping Business In House: Which is Best for You?
Many business owners face the same challenge - deciding when to do the work themselves vs. when to outsource to a third party. We’ve seen many colleagues and partners face this issue, feeling like they spend too much time on small tasks when their time could better be spent on strategy or with customers.
Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when it’s time to outsource, but here are some basic guidelines your business can follow to make the decision that’s best for you as you build your Go To Market strategy.
When it’s Best to Keep Tasks In-House
You’ve put your heart and soul into your business, and you know it best. Of course outsourcing will take some tasks off your plate, but is it really worth it?
Ask yourself these questions to make the decision:
Is the task or function at the core of your business?
Does it differentiate you from your competition?
Is it essential that you retain control over it?
Can you or your team perform it faster, better, and less expensively than an outside consultant?
If you can answer yes to all four of these questions, you should probably keep the service in-house. This will give you the greatest control over your company’s future and success.
When to Outsource Tasks and Services
Couldn’t answer yes to all of the questions above? Outsourcing might be the best decision for your business, helping you save time and money and allowing you to grow your business faster.
It’s never been easier to find people or other businesses to outsource some tasks to. All it takes is a quick Google search, and you can find someone able to do almost anything. We see businesses outsource everything from billing and payroll to logos and graphic design.
With an estimated 94% of B2B buyers conducting research online before making a purchase decision, one of the most effective outsourcing decisions you can make is hiring online marketing support. This can help your business improve its digital presence and social strategy, all which serious prospects will look into before choosing to do business with you.
Another major outsourcing decision is hiring an outside IT team. This can have a huge effect on your business if it’s not focused specifically on IT, but dependent on the customer management and insights, logistics, and general operations a strong IT platform can provide.
How to Find the Best Contractors for Your Business
Just as potential customers will research your business online before choosing to do business with you, you must conduct your own research in order to find the best person or team to support your business. Search for online reviews, testimonials, and case studies to learn about the results they’ve achieved for others. Search for people in your network who have worked with them before and get their perspectives. Word of mouth is effective in finding out contractors, consultants, and coaches with strong reputations that can deliver.
Once you’ve narrowed your options down, communication is key. Ensure they understand your overarching goals and can articulate how their work will help you achieve them. Get a clear view of the time and budget required to complete your project. Do not be shy about asking for references.
Ready to outsource?
Never rely on verbal contracts, and put everything into writing so expectations are clearly laid out in black and white. Set milestones and review progress regularly. Keep communication lines open throughout your working relationship to monitor results. Offer to be a reference for them if you are satisfied.
When you find the right partner, the impact can be incredible. They’ll not only help your business move forward, but will allow you to spend time doing the things that matter most.
This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been updated.