Is It Time to Outsource? When It Makes Sense and When It Doesn’t
Every year, there are well over 600,000 new small businesses that enter the marketplace. And when they do, the owners of these small businesses tend to take care of just about everything themselves.
These new small business owners handle sales, marketing, accounting, and all of the other things that need to be done to run a successful business on their own. They do it due in large part to the fact that they don’t have a choice since their budgets don’t always allow them to outsource.
Once a small business starts to get off the ground, though, it’s not uncommon at all for small business owners to begin outsourcing some of the things that they have going on. It just makes sense for them to do it when they have a million and one other things to do.
Is it time for you and your small business to begin to outsource some of the tasks that you need tackled? There are many factors to consider when outsourcing projects to other companies.
Let’s take a look at when it does and doesn’t make sense to outsource as a small business owner.
You Should Outsource When…
To start, let’s discuss some of the instances in which you should outsource some of the things that your small business needs to have done to another company. There are a lot of times when it’s going to make sense for you to do this.
Here are some of the times when you’ll want to use outsourcing to your advantage.
You Have Too Much on Your Plate
Small business owners work hard. There aren’t very many of them who can get away with working a 40-hour workweek.
In fact, there aren’t very many of them who can get away with working less than 50 hours each week. Surveys have shown that about one-third of small business owners work over 50 hours per week and about one-fourth work over 60 hours per week.
If you’re currently working upwards for 50 or even 60 hours each week and you have things that you’re still literally unable to do when it comes to your business, you should consider outsourcing some of them. There are only so many hours in a day, and it’s clear that you don’t have enough time to do everything that you need to do.
By figuring out how to outsource some of your tasks, you can clear your plate a little bit and free up some of your time. This will allow you to focus on the truly important tasks so that you can get your small business to grow.
You Don’t Know How to Do Certain Things
Running a small business is going to call for you to do all kinds of things. You might not be good at some of them.
For instance, not all small business owners are wizards when it comes to doing math. This can make it very challenging for them to keep the numbers straight when they’re handling their company’s accounting.
You should push yourself to learn a little bit more about accounting since it’s obviously going to play a big part in your company’s success. But you might want to leave the day-to-day accounting jobs to an outside company like Accounovation.
This kind of company will make sure you have all your ducks in a row as far as your company’s accounting is concerned. They’ll also answer any pressing questions you might have about your finances, taxes, etc.
You Can Afford to Do It
Most small businesses don’t start generating a profit right away. It typically takes the average small business anywhere from two to three years before they begin to see profitability.
With this in mind, you might not be in a position to outsource anything right away. Many small business owners choose to tackle all of the tasks that they need done themselves at first out of necessity.
But once you start to see some real income coming in, it’ll be a clear-cut sign that you can start outsourcing some of the things that you need to have completed. This is when to outsource for most small businesses.
You Shouldn’t Outsource When…
Outsourcing can be a great thing for many small businesses. Business owners are able to turn over problematic tasks to other companies and have them worry about them rather than doing them themselves.
But with that being said, you shouldn’t always be quick to outsource things. There are going to be plenty of times when it’ll be better to tackle tasks on your own as opposed to putting the burden on someone else. Here are some of those times.
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You’re Just Jumpstarting Your Business
If you just started a small business within the last year or so, you really should try not to outsource anything unless you have to. Reason being, you should try to be as hands-on as you can with all of your daily operations.
How are you going to learn how to build a business budget or market your company effectively if you don’t spend at least some time doing it yourself? You’re always going to have to rely on others to bail you out if you outsource all of the major tasks that it takes to run your small business.
You should spend a year or so getting your feet wet when it comes to all the different aspects of running your small business. From sales to marketing to accounting, you should try everything out to see how you do.
If nothing else, this will teach about what you are and aren’t good at it. You’ll give yourself a better idea of what you need to outsource when you put your individual skills to the test in a business setting.
You Have Talented In-House Employees
When you first open up a small business, you might not have any employees to help you with all the things that need to be done. But over time, you’re going to want to bring some employees on board to lend a helping hand.
If possible, you should make sure that you hire multifaceted employees who are good at doing a bunch of different things. The more that they can do to help your small business, the better off you’re going to be.
You’re also going to find that you won’t have to worry about outsourcing too many things when you have a team of talented in-house employees. You can turn to them anytime you need to take some things off your plate.
You can also push them to expand their horizons and try new things that they may not have tried before. You might find that you have someone on your staff who is cut out to do a much different job than the one that you hired them to do.
Don’t be afraid to give your employees an opportunity to shine in different areas of your small business. You might be surprised to find that someone you hired to serve as, say, a cashier would actually make a great marketing manager in the end.
This will prevent you from having to outsource tasks to another company.
You Aren’t in a Position to Spend a Lot of Extra Money
There will be times when you don’t have a choice when it comes to outsourcing tasks to other companies. You’ll have to spend the money to do it, even if it means cutting your business budget in other areas.
But there will also be times when you legitimately don’t have money to pay another company to help you out. You should steer clear of overextending yourself and spending money that you don’t have to outsource tasks when this is the case.
The last thing that you want to do is put your small business into a position where you might not be able to move forward because of money that you’ve spent on outsourcing. Finances are always going to be one of the key factors to consider when outsourcing.
It’s important for you to crunch the numbers to see whether or not you can afford to outsource tasks to another company before doing it. It’ll prevent you from putting yourself into a tough financial spot that you might not be able to get out of.
Is Outsourcing a Good Option for You Right Now?
Almost all established small businesses outsource tasks to other companies to some degree. It’s very rare to find a small business that does everything on their own.
But that doesn’t mean you should rush into outsourcing anything right away. If you own a small business that’s on the newer side, you’ll often be much better off doing whatever you can to avoid the need for outsourcing.
You should, however, consider outsourcing tasks as your small business begins to grow and flourish. It could help you to grow even more and allow your small business to reach new heights in the near future.
Check out the other articles on our blog for more practical business advice.