August 17, 2016
Outsourcing has been given a bad wrap in recent years. While many believe it is the downfall of the US economy, the reality is that it can be a very helpful and cost effective way for startups to ensure that they stay on track. After all, no matter how skilled you are, it's practically impossible to tackle every single job without a large workforce.
Tasks like payroll could be handled by a startup’s owner, but wouldn't it be easier to delegate the job to someone with extensive knowledge of tax laws? Hiring a full-time payroll person isn't usually an option for budding startups, but outsourcing this task to a payroll company is affordable and effective.
There are many practical benefits to taking this approach, not the least of which is saving a lot of time. The cliché is true that time is money, and someone who isn’t a payroll specialist may spend several hours on this task that could be better allocated elsewhere.
The Perks of Freelancers
Working with freelancers is another way to receive huge benefits from outsourcing. According to CNN, 78 percent of small business owners have found that hiring freelancers gives them a competitive advantage. This makes perfect sense when you consider the skill experts can bring to your company without having to put them on your payroll.
Utilizing expertise for a fair price is one of the main reasons that freelancers who specialize in tasks such as online content writing and website design are continuously in high demand.
It is important to note that outsourcing doesn’t necessarily mean finding someone from a different country to do a job at a steeply discounted rate. Instead, you can use local resources to ensure timely, high quality results.
The main goal is to get the best quality possible without taking on unnecessary expenses, especially in your payroll department. Even if you contract with someone to fulfill a task that is done once per week, this will still be financially beneficial if the cost is less than adding someone to your staff who has the appropriate level of experience and skill.
What’s Best for Your Customers?
Another thing that startup owners need to carefully consider is how they want to spend their precious time. Consider for a moment the specific needs of an ecommerce company. They must have products made and in stock, maintain an easy-to-use website, offer customer service assistance, create marketing content and ship each order. If you only have a couple of employees, is it better for them to specialize in customer service or the packing and shipping end of the business?
A representative from Materialogic addressed this specific question by pointing out the perks of outsourcing your order fulfillment:
“One of the most critical aspects of customer retention is delivering a quality product in a timely manner. Many startups struggle with this piece because they have so many other tasks to complete each day. Outsourcing order fulfillment to a company that specializes in this service takes pressure off of the startup’s staff and allows them to focus on every other aspect of lead generation and customer retention. Meanwhile, our staff gets to do what they do best, which truly makes this a win-win situation for everyone involved, including consumers.”
Outsourcing can mean anything from having an office supply store print flyers for you all the way to hiring another company to provide your customers with assistance via email and telephone. To get the most out of this viable option, it is necessary to first analyze what your overall company goals are and what you can handle in-house. Ultimately, if outsourcing something allows you to improve your customer satisfaction while saving money, it is always the wise choice for bootstrapped startups and small businesses.
Image by Marcin Monko/Flickr
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