Running a business can be hard and you cannot be expected to be an expert in everything. Outsourcing certain aspects such as HR, marketing, bookkeeping etc. can be a good solution leaving you the time to bring in new work and clients and deliver on contracts.
On the positive side you are buying in knowledge & expertise without the staff management and associated bureaucracy and, depending on the contract you sign, only pay for the hours or activity you use.
An expert in their field will suggest new ideas and processes that you may not have thought of yourself. They can relate their experiences from a range of different businesses, improving your efficiency and effectiveness. Cost needs to be considered against the extra revenue you can bring in whilst you are not undertaking these tasks.
However you need to choose carefully. There are many who promise everything you need but are they actually qualified to deliver to your expectations?
Some tips to consider
Marketing – how active robust and relevant is their own social media, do they have any qualifications, ask to see examples of past work
Website building - is their website legally compliant (you would be surprised how many are not). Will you own the copyright to your site, is it bespoke or will they just be building from a template site
Strategic planning – what level of experience have they had? Were they responsible at senior level for strategy and planning or did they just deliver at a lower level
Insurance – the wrong advice or delivery could be damaging to your business – make sure whomever you outsource to has professional indemnity and liability insurance in place
Testimonials – ask for 3 client names and give them a call don’t just rely on logos on a website. Referrals from people you know and trust are always good
Reliability – do they have the resource to deliver to your timescales
Communication – will they be easy to get hold of to check progress and brief on new work. Agree reporting at outset
Outsourcing, like most things in business, needs to be viewed as an investment, carefully researched and planned to ensure that you find the best fit or your business. Once you have found your outsourcing partner(s) ensure the contract and briefing is clear concise and measurable giving you the peace of mind to go and focus on growing your business and in some cases achieving a better work life balance.
Maureen Frost has spent the last 21 years working within Chambers of Commerce helping businesses of all shapes and sizes. Now taking the opportunity to branch out into self employment and recently moved to Devon with her partner.