Outsourcing is a common practice for many companies regardless of size. It is often a more cost-effective measure to accomplish activities and tasks without paying for the cost of an in-house employee. That said, startups working with a limited budget can certainly benefit from this practice, especially during critical growth stages.
However, outsourcing is not always an easy thing to do. For outsourcing to be efficient and cost-effective, startup CEOs must apply certain strategies that will allow them to hire the best talent in the easiest way possible, such as:
Evaluating your needs thoroughly
To hire the right people on the job, you must determine exactly what you need and when you need it. Identify the specifics of the particular job or task that you need to do, then develop a crystal-clear job description that you can use to look for the right third party. This way, you can cut down the time it takes to find the best people for the job, and more importantly, ensure that the parties you hire are fully capable of delivering.
Considering bundled services
If you need to outsource more than one business function, look for a company that caters to various services, such as ServiceNow project management. The main benefit of this strategy is that you don’t have to outsource services from multiple companies, which can otherwise make communication and collaboration challenging. Furthermore, outsourcing from only one or two third parties can help reduce costs, and at the same time, make it easier to form good professional relationships with outsourcing providers.
Looking for providers early
The longer you wait to outsource, the more rushed the process will be. Keep in mind that finding the right people—even if you are only hiring them temporarily—can take some time. That said, start looking for people way before the job needs to be done. Depending on the complexity, it can take a few days or even a few weeks to find the right people for the task or activity you are trying to get done.
Prioritizing providers that have experience with startups
Not all outsourcing providers are made equal, especially when it comes to experience working with startups. Although business functions are nearly similar between startups and large companies, there are certain differences in expectations and cultures that third parties must be aware of.
When looking for the right outsourcing provider for your startup, prioritize individuals or companies with proven experience working with other startups. They are likely better able to fit in easily with the company and get used to the workload than those used to working with larger firms.
Not going for the cheapest
Outsourcing is often a more cost-effective solution than hiring new employees, but it is not necessarily cheap. If you stick to hiring the cheapest providers for the sake of saving money or improving cash flow, you will likely get what you pay for—and it may be subpar work. At worst, the cheapest services can even cause more harm than good to your startup, which defeats the purpose of outsourcing in the first place.
However, this is not to say that you should hire the most expensive outsourcing providers out there. Again, the rate you should pay depends on the complexity of whatever you are outsourcing for. If you want high-quality work, expect that the fees will be high. And if you’re looking for more moderate prices, you can’t expect to hire an expert. After all, you are paying for the provider’s skills, experience, and tools that you need to get the job done.
Many startups outsource most of their business functions to save money on benefits, taxes, and overhead costs that they would otherwise pay upon hiring in-house employees. If your startup needs to outsource more than a few roles, it is best to do so gradually. In this way, you can onboard each provider thoroughly and avoid the difficulties of introducing multiple third parties at once. Furthermore, hiring gradually gives you more time to analyze your cash flow, which is imperative to figuring out if you can sustain the current outsourcing costs.
Outsourcing is an excellent solution for startups and large companies alike. Whether you need someone to handle special projects or take over a critical yet monotonous business function, outsourcing to third parties allows you to fulfill the roles you need without spending as much as you would when hiring new, full-time employees.