Outsourcing is often looked at unfavorably, but there are many circumstances when it represents an appropriate option and business solution. Certain types of projects simply lend themselves better to outsourcing, saving your business time, money, and efficiency based on your strengths, weaknesses and core competencies.
Outsourcing can be a huge decision. Technology has made it more efficient than ever to find reputable contractors, and outsourcing is now a more accessible and realistic strategy for many. For many businesses – especially small businesses – outsourcing can have a powerful impact on efficiency, growth, development, and the all-important bottom line.
But when is an outsourcing strategy the right strategy? Here are some key factors to consider.
Simple, repetitive actions. If the project involves simple tasks that could be performed by just about anyone, it probably makes sense to hire someone at a lower hourly rate so as not to monopolize the time of your employees from more skilled tasks.
Does it relate to your brand? Your brand needs to keep a consistent and unique voice, so be careful not to alienate customers by outsourcing with an unproven source who doesn’t fully understand the nuances of your marketing and branding.
Secure internal data or confidential information. If the project involves proprietary or confidential data, be very hesitant in outsourcing the role and conduct a thorough background check. It may be worthwhile to hire a consultant or temporary help for short-term projects.
Specialized skills. If a project involves specialized skills or training that isn’t a core competency of your employees, outsourcing might be the right strategy. You can avoid the time and cost of internal training by bringing in a consultant for short-term custom work.
Length of the project. By nature, some projects lend themselves to outsourcing. Short-term projects with a definite end date or completion point are better candidates for outsourcing compared to strategic projects that impact multiple departments or projects and tie-in to long-term development.