Even if you are a serial entrepreneur, it can be challenging to choose which tasks to outsource. The first step is to perform a cost analysis. Outsourcing decisions, like any business-related issue, need to be analyzed before potentially wasting time or money.
The cost analysis of determining whether to outsource is a four-step procedure. The first step is defining the scope and domain of the task or process you would like to outsource. It is essential to determine those boundaries early because you will be consulting this definition often. Once that is established, calculate the total cost of performing the task or process in-house, including staff, materials, and office space. Compare this will the total costs involved in outsourcing. Identify any potential for an increase or reduction in revenue by choosing either plan. Once the analysis is complete, subtract the costs of outsourcing from in-house costs, examine potential revenue changes, and determine savings, if any.
For most small businesses, several jobs can be outsourced relatively easily. Accounting is one of the most common departments chosen because specialists who are fully versed in compliance standards can be expensive. Instead of hiring and training a staff member for this delicate niche, make use of a freelance accountant to save money.
A similar argument can be made for your marketing department. Unless you have a team of expert social media campaign advisors who can help you promote your brand the most effective way, it’s better to hire an outside firm and let them transform your vision into reality. There is always a competitor around the corner, so timing is just as important as money when it comes to publicity.
In addition to marketing, if you are a company that needs a strong sales department, it might benefit you to outsource the front-line of customer communications. Despite positively helping raise sales numbers, a superior customer service department will generate repeat revenue and positive word of mouth.
The most outsourced department in businesses is the Information Technology (IT) department, most notably hardware and software installation and network processes. There is a downside to this. Most people have become wary of 1st tier customer service because the quality is sometimes below satisfactory, and the court of public opinion is not in favor of choosing a more economical labor force over quality.