Outsourcing: The Benefits

The saying “many hands make light work” is why as a freelancer outsourcing makes sense to me.

When it comes to business, you don’t have to keep every process that you do ‘in-house.’ You can outsource specific tasks or even entire departments to third-party companies if you want to. For a long time, I was very resistance to outsourcing (nothing to do with my wanting to be in control of everything) however outsourcing is not without its benefits.

Why Choose Outsourcing?

There are so many reasons you might choose to outsource areas of your business to another company. The first is time- if you’re stretched for time and you can’t or won’t hire more employees then assigning the work to a third party makes sense. Hiring your own employees takes time, you have the hassle of recruiting, interviewing and training– not to mention if the workflow isn’t constant, then you can be stuck paying a worker’s wages when they don’t have all that much to do.

The second reason is cost. When you’re creating a new department for your business, for example, this can require larger premises, more equipment, more workers and higher running costs. If you outsource the work, you pay a fee but you can keep overhead costs down since the company you’re hiring will already have everything they need to complete the tasks in place.

Finally, expertise is another reason many companies choose to outsource. Tasks that require a lot of skill or knowledge need to be done by the right people. When you outsource, you know that the company has experience in dealing with this kind of work and that everything is done to the highest standard. You might choose to outsource areas of your business in the short term until you’re in a position to create a new in-house department. Or it might make sense to keep things as a long-term cooperation.

Why I Outsource

As a freelancer, I am the whole business. I’m the copywriter, the social media person, the bookkeeper, graphic designer, web designer, web developer and chief pot and bottle washer. At some point, even I have had to take a step back and say “I need help”. I can do all of these things however sometimes things crop up where more expertise is required, i.e. the need for a web developer. I am a dab hand at Canva but by no means am I a graphic designer and so to stop any hassle later I send any graphics work to a good friend and fellow freelancer who is an excellent local graphic designer. By outsourcing tasks I’m not an expert in I save time to concentrate on the core of my business which is writing and I know that things are done right. 

Another reason that I am an outsourcing fan is the fact that when you are self-employed you don’t get paid holidays so you don’t get a break as easily. If I want to take a week off to spend with my family I have to do all my current work and future work to cover the time off, all in advance. It’s hard and leaves me shattered and unable to enjoy the break properly. By outsourcing some work to a VA for example I know my clients are taken care of and I am able to enjoy some relaxing time off.

Be Sure to Nurture Business Relationships

Outsourcing requires a great deal of communication and trust. You need to know you can rely on the companies you have working for you, and that they will do a good job. They will be relying on you as a client to have regular work coming into their own business. It’s a two-way street, and you have to ensure that things are properly maintained and that you’re nurturing your supply chain relationships and outsourced companies. Provide excellent customer service, and be sure to quickly deal with any issues or queries that they have.

Evaluate Regularly

Every so often, it’s worth evaluating your outsourcing situation. For example, if your business has grown, in some cases it might be better to create your own department. In some cases you can save money but in others it will cost you, so you’ll need to crunch the numbers to ensure you’re making the right decision. If you’re unhappy with the work that’s being provided to you, then you could also look into whether another company could offer you higher quality work that’s quicker, and/or cheaper too.

Do you outsource much in your business? What would you say the pros and cons are?