If you’re starting a business but struggling with ways to do everything at your headquarters by full-time employees then don’t worry because we’re going to let you into a little secret: no startup or small business does this. None of them. It’s not possible nor feasible. But that doesn’t mean your hopes of taking that idea and turning it into a success are over. Nope. it just means we’re in the epoch of outsourcing.
It’s a revelation that has allowed startups to grow faster than Jack’s beanstalk and save costs in the most amazing way possible. However, don’t get your outsourcing setup correctly, or make a costly mistake, and you might find your business floating toward failure.
To help you know what we’re talking about and stay on the highway to success-ville, we’re going to summarise the most common and damaging mistakes made by entrepreneurs hoping outsourcing will be their salvation:
- No Need For Managers
Sure, when you hand over a task to a freelancer or contractor, you expect them to have their own processes of management, but that doesn’t mean they can manage your business. We’re not saying you should manage them. Not at all. But don’t let them manage you either. Instead, hire managers that will be able to handle projects being done by both internal and external teams.
It can become all too tempting to go too far and get all trigger-happy with the outsourcing in a bid to try and save costs. We’re talking about entrepreneurs handing all their tasks and projects over to external individuals and companies. Don’t do this. Instead, only outsource areas of your business that fall outside your core functions. Outsourced IT services are fine, outsourcing your creative copywriting needs is fine, and giving your website making needs to a specialist is great, but don’t do anything that makes up part of your main competency.
- Fixed-Price Bids
This is an approach that more and more entrepreneurs are taking without realising it is limited to certain tasks only, such as short-term and very clearly defined projects; things like blogging etc. However, try and use this fixed-price bidding on things like call centres or affiliate marketing will spell financial disaster because a lot of tasks and projects will require a healthy dollop of flexibility.
- Cheap Doesn’t Work
The reason why you always read seven reviews before buying anything on Amazon is that you want to know you’re getting the best value deal, not the cheapest. It’s about paying a fair price for something. What this means for outsourcing is simple: you want to pay higher than the market average at the outsourced location but lower than it would cost where you are based. That’s a pretty decent way of keeping external workers happy (and thus their quality of work high).
- Culture Isn’t Easy
Any good outsourcing team will always try and adopt your situation, way of working and tone of voice, and all that. That said, you need to accept there are a lot of different variables that will affect this; things like work ethics, time constraints, quirks in their language and just general attitude. The key is to really train them, teach them and embrace the differences.