The benefits of outsourcing for start-ups

Keep costs small while making your business big. It’s possible with outsourcing – or, as we like to call it, living the dream…

For many entrepreneurs, the reality of starting a small business is one person, a laptop, and a phone, which are all the right tools for essential tasks like bookkeeping, sales, and marketing. However, they all require skills and knowledge, too – things your coffee shop-based enterprise (i.e. you) might not have.

This is where the services of outsiders come in. It can help grow your business without the necessary capital, overheads or expertise; which basically means you make a large chunk of change with in a time-efficient, low-risk way. Want to know how all those benefits actually work? Glance your peepers on the below.

Outsourcing allows you to launch an enterprise without the need for hefty investment – especially helpful when the bad smell of the recession is still kicking around. You can even go pretty hardcore with it.

For example, instant noodle brand Kabuto outsources everything. From the product, the pots to the seasoning, are made by an outside company, packed by another separate business and delivered by a private distributer. Even the branding, PR, and bookkeeping are the responsibilities of external agencies.

The reason? Getting the company up and running with the same attributes of a big company without hiring anyone or having an office. Not only do you dodge the massive capital needed to buy manufacturing equipment, as well as the ongoing costs of using and maintaining all that stuff, you don’t need to have all the hassle or learn the skills, either.

Outsourcing, just like remote working, means you can use companies, factories and agencies that aren’t even in the same country, reaping all the low-cost, high-skill reward that comes with it.

If sourcing help from across the sea tickles your fancy, a due diligence process is a good idea. If you can, visit the country to inspect the working environment of your potential international pals, and check the standard of work is up to scratch. If you like what you see, establish a process of continuous training and review to ensure problems are sorted quickly.

By outsourcing, you stand to make huge cost savings. Instead of recruiting three or four people with different skills to work in your business, when you’re on the small side it makes much more financial sense to outsource and pay per task.

Plus, just like a growing teenager, the average small business can change massively from year to year and sometimes even month to month. Outsourcing allows flexibility, and not just when things are going well, but when they’re going badly, too. If you lose a contract or turnover drops massively, it’s much easier to make cuts where needed.

With outsourcing you can just use – and pay for – what you need, when you need it. Furthermore, these services are often cheaper because the providers are experts, usually with size behind them, and therefore can pass efficiency savings onto customers.

Finding the right people to outsource to, can be a process of trial and error at first. Because you’re linking up with a group you don’t know, they might not deliver what you want them to. The solution: break up and move on. Your business soul mate is out there somewhere.

By now, you’re probably salivating on account of all the outsourcing possibilities that could benefit your business. We don’t blame you, but just remember it requires some top-notch communication and developing a strong relationship with your external workforce to make sure everything moves smoothly.

It’s vital you clearly set out what your expectations are of the work in order to maximise the chances of getting back what you were after. Misunderstandings are a great way to waste money, time, and have relations begin to fray.

Make use of advances in file sharing, too. Remote storage options from companies like Dropbox, Box and Egnyte offer cost-effective ways to share information with workers quickly and easily. Having one central spreadsheet or document instead of several floating around on email means less confusion and a decreased potential of time lost because someone worked from an old version of a file.

In conclusion: you can save money, grow and improve your business, while keeping adaptable to market demands all on your lonesome. What do you reckon? Ready to get yourself some outsourcing?