By Brian McKay
The word outsourcing comes with many connotations in the world of business. For some, it is a dirty word, taking away from from the in house staff and sometimes incurring additional business costs. For people like solopreneurs or SME businesses, it is an essential weapon in their armory. Whatever viewpoint you have of outsourcing, it is something that is here to stay for the foreseeable future. And, using the talents of others to help further our business comes with it’s benefits and downsides. Here are some of the pros and cons to help you decide if you need to outsource.
A Distant Relationship between the employee and employer works for many reasons. From the employee’s point of view it makes for a less personable relationship and is purely professional, letting them get on with the project they were hired to do with minimal interference. From the employer’s perspective it means less time spent on enforcing rule to enable them to do their real job of running the business.
It’s Easy To Hire (and Fire) those that are not pulling their weight. Following on from the previous point, a distant relationship doesn’t bring personal feelings into the mix. If you feel a person is not right for the role anymore, you can remove them from the project swiftly without hurt feelings.
A 24 Hour Business (Technically) as if you have hired someone to complete work on the other side of the world, they are working in a different time zone to you. So when you go to sleep, the business is still operating. And, if the task is able to be completed in a short space of time, it will be ready when you wake up the next day. A very high increase in productivity indeed!
It Is Easy To Post Your Projects with websites dedicated to the world of freelancers. You are able to post a project and fill a position in a timely manner. The management process of deliverables, project cancellations and payment schedules can be effortless with online tools such as Freelancer.
Lack Of Communication is an issue. Overseeing a project where your staff are located in a different time zone can make for logistical headaches. You could, for example, work in the USA and are outsourcing a company like Managed Print Services, who are based in the UK. Then, an email relationship is the only way to rely on liaising. Project delays can be very common due to a difference in time zones, and awaiting an answer to a question you asked 12 hours ago can be very frustrating.
It Is Difficult To Oversee the operation. You are not able to guarantee that they are working with the focus and attention you would like them to. Again, without being able to schedule regular meetings and catch up sessions, you are purely relying on their skill and feedback. You would be hoping the project will be delivered in a timely manner and to your standard. A way to combat this is to give mini deadlines for each section of the project.
Outsourcing contractors has its perils. But depending on the nature of your business, it could be an essential tool to getting work done quickly and successfully!
Brian McKay is a co-founder of zenruption. He has a B.A. in Political Science from Gonzaga University and an M.B.A. from Boise State University (yes that blue field). His goal in life is to look out for the regular guy and bring as much knowledge and change to this world as he can. His purpose in founding Zenruption was to do just that and help craft the world he wants his daughter to inherit. Please feel free to email him any feedback or article ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org. On twitter: @brianmckay71
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/briguy71