With all the attention surrounding outsourcing, some might be surprised that it’s lost a bit of steam recently. According to an Information Services Group study, traditional outsourcing fell 25 percent during the last quarter of 2016, in comparison to the last quarter of 2015.
This dip, the industry’s largest since 2009, raises important questions for small companies, most notably: Which tasks are worth keeping in house, and which ones should be doled out to the experts?
Most companies wait until a round of funding comes through before outsourcing. Accounting and HR can afford that, but needs like legal consultation should go external from day one, no matter how much capital you have on hand.
Going external helps efficiency.
Some entrepreneurs fear outsourcing could have adverse internal effects — specifically,outsourcing could impact a company’s productivity.
However, a Deloitte survey on global outsourcing positions outsourcing not only as an approach that doesn’t dampen productivity, but one that also sparks innovation, which can further boost productivity. Fifty-nine percent of survey respondents said outsourcing reduces costs, 47 percent believed it’s useful in finding unique ways to address capacity issues and 29 percent thought it boosts a company’s chances to scale globally.
With those three variables looming large in the productivity of any growing company, these numbers point to outsourcing as a trend startups should buy into. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to make it work best for your company.
Stay on track while outsourcing.
Deciding when and what to outsource can seem tricky, but your primary objective should always be to keep production moving. These three tips can help your team make the most of outsourcing without losing any speed:
1. Decide what’s a must-have. What can be outsourced successfully is occasionally a surprise. List what is — and isn’t — mission-critical for your company, then decide on outsourcing from there.
Slack founder Stewart Butterfield outsourced the workplace messaging app’s development — and the creation of its logo and website — to an agency. Butterfield and his team play-tested the design and tweaked it, based on feedback, before releasing it. Within two weeks of its release, Slack received 15,000 invitation requests; and DMR covered Slack’s current stats, which showed the company at 5 million daily active users and counting.