Most writers have no idea what it means to scale a business up. This is why most of the articles you read on how to outsource will give you tips on expansion rather than dealing with the genuine issues you will face while scaling up. Many scaling up problems can be solved with outsourcing, even if outsourcing is just a stop-gap until your company has matured enough to set up and maintain new internal departments. Learning how to outsource even your smallest tasks is easy.
1. Avoid the Staff-Lag and Drain That Comes from Scaling Up
The most common growing pain is not the process, the expansion, or even the cost: it is your staff. Scaling up always means new staff and new roles for current staff members. The lag and drag effect from your staff will work in ripples. Problems surface, duck, and surface again almost like ripples in a pond. Outsource the entire process, and then slowly take over the process by growing your team and training your team organically. This enables you to micromanage and set up protocols to eliminate recurring problems.
2. Steal Features and Functions
Many times, you can steal ideas from the company you outsource from. Take the metrics and data they offer and find ways to gather it yourself. Even if you outsource telemarketing lead-gathering services, find out what they are saying to clients and set your staff the task of copying and bettering what they do. Watch how companies like Alpha Digital perform digital marketing. Try a bit of it yourself to see if you can copy their success.
3. Learn How to Outsource from Your Competitors
It doesn’t take a lot of internal espionage to figure out which departments your competitors have and which they are outsourcing. In fact, most of what you need to know can be found on their website via their “About Us” section, and via the job vacancies that they offer. Consider why they are not dealing with certain issues internally: is it because the cost of extra offices in their location is expensive; is there a lack of talent; or is it simply a cost-saving measure?
4. Outsource with Your Competitors
It sounds crazy, but outsourcing business with competitors is very common. There are only around seven major factory complexes that produce washing powder in Europe, and yet there are hundreds of brands on sale because they are made in the same factories. This works out far cheaper for each company, especially when you consider that the factories use very similar ingredients and so are able to buy in bulk, and each factory has its own logistics setup, which includes their own train stations. Companies in America share factories to a lesser extent but have commonly used business outsourcing to share research.
5. Use Freelancers for Small Business Outsourcing
It is surprising what you can get for a low price if you outsource work to freelancers. You can get a high-quality graphic design at very low costs, and a whole host of specialized services that you would normally have to pay a consultant company for. Use them as ad-hoc workers to help you get over some of the hurdles that come with scaling up.
Conclusion – How to Outsource Work to Help You Scale Up
Cost is obviously an issue, as is learning how to outsource. The key is to consider the long-term effect of scaling up with regards to what you do internally. For example, many small companies thought that setting up a “Social Media” department would be trouble-free and a low-cost method for gaining publicity; those companies were wrong thanks to staff-targets/goal misadventure, a very poor ROI, and staff push-back/productivity-lag.
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