If you’re a small business or startup, or just simply operating on a small budget but you have a particular project that needs to be completed you might be considering outsourcing it. Outsourcing talent can be particularly valuable if there’s some level of specialization required for the project, and you don’t have the need to bring someone on full-time to tackle it.
While outsourcing is a more cost-effective alternative to the overhead costs of a full or even part-time employee, that doesn’t mean it isn’t somewhat costly.
One of the biggest reasons a lot of outsourced projects fail is because the company doing the hiring didn’t think about the budget ahead of time, and tried to hire the least expensive freelancer, rather than trying to balance quality and price.
The following are some ways you can still get great outsourced talent, even if you don’t have a huge budget.
Before you dive into a full-scale outsourcing relationship with a freelancer or a team of freelancers, start small. Create small milestones that will let you wade into the situation and see if it’s really a relationship that’s going to create the kind of value you need to justify the cost.
You don’t have to immediately jump into working with a freelancer on the full project until you’re sure they’re a good fit.
Know Your Needs
A lot of freelancers who work on outsourced projects charge by the hour, and if that’s the case, there are ways you can cut costs. One is to outline your expectations, requirements and exactly what you want out of the project before hiring anyone. This way, you’ll save some time regarding the learning curve for the person you hire, and you won’t have to spend a lot of valuable hours explaining the project to them or answering questions.
Be sure only to look for funding when it makes sense. You don’t want to get a business loan too early and cripple the finances of your business. But you also don’t want to limit the growth of your venture by not having enough cash. You can find online brokers that will help you sort through loan requirements and pick a good lender.
Outsource Only Top Priorities
When you’re outsourcing, make sure you’re choosing only the tasks that are absolute priorities. As small businesses are growing, they often find the need to start outsourcing but don’t go crazy from the outset and outsource tasks that can wait, or things you can do yourself.
Also important is to outsource those tasks that are going to impact your profitability. If you’re on a tight budget, you want your outsourcing costs to show a positive ROI. If you can’t say that’s the case with something, you’re better off doing it yourself or waiting on it.
Create A Collaboration
If you have a project that you don’t have the specialized skills to complete, instead of turning the entire thing over to an outsourced worker, you can think of it as a collaboration. You might work with a freelancer on only the most technical elements that you absolutely don’t have the skills for, but the areas that you can do or that you can learn, you can work on.
That way, you’re not paying for the entire project to be completed by someone else, but you are getting the necessary skills you need.
Outsourcing specific tasks can be valuable for small businesses and startups, and if you’re on a budget, it’s still possible if you follow tips like the ones above.