Outsourcing Guide for Start-ups

Typically a start-up is launched by one or a few entrepreneurs. After a first round of funding from relatives, angel investors or venture capitalists, they start building the business. One of main challenges at this stage is filling in non-core tasks that will increase as the business moves along.

A practical and flexible solution to meet this challenge is outsourcing. Start-ups can delegate certain tasks to focus on developing their product or service.

Delegation Through Outsourcing

Both delegation and outsourcing can be difficult for some, especially entrepreneurs. These are a group of individuals who have the guts to take the risk and build a company through a DIY approach. The common mindset is they can either do it better, nobody else can do it like they do, or it'll be better if they do it. Launching a start-up takes time and effort, so it's natural to be possessive.

The truth is, there are a myriad of tasks that can take up your whole schedule. Bookkeeping is just one of the business costs that will distract you from strategic tasks that generate profit. The key is get the right people and systems. As a result, you can remove the clutter in your work schedule and reduce time to market.

Start-up offshoring and outsourcing:

Identify strategic tasks from non-strategic tasks.
Make a list of repetitive tasks daily, weekly or monthly. Find out which should be kept in-house, and outsourced. Outsourcing bookkeeping, administration support, and HR are some of the solutions that you can take advantage of.

Determine knowledge gaps.
Find out which skill set is missing but can't be kept in-house. Specialised work such as IT is not easy to neither search for nor maintain financially. You can hire an offshore web developer for programming in PHP. At the same time, there are specific tasks that you only need for a project basis. Outsourcing creative services such as graphic design is also efficient. Save yourself from the additional responsibility of employee management and associated costs.

Offshore or outsource responsibly.
Find the right service provider for your business size and industry. Implement and execute strong governance to ensure that the service provider delivers as necessary. If you chose to lease an offshore staff, visit them at least twice a year. You can also have an executive from your service provider to visit your company. This way, you can forge a partnership.

Invest in the long term.
Your business needs will change as it grows. You can get more out of outsourcing through a flexible outsourcing engagement. In the beginning use an input-based pricing. Then shift to an outcome-based pricing to get more value from the deal.

Offshoring and outsourcing can help boost a start-up. Entrepreneurs can spend more time on their idea rather than paperwork. Keep in mind that it's better used to augment or support internal efforts, rather than to get rid of mundane work.

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