It’s generally known that outsourcing is a great alternative to hiring permanent employees. Especially for small businesses with much tighter budgets than big ones. Interestingly, there are some arguments that outsourcing might not always be the cheapest option for your business. In fact, it can often be overly expensive, if you’re not careful.
I’m going to play devil’s advocate today and present a few things you might want to think about before outsourcing. It could surprise you how expensive this method might be for your business.
How Constant Is The Work?
Personally, this is the main question I ask myself when thinking about outsourcing. How constant is the work going to be? If I need someone to work pretty much every day of the week, then outsourcing isn’t worth it. You may as well hire a permanent employee and enjoy the benefits of having them close by to communicate with. Plus, someone you outsource may charge per day for their work at a rate that’s more than the hourly rate of a regular employee. If you’re only hiring them for a day or two per month, then outsourcing is definitely cheaper. But, if the work is pretty constant, is it really worth it?
How Many People Are You Outsourcing For One Project?
Many people or organizations charge a fair bit of money to hire them for a project. Often, what they charge could cost more than hiring an individual with the same background and skills. But, we go through with it because we think hey, we’re paying for a whole team here, not just one person! However, it was highlighted in this article; Is Your Web Design Company Overcharging You? that you may only have one person working on your project. The article spoke about web design specifically, and how a company may only assign one specialist to your job. In this sense, is it really worth paying for the project if you’re only getting one mind on the job? You can apply this to any other project that’s outsourced too. If you’re paying a lot for one person, it might not be worth it.
Can You Do It Yourself?
What’s the cheapest way of getting work done in your business? Doing it yourself. Before you think about outsourcing, consider if you can do the work yourself or not. For me, accounting is the best example. We get scared by the thought of taxes and invoices, so we pay to get someone else to handle it. Instead, you could just download software like Quickbooks and do all the accounting yourself, for free. There are loads of tutorials such as this one on Managing Expenses, that can help you learn. If you’ve got time, develop different skills and do some work yourself rather than outsourcing.
The title of this article is a simple question; is outsourcing always the cheapest option for your small business? I think these three questions have proven that it’s not always the best route to go down if you want to save money. Don’t get me wrong, outsourcing is still great and will be handy for small business. The point I’m making is that you should weigh up more options before you decide to outsource every job.