So you’ve decided to start up, and that’s good. Very soon though, you will have to go through idea validation, market research, creating a business projection plan, marketing plan, creating prototype, user testing and feedback, secure funding, launch your product or service, and much more. This is just a fraction of what you must do as an entrepreneur who’s starting up.
What’s more you ask? You have to build a team; then there are finances and infrastructure and setup and then the general administration.
Your life isn’t easy. Don’t make it harder on yourself. You need to be focused on your core offering. Rather than focusing on each of the functions (time consuming and attention dividing) or hiring someone to do that as an employee, which is most often more expensive as you may not be able to do with just one employee in that function, there’s a much better way to relieve you of unwanted stress. Outsource. This can save your startup!
What is important though are the areas of your business that you must outsource.
Outsource Function #1: Finance
Finance can take a considerable time out of your schedule, as this requires weekly attention. And you don’t want that. There’s management of billing, calculation of taxes, statutory filings and payments, maintaining your books of account, etcetera. Outsource this to a vendor that will allocate a team to handle this for you month on month. Look for a partner that will send a person to your office weekly, fortnightly or monthly depending on your business volume to sort out the accounting.
Outsource Function #2: Human Resources
You’ve got to hire, haven’t you? And once you have your employees on board, you have to manage appointment letters, salary processing, salary slips, employee taxation, compliance with government bodies, big etcetera. Most people will have you believe that you need a HR professional in your company. That’s an easy mistake to make when you’re starting up. You may not have enough volume to justify the salary of that one person. Or you may not find enough skills in one person to handle all the areas or HR.
Understanding that this is a crucial need, many a Payroll outsourcing companies have mushroomed in the last few years. If you feel this is something you are uncomfortable with, don’t worry, there are a lot of entrepreneurs who have adapted this and so have a lot of mid-sized companies.
Outsource Function #3: Marketing
You must surely think this is crazy. How can you outsource something so intrinsic? Well, unless you’re prepared to hire a digital marketing professional, an SEO professional, a content writer and public relations professional, outsource! Marketing isn’t about a one-way communication anymore. You have to do much more than spread the word about your offerings. You need to create communities, create engagements, create conversations, create content. And this is the new marketing.
Hire an agency that will do all of this for you. All you will need to do is to oversee versus managing a team and giving them constant direction. Not only is it time consuming to do it in-house, but much more expensive as well.
So this takes care of what you ought to do. But, I have also known people who have gotten a little too carried away and made some terrible mistakes in outsourcing some crucial areas that shouldn’t have been outsourced. Pay heed to the below list and it will help you in the long run.
- Do not outsource graphic design
- Do not outsource research and development
- Do not outsource customer support
So now that you are aware of the areas that you can and must outsource, I must warn you. Outsourcing does not mean that you are completely let off. At best, it will rid you of the daily headaches, but surely you need to be in tune and oversee every function.
And what makes this management easier? Choosing the right partner. Look for one that shares a similar vision; that values your business as much as it does its own. And importantly, one that is located closer to you, preferably in the same city.
What functions or areas do you outsource that has worked for you apart from this list? Comment below with your views.
And if you have an idea that requires validation, email me for a one-to-one coaching.