Ask anyone who runs a company or start up what’s the hardest part of business and nine times out of ten you will get the answer “people“. Employing people is time consuming, expensive, difficult and can create serious problems, especially if you employ the wrong person. People are human and here in lies the complexities of dealing with them. Emotions, health, personal issues, opinions, beliefs, the list goes on.
By employing people, managing all these human traits is your responsibility and can have a big impact on the day to day dealings of your business. Don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe that good people are what make a great team, and great teams achieve amazing things but in any business there are tasks that no one likes doing. These are the task that if you can, you need to out source.
Here are my top 5 reasons for out sourcing
5. Makes Scaling easier
If business is booming and your growing quickly, having a task outsourced makes scaling easier and a lot less painful than having to employ a bunch of people to keep up with demand.
People get sick, plain and simple. If you only have one person doing a particular task, when they are sick that job just doesn’t get done. Outsourcing it creates redundancy. By outsourcing you can having multiple people trained to do the task, so if one of the out sourced team members can’t do it, another steps in.
3. Time Zones
If you services a global market (like we do) then your business hours are only going to align with 1/3 of the globe. Customer Service is one area that has some great advantages from out sourcing especially if you can do so to people located in different time zones. We outsourced our customer service to Influx which has teams of customer service agents all over the world. This allows us to have customer support agents working round the clock. In doing so our email response time dropped from 24 hours to five!
2. Only pay for what you need
As an early stage boot strapped start up every penny counts. When you outsource you are able to reduce your costs by only using and paying for what you need, as you need it. When your business scales you’re costs will increase but so should your income so it should all work out. If it doesn’t then you may be regretting outsourcing your business plan.
Weather you’ve just started your business or have been running it for a while, having the flexibility to pull in more resource when you need it and scaling them back when you don’t is very, very handy. Outsourcing provides this flexibility. Daily our online order volumes are pretty consistent. This makes managing order fulfillment pretty straight forward, however throw in a promotion or a new product launch and order volumes can go through the roof!
We outsource our order fulfillment to Shipwire (a 3rd Party Logistics provider). Shipwire can quickly scale up their team to handle the increased demand and then drop back to regular volume once the wave has passed. They can also help you get product out to locations all over the world much faster than shipping from your office.
Not everything can be out sourced and there are definitely some things that should never be palmed off, especially in the early stages of your business. If you do out source tasks it important that you jump back in every now and then to make sure you still have your finger on the pule and that the task is being done to a satisfactory level.
Check back soon on how to identify tasks that can be outsourced.