How to Leverage Outsourcing to Propel Your Business Forward

How to Leverage Outsourcing to Propel Your Business Forward

Big Ideas

View More
May 21 2021
Big Ideas

Outsourcing—the practice of hiring outside talent to perform job functions traditionally done in-house—has been growing in popularity thanks to a flourishing “gig economy.”  

Statistics suggest there are approximately 2.7 million self-employed workers across Canada, and this number is showing no sign of slowing down. With an abundance of skilled talent available, companies, both big and small, are turning to outsourcing to grow their business and fill skill gaps by hiring on a temporary or on-demand basis. For those companies that integrate successfully, there is limitless potential.  

In our digital world, not to mention in a time when remote work has become a way of life, many tasks can be performed from anywhere in the world. Thanks to technology, outsourcing has become an affordable option for businesses to access a larger pool of world-class talent, freeing internal teams to devote more resources to core business activities.  

Outsourcing is more than assigning piecemeal tasks to outside contractors. When strategically utilized, it has the type of untapped potential that makes your company more agile, efficient, and effective, delivering a competitive advantage that propels your business to the next level.  


When Should I Outsource? 

Knowing when to start outsourcing can be challenging, and the right time will be different for every company. Start by asking yourself a few simple questions: Is your team consistently missing deadlines? Are there skill gaps in your team that doesn’t necessarily warrant a full-time position? Generally, if you or your team are unable to manage day-to-day tasks and continue to grow the business strategically, you may benefit from a few extra hands on deck.  

With this in mind, consider these additional questions before taking the plunge:  


What is the cost-benefit? 

Sure, you could conceivably perform a task in-house given the right amount of time and money, but it might make more sense to outsource a task. Maybe your company plans to hire an in-house web developer in the future, but your company website needs to be revamped now—and STAT! By outsourcing in the short-term, you access experts who could produce a high-quality product in less time and potentially at a lower cost than otherwise produced in-house.   

Will it amp up your team’s capabilities? 

Outsourcing is an excellent way to boost your team’s skill set. For example, perhaps your team checks most of the industry skills boxes but lacks understanding in video production or social media. By strategically outsourcing these capabilities to experts in these fields, you complete your team’s skill ecosystem while helping them excel.  


Will it launch your business forward? 

Highlighted by Deloitte’s 2018 Global Outsourcing Survey, the focus has shifted from the cost-cutting benefits traditionally cited as a key motivator for outsourcing. In today’s competitive landscape, it’s being used to collaborate with partners and integrate services a company cannot otherwise build on its own as a means to propel growth—not to mention unnerve a few competitors in the process.  

As with most things, timing is everything. It is key to start building your outsource network before you need it, so you can strike when the timing is right. Source: Superstaff 

Steps to Successful Outsourcing 

To move forward effectively, it’s important to be thoughtful and proactive in every step of the outsourcing process. With the kind of time and care you put into selecting your in-house, it pays to go through the same rigorous selection process when finding your outsourcing provider. Before you jump feet-first, though, it helps to outline your goals, define your expectations and budget for the project at hand.
Hubstaff’s breakdown on 6 Questions to Answer Before Kicking off a Project is an excellent tool to help you define the project details before handing anything off to contractors.  

Step 1 - Research 

While technology has made finding highly-skilled, reliable contractors available with a few clicks, your network is a great place to start your search. Utilize your connections and leads to research the best contractors or agencies. It’s beneficial to look for a local provider if you require them to travel to your office or if you want inside knowledge of the local economy.  

Websites such as Upwork or Fiverr can also connect you with freelancers while allowing you to consider a professional’s work before making a long term commitment.  


Step 2 - Choosing the right fit 

Finding the right company or contractor with the specific experience needed for your project is critical to your success—especially when it involves technical projects such as web development. Review their past work (or “portfolio”) to ensure it fits the style and quality you are looking to mirror in your company. And don’t forget to trust your gut when reviewing and interviewing potential providers! 

Take finding the right fit a step further by considering if a contractor has the time to commit to your project and is available to discuss the project on your schedule. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to coordinate a meeting between time zones.  


Step 3 - Setting the stage  

Once you have found your all-star outsource provider, communication is king in order to be successful. Take the time to carefully outline the project's requirements or tasks with clearly defined milestones and deadlines. Doing so will ensure your project stays on track, and the product meets your expectations.  


Step 4 – Feedback  

Arguably the most important step to outsourcing that could make or break the outcome of your project is giving valuable and constructive feedback to contractors. What did you like? What’s missing? What could they have done better? Giving concise comments and detailed instructions on how to improve will make a world of difference and get you closer to the finished product you desire. Feedback is also a two-way street. Getting feedback from contractors will help you improve your process in the future. 

Upwork provides an in-depth look at How to Give Constructive Feedback to Freelancers that offers specific guidance for successfully working with independent freelancers and agencies alike.  

What Should I Outsource? 

Deciding what should be outsourced depends on the needs and objectives of your unique company. Right now, you may outsource administrative tasks such as payroll; although, the possibilities are limitless. As marketing experts, we have a few ideas that may spark your interest:  

  1. Content Marketing  
  2. Marketing Strategy  
  3. Graphic Design 
  4. Analytics and Search Engine Optimization  
  5. Website and App Development 

Thoughtfully crafted marketing can do wonders for your bottom line. Outsourcing brings new, exciting ideas and strategies to the table, making marketing the power player on your team. 

If you are still looking for that "lightbulb moment", check out our past projects and what we do best for more ideas on how we can lead your company to the summit.   


Take the Leap  

If history has taught us anything, it’s that it can be incredibly difficult to catch up when you are behind the eight ball. Now is the time to take a deep dive into your business operations and identify all potential opportunities that could benefit from being outsourced. 

For forward-thinking companies, outsourcing presents fresh opportunities that, if leveraged correctly, can reimagine and transform your business to new heights.  

Still don’t know where to start? That’s where experts come in handy—we would love to chat about how Sherpa can help align your company objectives with your outsourcing needs. Contact us today! 

Sign up to get the latest content!

If you wish to receive information from Sherpa relevant to you and/or your organization going forward, please provide your first name, email address, and consent.

You may withdraw your consent at any time at the following address below or by clicking unsubscribe.

Sherpa Marketing Inc. Attn: Privacy Officer
500 - 211 Bannatyne Ave. Winnipeg, MB. R3B 3P2, Canada