Outsourcing. You either hate it, or love it. But what are the business cases for outsourcing?
- You don’t have the time to do it yourself.
Maybe you have so much to do that you can’t concentrate on the project you want to do. Or maybe there’s a product you want to develop and you want to get it to market before your competition does.
- You want to concentrate on more important things.
IE: Generating leads, getting customers, doing marketing, making sales, rather than building things that take time. Also, the savings in manpower can be utilised elsewhere.
- No internal skills/will to do the project.
Many projects never ever get off the ground because either there isn’t the skill or will to do it. The skills are employable, but the will probably isn’t, outsourcing means that you can use your internal skills and still get the project done.
- Manageable projects
You want to work in small chunks on manageable projects and not spend all your budget on one project.
- You want a relationship that matters
You are looking for a face-to-face relationship, and not a faceless company.
But isn’t outsourcing expensive?
It depends on the size and scale of the project. Some outsourcers/freelancers work hourly, daily or in the cases of big projects on value.
But can’t I do it myself?
As I see it, you can make a choice. Work on the business, or in the business. Whichever way works the best for you, and postively impacts on your bottom line is the best way to go.
I just don’t know if I could ever trust a freelancer/outsourcing agent.
Perhaps ask for a contract, non-disclosure agreement. Also, check references where necessary.
What’s better, an outsource agent (freelancer) or a professional company?
It depends. Is the project big or small? If its big, and you’re specifically looking for something special and tailored it could be that a professional company may benefit you, whereas a freelancer may only be able to work on a small project (of course this varies from freelancer to freelancer), or only work on a project that has already gotten some foundation.
What do freelancers expect?
Again, it depends. The more groundwork you do the less pain there is later on. If you have a fair idea of what you want, document it and explain to the freelancer what you’re after. There are websites where freelancers actively bid on a project, but to be honest I would try to avoid them if you’re just looking for the cheapest price because you may not end up getting value for money.
What should I expect to pay?
It depends on the project. Anything over £100 per day is quite usual. I know freelancer consultants that work on £200-£500 per day. Some even more than that; again it depends on the project and the expertise you’re using.
Outsourcing is good for business for the reasons I’ve raised above. It keeps projects on time, and on budget – it means that you can concentrate on the important things; and it also means that you’ll get specialist knowledge.