Outsourcing is a hot topic at the moment. Everyone in business seems to be doing it. It’s a shortcut to riches, we’re told.
But is it? Are there some things you should just do yourself?
We think so. Here are some tasks that you should NEVER outsource.
Today, you can actually get agencies to hire for you. These services are helpful for companies that need a lot of generic staff at short demand.
But should your company pass over this responsibility to somebody else? Absolutely not.
The reason for this is simple. Other companies can never know your brand as well as you do. And so they can’t provide you with hires that will blend into your culture. Only you can do that.
You can also hire a CEO or rent one from an organization. And, again, some businesses actually do this, particularly if the owner wants to take a hands-off approach.
But this way of doing things never really works. Yes, you can sometimes import experience. But you can never recreate your own passion. Businesses need leaders who have real skin in the game. They want individuals who are prepared to steer the ship in the direction it needs to go. It can’t just be about profits. Motivations and instincts matter too.
Closely related to this is your vision. There are agencies out there who will come up with missions and reasons for your business to exist, particularly branding professionals. But that’s something that you should keep to yourself. Ideally, you don’t want anyone else taking over the process.
Having a vision is critical for the success of any enterprise. You need to know where you are going, and why you are choosing a particular direction.
Farming out human resources to a third-party is always tempting. Doing payroll yourself involves a lot of work. But you need to remember that HR is actually right at the heart of your business. It’s the human element. If you pass this over to somebody else, you might wind up with culture problems in your organization. Or your people may not feel as though you are looking after them as well as you should, and they could seek work elsewhere.
These days, you can also outsource the task of selling your products to other people outside the firm. Again, it seems like a good idea. Specialist salespeople, you think, are bound to do a better job than you.
But, again, that’s not how it works in reality. While they might have slick sales funnels, they don’t usually have the same level of passion and conviction for your products as your people do. And customers pick up on that. If they think they’re just going through a robotic marketing process, they’ll quickly lose interest.
Passing your marketing efforts over to somebody else is fine. But you shouldn’t give them responsibility for your marketing strategy – that’s solely your responsibility.
Practically all companies now outsource things like content creation and SEO third-party specialists. It makes sense to do so because the majority of brands don’t have people with the necessary skills internally.
Strategy, though, is something that you’ll want to come up with at the board or C-level. That’s because you’re the only group of people who really know and understand your products. Marketing companies are great with processes. But they aren’t experts in how to sell, compete and win in all industries. They can’t be, unless they specialize in a narrow area. So always bear this in mind when considering your marketing efforts.
Managing accounts with clients can take up a lot of time. For that reason, many entrepreneurs take the decision to outsource the task to a third-party. For example, they might hire a virtual assistant to manage their CRM for them.
Initially, they wind up saving time – that’s a good thing. But eventually, they find customers leave them. They just aren’t getting the level of bespoke service they want from your brand.
Some sophisticated clients will even pick up on the fact that you’re outsourcing customer service to a third-party. When they realize you’re not dealing with them in-house, that’ll put them off your company even more.
Speaking of which, customer service is another area you should never outsource. That’s because customers want to feel like the people creating products and services they buy are also responsible for them. Without that link, the entire company feels a bit like a fraud.