If you’re in the business of eCommerce, then outsourcing will certainly make your life easier. Outsourcing allows you to focus on things that you excel in and matters while leaving the menial tasks to your subordinates, without having to pay hefty salaries. Essentially, it’s one of the key elements that you can utilize to grow your business efficiently.
The main question here is, how do you leverage outsourcing to grow?
In this blog, we’ll walk you through the basics of outsourcing, its benefits, and tips on how you can apply it to your eCommerce business.
What is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the act of hiring an external party not a part of the company to perform services that are generally fulfilled by in-house staff. This practice is typically done for cost-cutting measures and is usually utilized by startup entrepreneurs.
An example of this would be an entrepreneur who employs four members for his business team, who work across all four of his brands. The responsibilities of these assistants are divided into different focus areas. For instance, one focuses on marketing and social media, one is for store management and customer support, another for graphics and content writing, and another for bookkeeping.
Pros of Outsourcing
So you’re good at managing finances, making business plans, and all that, but are you an expert in graphic designing? How about in launching campaign ads? Or what about product researching? Think about it, you can’t be an expert in everything. That’s exactly the point of outsourcing, you get help from people who are experts at what they do. There are tons of benefits in outsourcing, but these are the main ones:
Focus on your Expertise
When you outsource, you get to focus on your expertise and in it alone while all other tasks will be outsourced to assistants who are good at those areas. This essentially enables you to give your 100% best to the business and the best assistants doing all other things, which you are not proficient with.
When you acknowledge the fact that other people can do other tasks better than you, you will then realize the efficiency that it can bring to your business. While it’s okay to do everything by yourself when you’re still in the process of building your brand, in the long run, it becomes counterproductive to exert time and effort on administrative and menial tasks, when you can simply delegate it. Outsourcing allows you to get your time back, so you can focus on greater things that matter.
The great thing with outsourcing is that you get things done without you even doing it yourself. Outsourcing assistants and delegating tasks will ensure that your business is constantly productive and hitting your target even when you’re not working. Many entrepreneurs will attest to the positive effects of outsourcing in terms of productivity and bottom line.
Get Your Time Back
Are you a father looking to spend more time with your family? Or are you a digital nomad who wants to enjoy life while managing a business at the same time? Whatever it is, outsourcing will certainly bring these aspirations to life. The thing about outsourcing is that your business will never be idle when you’re not available because your assistants are keeping things in place. This allows you to get your personal time back and enjoy life a bit more. Basically, it’s still business as usual even when you’re out there watching the school plays of your kids or surfing in Bali.
Outsourcing vs. In-House staff
If you want to try outsourcing, my advice is to go ahead and start as early as now. But don’t hire several assistants at once. Start small, just one by one.
While there’s a temptation to keep the tasks in-house, it will be more efficient to start with outsourcing. Outsourcing allows you to experiment which roles you need more importantly than the others. It also gives you some flexibility to set up a working arrangement that’s perfect for you and your assistant, unlike with in-house staff that you only work within the scope and responsibilities agreed upon before contract signing. Plus, with outsourcing, you can easily assign a project to any remote person from anywhere in the world.
In essence, outsourcing is more practical, flexible, and productive than hiring in-house staff.
Who Can Outsource?
We can all agree that there’s no certain qualification that enables you to outsource. However, there are key points that you need to consider before deciding to outsource someone. This primarily revolves around your capacity, requirement, and flexibility to outsource assistants. These include the following:
You must know how to delegate effectively
Micromanagement kills productivity in so many ways. The main reason why you’re outsourcing is because you need an expert to work on business areas in which you lack expertise on. That is why delegation of tasks is important because otherwise, you will infringe on every action of your assistant, which essentially defeats the purpose of delegation and outsourcing. Once you delegate, remember that the only role that you need to play is to supervise and conduct quality checks.
You must be ready for overhead expenses
The best practice is to start things yourself and only hire assistants once you have a steady stream of revenue flowing in. Outsourcing is not advisable at the onset of your business since you’re only starting and it might not be wise to incur overhead expenses that balloons up your costs, when you’re still not making enough. The best time to outsource is when you already have a good inflow of income and have a growing number of customers already.
You have several projects in line
If you have a new business idea or several projects lined up and want to act on it instantly without disrupting your current business setup, then outsourcing will certainly work for you. Outsourcing works for both long-term and short-term projects, thus, you can always get help anytime from someone not within your team and get things going, without your business getting disrupted.
Typical Areas for Outsourcing
There are tons of services that can be outsourced for high-ticket drop shipping businesses depending on the kind of business that you are running. But to give you an exact idea, here’s a list of some services that you can outsource:
- Order processing
- Social Media content creation
- Website management
- Email campaigns
- Lead Generation
- Content / Blog writing
- Product description writing
- Email template designing
- Graphic design
- Web design & development
- Administrative / Data Processing
- Video editing
- Product research
- Customer service / support
How to Start Outsourcing
Now that you already have a good understanding on the basic concepts of Outsourcing, you can now apply it to your business. When outsourcing, we recommend that you follow this simple guidelines to make sure that you only work with the best people for the task / project:
- List down the core areas of your business.
- Identify your core strengths and match them with the corresponding focus areas. This will be your main responsibility for your business.
- Outsourcing will now come in to match the remaining focus areas
- For every focus area, identify your preferred qualifications
- Keep your values in mind. This will help you filter the good candidates fit for your business.
- Outsource only from reputable brands / websites.
- Start small and hire one at a time
- Do not hire immediately, take the time to examine other applicants so you have a good comparison of who fits your qualifications the most.
With all these in mind, there’s no doubt about how beneficial and easy it is to utilize outsourcing for your business.