The decisions you make during the beginning stages of founding a startup will decide whether you’re the next Steve Jobs or just somebody with a failed business (but with great lessons).
Specifically, the work you decide to outsource can have a significant impact on the immediate and distant future of your startup. It’s a delicate balancing act. DIYing as much as humanly possible is a fantastic money-saving measure – especially since 46% of new businesses fail because they run out of money.
However, veering too far into territory exceeding the grasp of your expertise could be detrimental. There are some facets of your new business that need a professional touch. If potential consumers and investors feel these various aspects of your organization are amateurish, they won’t buy what you’re selling.
So here’s a list of 5 things your new startup could outsource at the onset of the business:
As a startup founder, building your website would be like a restaurateur trying to construct their restaurant brick by brick. Just like a restaurant owner isn’t a highly experienced contractor, the chances are, you aren’t an expert website builder.
You can saddle yourself with a DIY website builder like WiX, but your startup will come across as slapdash and unprofessional as opposed to a business with state-of-the-art technology.
Furthermore, 38% of people will stop engaging with a site if it doesn’t have an appealing layout or design. Unless you have a background in web development, you can’t afford to take your website into your own hands. Professionals understand the many nuances and intricacies that go into executing a quality layout and design that increases conversions.
Of course, you should ignore this section if you happen to be a website designer/startup founder and can whip up a great website really quickly.
If you have the available budget, Intechnic is considered one of the best web developers of 2019. This level of service all but guarantees a return if your product/service is worth its salt. Though, realistically, your budget won’t be flexible enough to take on such a reputable developer – in which case I would suggest utilizing Upwork. There, you’ll find reliable – but not exceptional – freelance designers and developers for a more affordable price.
Some IT Services
Hiring an in-house team of developers is a b***h these days. It takes a lot of time to find, hire and onboard a great team that can get a good product to the market before the money runs out.
Your startup must be quick to deliver at all times to remain relevant in the market. With technology continually changing and evolving, taking too long to release a product could mean it’s obsolete by the time it’s made available. Also, the competition might have beaten you to the market.
Outsourced tech providers have the necessary specialized teams that supports the development of the highest quality products.
Your team already has a multitude of deadlines to meet, making it difficult to get secure and functional products to market promptly. Outsourcers can act as an extension of your team and as a form of quality assurance. They can focus on one primary objective – making it so you won’t overextend your team’s efforts.
After all, your product is your bread and butter. You may as well use all the available resources to ensure that it’s the best on the market.
For example, Dynamix Solutions is a Canadian-based company with offices in Toronto and Calgary. They’ve been around for 18 years, and have helped numerous clients with a diverse range of IT solutions.
Taking on your own payroll duties can land your startup in some serious hot water once you have a team of over 10 people. Collectively, businesses have been forced into paying billions of dollars in fines per year because their payroll information wasn’t accurate. Outsourcing payroll provides a protective shield from legal punishments. It’ll ensure accurate calculations and that you pay your employees correctly.
Beyond the legal and financial ramifications, fumbling with payroll will damage your brand’s reputation with employees, thereby increasing turnover rates. Your team must trust you for your business to succeed. And founders shouldn’t spend their precious time on cleaning up this type of mess.
If your business is based in Canada, Deluxe Payroll provides comprehensive online payroll services for companies ranging from 1-1000 employees.
US-based businesses can use Onpay, which offers full-service payroll for $36 a month.
Blog Writing for SEO Purposes
81% of US consumers trust advice and information from blogs. So, writing a blog has a massive impact on establishing trust in your brand. Then, consider that websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages. In a nutshell, the more pages indexed on your website, the better your search engine optimization (SEO).
Now, it sounds simple enough. You could set aside some time and write a weekly or bi-weekly blog on your own. However, think about everything you have on your plate as a founder and how difficult it is to regularly produce fresh, well-written, insightful content on your own. Plus, SEO is a discipline that requires intensive training to grasp – and if you want your blogs to reach a wider audience, SEO is a must.
Yes, hiring somebody in-house is always an option, but can you afford to bring on a full-time employee just to produce blog and SEO content?
Outsourcing an SEO blogger is a classic case of low-risk, high-reward. It doesn’t have to cost much money, and it’ll result in a drastic increase in web traffic and conversions.
ContentFly is akin to the Uber of content production. Not only are the skilled writers rigorously vetted, but it’ll only cost $250 per month, making it both an affordable and effective option. (Disclaimer: the author of the blog is one of the co-founders of ContentFly).
The little things can really start to pile up when you’re focused on the big picture of product innovation.
Taking notes and answering emails isn’t easy when the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Plus, there are scheduling issues (e.g., employee work hours and meetings) that you can outsource, which is essential if you lack an HR department – a likelihood during the infancy of your business.
Outsourcing an administrative assistant allows you and your team to focus on the more pressing projects, so you won’t get sidetracked by nitty-gritty details that’ll throw your startup off track. With an outsourced administrator, your company will be organized, will communicate effectively with clients, partners, and investors.
Virtual assistants have come into prominence recently throughout much of the world. Amongst their featured services is administrative duties. It’s a cost-effective option for business owners who can’t afford to bring on a full-time administrative employee.
Conclusion: strategic outsourcing is integral to your new startup’s success
The results of one survey show that 90% of businesses cited outsourcing as crucial to their growth.
Of course, that doesn’t mean outsourcing every single task and project would be a good idea. You just have to be very aware of your team’s limits and skills. Regardless, outsourcing particular aspects of your business is vital to its long-term and short-term health.
While the above suggestions are general outsourcing ideas, you may already possess the skill set to perform at least one of those tasks on your own. It’s wise to map out a list of things you can DIY and other things that are best left in the hands of experts.
Good luck fellow startup founders!