Why Independent Contractors Make Sense
It's easy to understand the draw that outsourcing certain tasks has for business owners.
First of all, while you should work closely with an independent contractor, there are no employee-related expenses; no training costs, health care, vacation time, or sick leave.
Additionally, in many cases, you will be working with and benefiting from the experience and insight of a team of specialists, rather than a single worker.
Outsourcing may also spare you business expenses. For example, perhaps you are interested in making some promotional and informational videos for your website. You could invest in expensive equipment, along with hiring someone with the proper know-how, or you could outsource the job to a video production company that already has the knowledge, experience, and the equipment.
Finally, outsourcing certain tasks can free you and your workers up to focus on the core areas of your business without pouring time and effort into peripheral tasks.
Making the Call
While outsourcing can be a good thing, it also has its drawbacks. Your project may not receive the focus it deserves, you lose a little bit of control over the timeframe, and you have less control over the quality of the finished product. Before deciding whether to outsource a task or operation, consider these questions.
Is it a Business-Critical Function?
Generally, anything that relates directly to the operation of your business should be handled in-house. For example, for some businesses, their social media marketing strategy is an essential part of their competitive advantage. In this case, a social media manager should likely be an in-house hire who shares your goals and vision for marketing campaigns.
However, duties like payroll, bookkeeping, and administrative tasks, though they don't relate directly to the vision of your business, tend to take a significant toll on overall productivity. Outsourcing these tasks, rather than hiring in-house, makes sense for most businesses.
What Is Your Budget?
There may be a significant cost difference between a trained employee and an independent contractor. Oftentimes, if you're shooting a single promotional video or you want to create an app, outsourcing the job may make the most sense because it will spare your business the expense of investing in expensive equipment and providing highly specialized training. On the other hand, independent contractors may charge a relatively high daily rate, making outsourcing less than ideal for long-term projects.
What Is Your Time Frame?
If you have a skills gap that needs to be filled quickly, then outsourcing makes sense. Rather than taking the time to go through the hiring and training process, you can hire an experienced professional who can hit the ground running.
In the end, whether or not you choose to outsource hinges on your timeframe for project completion, budgetary considerations, and how it will impact the efficiency and goals of your business. Using these as guidelines will help you choose the recruitment option that is right for your business.