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For startups, securing funding and finding talent could be a challenge. This is especially felt by startup owners throughout the world; in fact, a lack of skills in a startup’s team and an inability to raise capital are in the top 10 reasons why startups fail, according to EU Startups.
A problem of a lack of talent is becoming a pressing issue throughout the world, too, and it becomes even more serious when added with insufficient funding.
However, there’s a way startups can increase the odds of survival: outsourcing some areas of their activities. Statistics support the claim that outsourcing is a legit business strategy to reduce the overhead costs and compensate for the lack of talent:
- Outsourcing can save up to 60 percent on overhead costs for companies (source: Entrepreneur)
- 23 percent of U.S.-based digital marketing professionals claim increasing their content marketing outsourcing budgets in 2019 (source: Content Marketing Institute)
- 23 percent of companies outsource their software development to gain access to knowledge and expertise (Eastern Peak report).
Source: Eastern Peak report on outsourcing in Europe
As a startup owner, you should be able to identify the activities that your company needs to outsource to remain competitive and reduce spending. Here are some ideas.
- IT Services (Software Development)
This is one of the most important activities that gets outsourced by startups. Hiring a software developer from another country can be a lot cheaper plus it can be used to leverage competitive advantage. As a result, you don’t have to rely on in-house resources for the product launch and redirect resources for other important purposes.
In this regard, Poland has been one of the hottest destinations recently. Being home to the third most skilled programmers in the world, the country has been successfully increasing the value of the IT outsourcing market for more than a decade. According to Statista, it has already reached $2,087 million in 2018, and is projected to increase to $2,311.7 million by 2021.
Such impressive growth is fueled by companies based in North America and other destinations.
- Content Marketing and Advertising
“The majority of companies use content marketing to advertise their products in a non-pushy way, which creates an unbelievable demand for content creators,” says Estelle Leotard, a content editor at TopEssayWriting. “Content creation and marketing requires long-term investment and commitment, but, with many startups not being able to afford full-time in-house content teams, this has become another popular area for outsourcing.”
If you need to increase the ranking of your website on Google or conduct content marketing campaigns, then outsourcing content creation might be a good idea. As mentioned above, 23 percent of U.S. digital marketers are planning to increase the spending on content marketing outsourcing next year, which also shows the effectiveness of the strategy.
- Administrative Duties
Most startups have various employees perform administrative duties such as benefits management, legal, pre-employment screenings, data entry, and research. Often untrained to so, the employees trusted with these tasks commit costly mistakes that lead to both immediate and long-term effects (and no one can really blame them for that).
If this sounds familiar, I strongly recommend outsourcing all of the administrative duties and responsibilities mentioned above. The benefits include:
- It gives you more time to focus on more important business tasks
- It reduces spending
- It helps to get more projects done.
Upwork, one of the most popular freelance online marketplaces, has virtual assistants ready to take on administrative tasks for an average of $18-35 depending on skills and experience. Hiring such a professional part-time would definitely take a huge load off your employees’ shoulders.
Incorrect payroll information may cost startups billions, annually, but this is something that occurs pretty often. Outsourcing these tasks will protect both you from potential legal fees, in addition to reducing the workload that your employees have to handle.
The selection of a partner to outsource payroll, however, can be tricky. Make sure that the company or the individual you choose has appropriate certifications and skills to help, as handling payroll takes more than positive reviews online.
- Human Resources Services
Anyone who has ever worked in a startup will tell you that people join young companies and stay there for three reasons:
- To achieve a better balance between work and personal life (flexible work hours, home offices, etc.)
- To learn new knowledge (startups are the best place for getting new knowledge, fast)
- To have fun (because that’s what makes one want to go to the office).
For example, here are the office perks provided by a Poland-based CodeWise startup that serves as a good demonstration of the reasons above.
Any more questions?
Well, to get back to the discussion about outsourcing HR…
A startup meets all of the above three requirements while more conventional companies are not. As a result, the latter need to have HR departments to search for people and make sure that they stay with them for as long as possible.
If your startup challenges the employees and has a positive work atmosphere, there might be no need to have an HR department. Moreover, outsourcing these tasks can reduce the costs of running a company even more.
Outsourcing is good for startups. Not only it reduces business costs, but it also keeps the performance of your company at a high level. For many young companies, outsourcing business activities has not only become an asset but a means of survival, because of the lack of talent and limited funding.
If you need to decide which activities to outsource, too, hopefully, this article was helpful by giving you excellent reasons. Make a smart choice and never give up your startup’s competitive advantage.
Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/group-of-people-watching-on-laptop-1595385/