Startups nowadays have a lot of tools to streamline tasks. You can simplify bookkeeping with accounting software, stay on the same page with communication apps, or even automate marketing activities via email platforms.
But despite the advantages that these cutting-edge tools bring to the table, no business can survive (let alone prosper) without the manpower to keep the wheels turning.
For startups, the outsourcing market offers the solution to the growing costs of human resources. Not only are they able to effortlessly tap into the global pool of talent, they are also assured fair pricing due to the competitiveness of freelancing marketplaces.
Unfortunately, outsourcing is not a “plug and play” strategy that will automatically solve all your staffing woes. To ensure success, you need to implement a strategic and calculated approach that will seamlessly integrate outsourced members into your team.
Below are the five powerful strategies that will make outsourcing work for your startup.
Address communication issues ASAP
Regardless if you maintain an in-house team or remote employees, effective communication is one of the cornerstones to startup success. A rule of thumb is to avoid freelancers who struggle with English, especially if you’re trying to fill social media, copywriting or other positions related to content marketing.
It’s also a good idea to replace email communications with something faster and more robust. Slack, for example, allows your team to organize conversations into specific channels and threads.
Build a virtual office
To accommodate a remote team, you should also establish a digital work ecosystem that’s built upon project management, communication apps and other cloud-based platforms. Basecamp, for example, provides a central hub for your remote team’s task management, communication and file-sharing activities.
Of course, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all platform that can fulfill the needs of every startup. Before integrating or purchasing a cloud-based tool, always check its list of features first. It’s important to prioritize cost-efficiency and avoid paying for features that you don’t need.
To help you get started, you can refer to this infographic courtesy of ReviewsXP for the tools you can use as building blocks for your virtual workspace.
Grow your team horizontally
Forging long-term relationships with freelancers is a great way to instill culture into your ever-expanding remote teams. However, this doesn’t mean that you should stop looking for new talent.
As your company grows, your freelancers will eventually require more help to complete the expected workload. Do not make the mistake of looking for reinforcements too late. Remember, freelancers also have to deal with personal emergencies from time to time, so be sure you have others who can fill in whenever needed.
Although agencies are typically costlier than individual service providers, they do come with plenty of worthwhile benefits. For one, most design agencies manage interdependent teams who are already used to working together. Rather than individually hiring a copywriter, web developer and graphic designer, picking an agency guarantees that project outputs remain consistent and aligned with your goals.
It’s also easier to gauge the credibility of agencies. Thankfully, most if not all of them have official websites that showcase an updated portfolio, along with accreditations and testimonials.
A lot of startups today depend on a particular piece of software or technology for their core product. With a software escrow, you can have full access to the software’s source code even if the vendor no longer has the capacity to sustain it.
From a software startup’s perspective, offering deals with escrows is a great way to attract customers who are concerned with your limited track record. It takes away their doubt in your company’s financial performance, making it easy to emphasize the selling points of your product.
Outsourcing is one way to help your startup grow, however, it can be a double-edged sword if implemented haphazardly. In addition to the strategies above, check out this post for more tips on successful outsourcing.
What’s your experience with outsourcing? Feel free to share your thoughts, suggestions or advice in the comments section below!