Guest Author: Paty Gutierrez of .
According to various economic studies carried out throughout history by entities such as ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean) and others, an average of between 70% and 80% of businesses die before reaching the age of 5 of life.
Some of the causes may be internal, such as poor management, inexperience in business, etc. But there are also external factors, such as high tax rates and market competitiveness, that make it difficult to sustain itself over time.
A good way to deal with such factors is to receive expert advice on SMEs and keep the work team small.
How? The answer is very easy: outsource as many services as possible. In this way you get the help you need for any aspect and you only pay for the service received when you need it.
When to outsource?
If you are wondering when would be a good idea hire outside help in your business, you can do it for any of the following cases:
When you require expert advice
If you are a entrepreneur With little experience yet, you will surely need help to know how to carry out the different processes, that is, to help you organize them so that the work is carried out in an orderly way from the beginning.
For this case, you can outsource the help of an industrial engineer or a business advisor for SMEs, someone to guide you on how to organize both the administration, the assignment of tasks, the resources to be used, the steps of production or service, etc.
Another aspect in which you can seek help is in the development of the concept of your brand, as well as in the marketing strategy. In these cases, you may require the services of a marketer with whom you can work on an action plan for your marketing strategy and advertising campaigns.
You can also find a graphic designer who is an expert in branding or branding.
The idea is that you can count on the technical advice of an expert in the field to teach you the “how” of the administrative part of your company.
When it’s something you and your team can’t do
Although seeking help for tasks that you do not know how to do seems like an obvious decision, when it comes to a business, sometimes the opposite happens: what you try is to find how to do it yourself or delegate it to a team member, even if it is not your own. specialty or know how to do it.
This tends to have counterproductive effects, since although in the end the accomplishment of the task is obtained, the process can result in greater costs for the company: Greater quantity of wasted material, loss of valuable time in looking for the “how is it done“(tools, software, steps to follow) and then in a slow and clumsy execution, delay of other tasks in which your team is an expert and in which there is a deadline, disorganization of the day-to-day and scheduled activities , etc.
The most profitable thing is to hire a freelance professional that you know how the job is done and have the tools or skills to do it, so that you will get the job done quickly and correctly from the start.
Example: Make an advertising poster: Graphic designer = US $ 150 for a creative job well done, versus buying the software = US $ 250 + installation = 1 hour + finding out how to use it = 1 or 2 days, etc. so that in the end the result does not leave you entirely happy.
Think of all the time and money you save if you just write to someone and explain what you want. Don’t you think it’s better?
When it takes a long time and is not a critical task
If you have a task that you know how to do, but it will take too long and does not require very specialized skills, you can seek the help of a freelancer to do the work temporarily.
For example, entering data into a database, digitizing documents, organizing files and data, sending email marketing emails, making follow-up calls, reviewing and correcting a document, preparing a presentation, etc.
For this type of task, you can quickly hire the help of a freelancer and it is advisable, in fact, to have a small list of possible suppliers on hand to contact them when a need of this type arises.
When it’s not something you do every day
It may happen that in your business there are tasks that although they occur with a moderate frequency, they are not necessarily carried out daily. When this happens, sometimes you can think of hiring a permanent person to take care of it, but when it comes to work, it turns out that you start assigning useless tasks to cover the time you pay while it is time to do what you actually hired him to do.
Do not fall into this mistake, it is much more profitable to maintain contact with a freelancer who you pay for work or task performed, instead of adding to your payroll with people who you end up asking for things like ordering the stationery or decorating the office, because he will have many dead hours of work and you will not like to feel that you are paying him to “heat the chair”.
When it can be managed online
There are a number of jobs that, if you think about it, only require a computer and internet access to perform. If this is the case, it is best to outsource the services of a person who does these types of tasks from home.
The way to work is the assignment of tasks, as well as goals to be met, establishing a monitoring mechanism, be it a daily summary, a videoconference, a phone call or simply the review of an online list through tools designed for such effect, such as Asana, Trello or others.
That way you save space, energy costs, purchase of equipment, fixed payroll expenses, office supplies and even a cafeteria …
Have you realized how much you spend on paper, napkins, coffee, purified water, sugar, disposable plates and cups, cookies, filters, removers, etc. in addition to the office supplies that are already used?
Think: if what interests you is the final result and meeting the deadline, why do you need to be seeing the person while they work every day? Why not cut that cost by working online?
What aspects to consider when hiring a freelancer?
When choosing who hire to work freelance in your business, take into account the following basic aspects:
The first thing to check when hiring outside help for your business is if the professional has the specific skills to do the job. When presenting your project, specify what knowledge they need to have and what you hope to obtain.
If the work involves technical knowledge, such as regulations to follow, software to use, standards to cover, etc. be sure to ask if they know and handle the subject. Be as detailed as possible in this regard, as this will be decisive when choosing the freelancer who will work with you.
Whichever area you go to hire a freelancer, you should request to know more about his professional portfolio. Ask him for a detail of his work, not only the most recent, not only those that are similar to your project, but also projects of other types of clients and that have been carried out longer. In this way, you will be able to verify what type of clients they have worked with as well as the quality of their services.
You will also be able to see if you really like his work style, if you feel that it is in line with your company philosophy, your style, your way of doing things, and whether or not he masters the work that you plan to commission him.
When you start working with someone, you first test how much you can assign them and how well they will do the job, this is usually the same for both permanent staff (which is why there are “trial periods”) and freelancers.
The advantage of the latter is that you can find the services more easily and that when you find the ideal freelancer, you can maintain permanent contact with him. A freelancer can commit as much or more than the internal staff, since for him you are his client, a business partner and not simply “the boss”.
Find a professional with whom you feel listened to, who has the enthusiasm and willingness to work, and who brings you new ideas. Also, review their track record and reputation with other clients. There are times when there is a fear that the freelancer will leave the job “thrown away”, that you will give him an advance and you will not see him again, or simply that he is someone who does not deliver you on time or tells you that “while he does not you pay, he does not give you anything. ”
To overcome this fear or problem effectively, you can manage the hiring through a work platform with an escrow system, such as ., where you pay electronically in advance, but the money is not delivered to the freelancer, Instead, it remains as a security deposit until you consider the job completed and release the funds (read more about what escrow is).
In this way, you make sure you do not lose your investment and you can start establishing a working relationship with different freelancers.
At this point there are some variables to take into account, since it all depends on the task you want to assign. If it is a simple job, you can get a good price for professional services from a “junior” or less experienced freelancer, who surely has the required knowledge, even if he has little experience in the world of work.
On the other hand, if it is an ambitious project or full of key points to control, it is best that you look for a longest-running freelancer, with experience in similar jobs, whose knowledge and ideas will be of great help to you.
Evaluate how critical the task to be carried out is and take it into account when choosing between the different proposals of freelancers you have for a given job, comparing not only the price for the services offered, but also the expertise and quality offered.
Outsource outside help through freelance professional services It can help you not only to keep the operating costs of your new venture low, but you will also save time, effort and headaches, by being able to assign the tasks to an expert in the field, without costing you more.
That way, you will have more time to dedicate to executing the work in which you are the expert and to use your intelligence in planning the next strategic step in your business.