Outsourcing is a great way to operate your startup on a lean budget. Unfortunately, there are several myths about outsourcing that make entrepreneurs hesitant to hand over some of their tasks to qualified third parties. For instance, many founders are fearful that they’ll lose control of their business. However, just as with any traditional business arrange, there are plenty of contracts and technology processes that protect the integrity of your business and ideas.
There’s also a misconception that outsourcing means “foreign” and “foreign” equates to less knowledge—neither of which are accurate. You can outsource stateside, and there are plenty of international vendors that are experts at what they do. With that in mind, here are four areas of your startup that you should consider outsourcing:
Development is a sensitive area. Your code is the core of your product, and any mistakes can completely thwart your mission. Making the decision to outsource your development or remain in-house is important and can be a massive gamechanger. One of the first things you’ll need to consider is your short and long-term goals.
For instance, perhaps you’ve started a business with a non-technical founder and need a team to spearhead Helm chart management, navigate Docker, and explain agile methodologies like Kanban. When you outsource, you’ll have access to the latest technology and a massive talent network. There might be some tasks that require knowledge of certain programming languages or tools; you can’t in-house every skill. And if your company doesn’t specialize in IT, you can also improve your overall security with outsourcing.
The fact is, not everyone benefits from an extended IT team, and as a lean startup, you can save on operational costs with the right moves. When you outsource your software development, you can focus on your core competencies without spending a truckload of money and resources.
Search Engine Optimization
Today’s new businesses need strong search engine optimization (SEO) to compete in their markets. Unfortunately, the costs associated with bringing on a full-time SEO specialist won’t be worth it in most cases; these specialists are one-man machines that take up chunks of resources and eat away at your limited budgets.
SEO agencies have larger teams and lower overhead and are often comprised of staff equipped with decades of combined experience managing versatile campaigns. With a large team working on your website full-time, you’ll achieve your goals quicker and build credibility. Furthermore, SEO is something that takes time; you won’t see the fruits of labor right away, and sometimes could be waiting up to a year for a noticeable difference in search engine results pages. Outsourcing this area allows you to better manage those expectations
Project management plays a major role in the success of projects and sprints. Walt Disney once said: “Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them towards a certain goal”. This is what project management is all about. A project management team creates a road map that team members can follow from conception to completion, and they utilize resources and tools to help achieve milestones.
This is especially important for complex, multi-faceted projects that involve multiple departments, such as application development, website design, or crowdfunding campaigns. It also improves communication for teams, making it easier than ever to have a transparent, high-level overview of every task.
One of the biggest factors startup founders should consider how they’ll differentiate themselves on the market. In modern times, having a solutions-oriented idea and the market research to back it up is even more important than the technical skills needed to make it happen. Finding talent is no walk in the park, but it tends to be easier than identifying all the nuts and bolts of a market. Predicting the most successful path and paving a road takes a great amount of time and effort.
To survive and grow, every startup needs to have a thorough understanding of their customer needs. That’s where market research firms come in; they can conduct in-depth research (including sampling), help you interpret data, and infuse value. Once you have a thorough understanding of your current customers, you can make further improvements to locate new clients and other segments of your market. Your marketing strategies will be more effective when you know who to target, where to target, and when to target.