Outsource This, Not That: A Guide for Small Businesses

Time and money are two of the scarcest resources for small business owners. Between building a brand, filing for an LLC, and managing clients, it can be hard to complete secondary tasks like creating content and building a website. When the responsibilities start to build up, hiring a few more employees to help out might seem like the best idea. However, if you are short on funds, do a quick analysis to see if outsourcing is a better option before posting the job opening.

Not only is outsourcing more cost-effective, there are incredibly talented individuals at agencies and in the pool of side hustlers who can deliver as high of quality work than an in-house employee can. On the other hand, outsourcing the wrong tasks can be a big waste of time and money. If you are deciding between taking on another employee and outsourcing, take a look at these benefits and drawbacks of contracting out to help make your decision.

Outsourcing Benefits

In the first months and years of a small business, money, time, and employees may be resources that are in short supply. In order to start your business strong, some secondary tasks may need to be delegated. Contracting out menial responsibilities can allow you to focus on your core competencies and develop a healthy work/life balance for you and your employees. Some of the tasks you should outsource are:

  • Virtual Assistant: These services will allow you to offload scheduling, making appointments, receiving calls, and other menial tasks. There are many virtual assistant companies that charge anywhere from $7–$30 an hour.
  • Website Development: Though website template services are easy to use, creating a website that represents your unique brand is extremely time-consuming and unless your company specializes in website development, it can be very difficult. Find an experienced developer to create your website for the best result.
  • Business Formation: Between filing for your LLC, accounting, and bookkeeping, getting your business up and running can be complicated. Use a business formation company to help get you started on the right foot. Want to do your research? Be sure to read through plenty of Incfile LegalZoom reviews to find out which is the best incorporation website for you – like ZenBusiness.
  • Graphic Design: There are thousands of incredibly talented freelance designers around the world. Browse through designer’s portfolios on their websites and Dribbble pages to find the right style for your business.
  • Content Production: Whether you focus on social media, a blog page, or traditional advertising, every company produces content. Create detailed outlines for each piece of content to ensure that the freelancer maintains your brand guidelines.

Outsourcing Risks

Though outsourcing is a great option for small businesses that have limited funds, trusting outside workers with key tasks can be a risk. No one cares as much about a business succeeding as the employees on the company’s payroll so choosing an inexperienced freelancer or an unprofessional agency can result in wasted time and money. Here are a few tasks that small businesses should keep in-house:

  • Core Brand Offerings: As you start outsourcing, make sure to keep your specialties in-house. For example, if you own a graphic design company, task your employees with all design work rather than outsourcing.
  • Company Culture Development: Pinning down company values at the start of your business is key for building a healthy work culture for your employees and clients. These pillars should come from the top.
  • Hiring: Building an effective team is one of the most important tasks when starting a company. Have senior employees interview new hires to weigh in on company fit and skill level.
  • Termination: Just as building a team is important, letting employees go is also pivotal. When an employee isn’t a good fit, task the job of termination to a senior employee.
  • Management: As your company grows, reward hard-working employees with management positions rather than hiring a management company.

As you start and grow your small business, develop clear procedures for tasks that can be outsourced. If you choose appropriate tasks and vet your workers carefully. Outsourcing can not only save you time and money, but freelancers can bring skills to the table that can propel your company forward.


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