How outsourcing manpower can help SMEs stay competitive and relevant

Outsourcing is already a common practice that a lot of businesses are using. Especially for small and medium-sized ones is an obvious choice since they can’t do everything internally. Deciding which part of your work to outsource will highly depend on your business and what manpower and knowledge you have available. Even big companies often outsource their payroll, accounting, travel arrangement, office management, IT development, etc. 

Sometimes outsourcing is the only option for SMEs since they don’t have a specialist internally that can help with a specific task. But for others is actually something they are actively choosing because it brings them more benefits than disadvantages. Indeed you are losing part of the control, and you can’t be sure if your outsourcing partner will be as involved as a full-time employee, but still, there are very evident advantages to outsourcing.

Faster growth

For small and medium-sized companies, in moments when they are in the phase of exponential growth, is always better to have some additional workforce because this will bring even faster growth. When you want to develop a new product or introduce new functionality but don’t have enough hands on deck, you can always turn to outsourcing. Hiring someone full-time and throwing them in the deep water is not a good option because this person won’t be prepared and might not be able to handle the pressure. 

Outsourcing companies and freelancers are used to working on projects for which they receive just a briefing and then need to present results quickly. For them working under pressure and with short deadlines is not something new, and they are usually pretty good at coping with it. Also, it is probably less expensive than having the same number or even fewer people in-house. And once the project is over, you can always just cancel your outsourcing contract.

You can focus on the core business

Sometimes when a company doesn’t have enough resources, the management level tries to be everywhere and help everyone or makes the mistake of overworking their people. But imagine asking your Marketing Director to personally answer messages on social media instead of focusing on analyzing the data for the last quarter and planning the marketing initiatives for the next one. That doesn’t sound good, right?

By outsourcing some easy or even not-so-easy tasks to someone that can do them instead of you and your full-time employees, you will be able to focus on the core aspects of your business. Everyone will be able to perform their daily tasks and activities in the best way, and your focus will be on driving your company further and not filling out the temporary gaps. 

You will be more flexible

In some cases, it might happen that when a project is over, a new one is not started immediately. And then it would mean that part of your people will be left with nothing to do for a while. But you can’t just fire people when you don’t need them and hire them back when you do. This is why outsourcing is an excellent idea if you know or suspect you won’t need the same number of staff all the time. 

The flexibility to decide when you would need a designer, for example, is great for SMEs. When you know that there is a big project like a new interface of the site is necessary, you can always hire one or two freelancers or outsource this to an agency. Once the project is done, you don’t have to continue your contract with them and pay them. But there will be no hard feelings because this was the agreement, and when you need those people again, they will be more than willing to help you.

How outsourcing manpower can help SMEs stay competitive and relevant - 1

Saving money

There is no way we don’t mention this benefit. Having a couple of freelancers or hiring an outsourcing agency is, in most cases, cheaper than hiring an internal team. Even for small tasks like the one we mentioned – answering messaging on social media, you will have to pay a full-time salary to someone. However, this person might have some free time on their hands if no messages are flying in all the time. 

However, with outsourcing, you can actually agree on payment per hour or, in this example, payment per answer to a message. You can save quite a lot of money like that and still know that someone is taking care of your social media messages. You will be saving from a lot of operational and equipment costs as well.

Benefit from specialists

When we talk about outsourcing, most people think about all those tedious jobs like support or others that you can just give to an agency and benefit from the cheaper price. And this is true, but on the other side, you can outsource something else that is very important and complex to a specialist or team of experts.

If you are a very technical startup, you probably have no idea about marketing. Then what should you do? Should you waste your time learning to produce engaging content on social media and run Google Ads? No, you should leave this to the professionals. There are many great marketing agencies to which you can outsource those tasks. You will be taking care of the technical aspects, and they will be the ones giving you the expertise in something you are lacking.

The bottom line

There is no right answer if you should or shouldn’t outsource. However, if you lack some manpower or expertise, of course, you should do so in order to grow. Outsourcing will bring you a lot of competitive advantages:

  • You will be able to save money that you can invest in something else;
  • You will be working with experts that know what they are doing;
  • You will remain very flexible and can decide when you need someone to help you;
  • The focus of your business will stay on the core responsibilities and functions and much more. 

However, if you decide to outsource, make sure you are going to choose the right partner. Whether you need just one freelancer or a whole agency that will give you 50 dedicated people, you need to trust the people working with you. If you choose a partner who will support you and be passionate about your business and trust them, you can achieve much together.

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Gabriela Gavrailova
Gabriela Gavrailova
Austria | Gabriela is a person with many and diverse hobbies. If you don't find her reading a book at home or baking something, she will probably be out hiking or taking some classes to learn a new skill.

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