“Change is the only thing constant”. From our lifestyles to work culture, everything is constantly changing with time, and the market conditions are getting updated accordingly. To succeed in any kind of business, one needs to have a thorough understanding of the consumer psyche, the ongoing marketing trends, tools and the platforms, through which the target audience can be reached. Gone are those days, when the primary marketing strategies comprised broadcasting, telemarketing and billboards. Today, with the advancement of technology, digital marketing, through social media, SEO, emailers and google ads, is considered the most powerful and economic marketing strategy to reach out to the mass. Most of us are on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But, how many of us know how to effectively use these for business? The growing popularity of the concept of Social Media Marketing (SMM) has given birth to digital marketing agencies, which, entirely take responsibility for creating a digital presence of a brand, maintaining its reputation, reaching out to the target audience and keeping them engaged through strategic social media marketing campaigns, on different digital platforms.
In the initial years, start-up owners, usually, tend to juggle multiple business operations, to cut down the cost of hiring and tiring employees. Besides, having full-time employees often turn out to be burdensome for the entrepreneurs, who are still experimenting with their offerings and don’t yet know how much the cash inflow the business is going to witness in the next two years. However, flawlessly carrying out the marketing, sales, HR, IT, and accounting operations singlehandedly, is, technically, not possible. One person cannot have expertise in all business functions, and hence, the concept of designated teams and departments has been derived. The lack of dedicated personnel or team, often makes errors inevitable. Eventually, the entrepreneur’s inadequate expertise in certain fields affects the progress of the company.
Outsourcing is often considered the best strategy, start-ups can adopt, to get jobs done by experts, save money and manage time.
Benefits of Outsourcing:
- When the mundane and time-consuming activities like data entry etc., are outsourced to external agencies, the in-house teams or the business owner himself, in the case of start-ups, gets more time to focus on the primary revenue-generating activities like marketing, client servicing etc.
- The outsourced team is mostly comprised of experts, carrying years of experience in the particular domain. An in-depth understanding of the domain ensures higher productivity and enables a company to achieve more in less time.
- Hiring full-time employees, training them and offering benefits like medical insurance etc., is quite a costly activity. These costs can be saved by outsourcing to a reputed external company or agency, to whom the company needs to pay a fixed monthly fee.
- Outsourcing allows companies to wipe out the need for investing in infrastructure and the latest technology, required to produce high-quality outputs. Most outsourcing companies, today, are equipped with all the latest technologies, to thrive in the competitive industry.
4 Crucial Functions For Start-Ups To Outsource:
- Customer Support
Customer support functions are outsourced by companies that have inadequate resources. Today, customers look for 24×7 support. But, hiring customer support teams and putting them on rotational shifts is quite expensive. For a start-up, dealing with customers mainly over the phone or by email, outsourcing customer support service to an IT call centre can turn out to be extremely beneficial and cost-effective. This is because, big, reputed call centres are generally equipped with multiple teams working round the clock.
When it comes to managing the accounting and bookkeeping needs of a company, the business owner requires to devise a fruitful financial strategy, that can facilitate cash management better. When accounting is outsourced to an external firm, that comprises experts in the finance domain, a company gets an assurance of error-free financial reports. Also, outsourcing ensures compliance with all the updated financial regulations. Important financial documents like accounts receivable and payable are all taken care of by the outsourced team.
- Human Resource
Hiring an outsourced HR team fetches a company, the right candidates for different roles. Ensuring employee engagement and retention is very crucial for a company. The outsourced HR team devises HR policies, and employee contracts maintain performance reports and make sure the employees get timely appraisals and the other employee benefits as well.
- Marketing(Digital and Conventional)
To witness considerable sales, it is very important to target the right audience and reach out to them. Hence, it is advantageous for a company, especially a start-up, to outsource marketing activities to specialized marketing agencies, comprising multiple teams of experts, who are aware of all the latest market trends and understand the consumer psyche better. When it comes to social media marketing, it is always beneficial to hire an outsourced digital marketing team, that has a clear idea about what kind of content is currently trending on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.
- Customer Support
Tips to get started with the outsourced team:
- Draft and share with the outsourcing agency, a clear document that defines the requirement of the outsourced project and its components. This will help the external agency to understand better the project goals, target audience and the background of the company.
- Clearly define the design and content standards, as aesthetics play a very important role in giving a personality to the brand. The outsourcing agency should be provided with all the design guidelines so that the external team stays on the same page as the internal team.
- Create and share a work tracking document, with all the assigned tasks mentioned. To keep an eye on the work progress, this document can be checked by the internal team or the business owner himself.
- Regular meetings, physical or online, need to be scheduled to stay updated on the deliverables and discuss upcoming projects or any issues related to the existing projects.
- Outsourcing companies should be handy with project management tools, time tracking tools, chat tools, meeting software and eSignature solutions, to measure the efficiency of the outsourced agencies or to sign contracts, receive quotations and share agreements digitally.