Naturally, entrepreneurs have an innate urge to want to tackle every part of every project themselves, but by trying to do so they can get tied up in tasks that limit their productivity and creativity. Especially when it comes to technical matters, outsourcing some of the work may not only be the best thing for the business owner, but it can also be the best thing for the business.
Of course, small-business owners shouldn’t outsource every tech-related item. To prevent miscommunication, lost time, and wasted investments, certain technical projects should remain in-house and become a new hire’s full-time gig. I asked a panel of successful young entrepreneurs for their advice about delegating various tech jobs, including software development, apps, and website design. Here’s what they suggested about what to outsource and what to keep in-house.
|1. Keep Most Competencies In-House
|Keeping as many competencies as possible in-house gives us better quality and cost control, and allows us to be very nimble. For example, updates to our website, product photos, and layouts for our catalogs and advertisements are all done in-house. We call on outside specialists only for certain big projects, like a redesign of the website or complete software creation.Vanessa Nornberg, Metal Mafia
|2. Delegate Small Projects
|For more established businesses, beware of outsourcing all your web-development projects, especially because the code can be messy to work with later. Instead, only outsource small projects. This means that you limit your reliance on an outside firm, and you make sure that you can optimize resources so your own tech team isn’t overwhelmed with having to do every little thing.Danny Wong, Blank Label Group, Inc.
|3. Let Others Handle Mobile Apps
|If a mobile app is not a core part of your business but only a feature you’d like to provide to your customers, it’s an ideal tech job to outsource. Because of the breadth of platforms (iOS, Android, etc.) and the concrete, repeatable milestones of app development, reputable third-party providers have sprung up. These mobile-app development shops have the expertise to be successful in this type of arrangement.Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
|4. Contract Everything
|You can outsource any tech work, if you’ve got excellent project specs and you set clear expectations for documentation and other details. But be aware that outsourcing may be more work than you expect. You need to create the documents to make sure that all your development work meets set expectations and follows similar style guidelines so that you don’t go crazy down the road trying to work with old code.Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting
|5. Outsource Website Design
|Outsourcing website design is very safe if you provide detailed instructions. We internally will develop a comprehensive treatment, which includes the emotional look and feel we want to convey, as well as the homepage content. We then have the designer go in phases, page by page. This provides great quality control and ensures timely deliverables.Raoul Davis, Ascendant Group
|6. Delegate Motion Media
|By hiring one or two employees, website design and digital could stay in-house. Motion media is something you usually need more frequently, so it’s better to outsource. We outsourced to Chimaeric and quickly learned that outsourcing motion media not only provides higher quality, but expands the capabilities of what you can do.John Hall, Digital Talent Agents
|7. Keep Core Business In-House
|If the job does not involve a core competency of your business, outsource it. If it is a core competency, hire excellent people and pay them what they’re worth.Your priorities should always be treated as the contractor’s priorities. Make it worth everyone’s while.
Brent Beshore, AdVentures
|8. Delegate Straightforward Jobs
|As a rule, we outsource jobs that are straightforward, because they don’t need intense supervision. Also, if the jobs are repetitive, they only need to be explained once.Plus, if it is just a one-off project, we don’t want to bring someone onboard specifically to complete it.
Nicolas Gremion, Paradise Publishers
|9. Outsource to the Right People
|Almost anything can be outsourced. However, don’t fall into the trap of hiring someone who says he/she can do some or all of the tasks you throw at them. If you need a PHP programmer, hire one. If you need a person to create a .PSD design for your website, hire a professional who’s done excellent site templates in that format. Always try to find a specialist, not a jack of all trades.Juha Liikala, webVehicle Oy
|10. Invest in the Best Partners
|Outsource to get the best, not to save money. Find the digital partner who brings the most value to the table and invest in a longstanding relationship. In addition to amazing design and technology, the best digital firms will add value to your business by providing big ideas. Don’t underestimate the worth of fresh, expert eyes that are invested in your success.David Gardner, ColorJar