Every business struggles with growing pains. Whether you’re just launching your start-up or trying to push a new product line. The responsibility to balance the work always falls on the shoulders of the business owner. From doing the extra work yourself, asking employees to work late, and balancing hiring costs with the budget, it can be exhausting to facilitate needed growth.
That’s why many businesses are increasingly taking advantage of outsourcing partnerships. Outsourcing tasks offers flexibility, fast implementation, and lower costs than hiring new staff.
This post will cover why outsourcing is surging in popularity, and then we’ll cover the warning signs that your business is in danger of understaffing. Remember, these signs are common to all growing companies. Often, the difference between success and struggle is the business owner’s ability to notice and proactively respond to these warning signs responding to these warning signs.
Let’s jump in.
Let’s talk about what we mean by outsourcing. Outsourcing means getting help while reducing the stress and workload that comes with conventional interviewing, training and hiring permanent or part-time staff. This can include:
- Freelancers: The pandemic caused a massive spike in freelancing. Freelancers can help get a single project off the ground (like redesigning your website or building an app) or help with ongoing projects like marketing content. Freelancers negotiate their own hourly or project rates.
- Partnering with another company: There may be a company in an adjacent niche that fulfills a partner product or service. By outsourcing production, customer service, or distribution to them, you can quickly scale growth for a fraction of the investment.
- Third-party agencies and support: Let’s say you want to take marketing efforts to the next level for your construction company, but you only have one in-house employee. Hiring a department’s worth of freelancers may be unrealistic. But hiring a marketing agency to perform analysis, create content schedules, and pump out social media and blog content with their own management structure may be highly effective.
Outsourcing allows you to quickly increase your support, skills, and person-hours at a fraction of the price. Moreover, these solutions are flexible, so you can keep them perpetually or eventually shift to in-house solutions.
Let’s get into some of the top signs that your business needs to start outsourcing ASAP.
1. You dread your to-do list.
Early business stages usually mean business owners are doing a lot of mundane tasks themselves, getting in the way of more crucial work. So if you dread necessary tasks and are no longer enjoying your work day, it’s time to outsource some work.
Common examples include:
- Financial reporting
- Marketing efforts
- Sales development and training
- Lead generation
- Administrative tasks
These are all tasks you can outsource, reducing operational liabilities, without having to offer paid time off, insurance, and continued long-term work.
2. Customer service and satisfaction rates are dropping.
An ominous sign of scarce operational resources is a drop in customer satisfaction or a long list of open support tickets. Keeping a client is about five times less expensive than gaining a new one– no business can afford to lose their clients because they don’t have enough time to service their needs.
Keep a close watch on KPIs, particularly customer service. Respond to warning signs early– not only is it expensive to lose clients, but if they are particularly frustrated, they can quickly become detractors.
Brand detractors go out of their way to post on social media or warn friends and family not to use your service. While a few bad reviews here and there are often unavoidable, a large number in a small amount of time can take years to recover from.
3. Your team is spread thin.
Team morale and company culture is crucial to a high-performing business. Human capital is the most important asset you can leverage since dedicated employees statistically sell better, stay longer, and improve the company without much oversight.
So when your carefully hired team begins to show signs of being overworked, it’s critical to adjust their load as quickly as possible. Burnout leads to diminished drive and quickly results in employee turnover.
Just as customer retention is critical to low business costs and maintaining momentum, high employee turnover is a vicious cycle that can take down any company. So efforts to keep employee turnover rates low will bring high ROI to your business culture, momentum, and profitability.
4. You can’t offer anything new.
Every business needs to continue expanding its products or services to maintain relevance, gain new market share, and move with changing market demands.
If you want to grow but need to significantly adjust or drop existing offerings to create new ones, it’s time to get more help. This can include hiring a third party to provide an entirely new offering or simply getting help fulfilling your regular business so you can focus on new developments.
Remember that you and your brand are still responsible for the quality of work provided by third parties. So ensure you still have enough time to monitor or review the quality of work before delivering to your clients.
5. Everything is late.
Can we say “time is money” without sounding trite? Yet, one of the leading expectations for today’s consumers is that you’ll answer their questions in real-time, their products will arrive quickly, and those new products will regularly hit the market.
If you find that you are often behind on your workflow, even by a few days, it’s time to examine what the cause is. Consistent late work is a top way to alienate your client base, frustrate your employees, and lose confidence in your ability to perform. .
6. You’ve hit a sales plateau.
If sales have been going well and are suddenly stagnating, it’s time to rethink. Plateaus can be from doing things wrong, not doing enough things right, or a mix of both.
Losing touch with your client base can result in low customer satisfaction, but it can also simply be that your products no longer fit their needs and new competitors. And when the competition consistently evolves faster than your business, your uphill battle to success becomes a battle to survive.
Not everyone is good at sales or is built for selling. Typically, business owners have great ideas for a product or service but struggle with positioning themselves in a way that resonates ahead of the competition. Outsourcing work can give you time to perform the market analysis yourself, or you can hire that out to provide you with time to work on other things.
7. You’re falling behind peer competitors.
Finally, relevance within your industry is critical to maintaining a flowing and successful business. It’s always about maintaining momentum and keeping up with the things you do well while proactively adding more.
Attractive, growing markets always attract competition. If you are looking at businesses in your field with a similar price point, capital, and time in the market, and the average is pulling ahead; you need more support.
Ready for Growth?
Managing business growth is challenging, especially when you already feel strapped on time and resources. So how do you know which changes will bring the greatest ROI and how many new things to balance at once? That’s where we come in.
Think of us as a third-party partner committed to supporting you from start to finish. That includes discovery, implementing changes, and sticking around to see your business recover. And we’ll still be there in a year or two to help you adapt to new needs and growth!
Contact us today for a consultation!
- 5 Signs It’s Time to Start Outsourcing in Your Business
- 4 Tell-Tale Signs Your Business Needs To Get Serious About Outsourcing
- 9 Signs Your Business Needs an Outsourcing Consultant
- What Is a Detractor?
- Customer acquisition & retention marketing stats
- What Are Customer Expectations, and How Have They Changed?
- 6 signs of overworked employees: Prevent burnout