The speaker at Open Coffee Club on Thursday April 5th was Bryan Lee, CEO of Oscium. He lead a fantastic discussion concerning outsourcing for startups. There were many great take-aways. Here are a few:
Don’t Outsource Anything that you Consider to be a Core Competency
If a task or project is absolutely vital to the success of your company, it’s usually best for the business if it’s done by someone on your team.
Be Honest With Yourself
It’s important to that you and your team members are honest with each other and yourselves. Know what you are realistically capable of completing and don’t attempt to take on tasks that are beyond your capabilities.
If You Sell a Product or Service Through Your Website, Pay Top Dollar For its Creation
If your website is channel through which your customers purchase your product, you need to make absolutely sure that it’s the best it can be. Be willing to pay top dollar for the creation and design of your site. That may mean assigning the task to your top developer or outsourcing web development–either way, don’t skimp on the creation of your website.
You Don’t Have to Pay $150/hr for a Good Consultant
The highest paid consultants don’t always produce the best results. You may get amazing results from someone that charges $15/hr. The key to outsourcing is focusing on finding the best talent at the best value. You should interview consultants just like you interview employees. For all intents and purposes you should treat outside consultants as if they’re employees of your company.
Don’t Be Afraid to Outsource Small Projects
Whether it’s a small marketing project, a widget for your website, or a logo design, know what you and your team are capable of and outsource the things that are best handled by someone else. You’ll be surprised at the results you can get for very little money. If you’re making the right decisions, outsourcing something should save you time and money vs. having one of your core team members complete the task.
Use Outsourcing to Complement Your Team
A problem faced by many startups is that they have tasks that need to be completed but don’t have enough work (or capital) to justify hiring a full-time person. Outsourcing is a perfect way to add people to your team without having to pay the overhead cost of a full-time employee.
Look Local When it Comes to Outsourcing
When we think of outsourcing we typically picture sending jobs to another country. Most local communities have plenty of experts that can handle the tasks you need completed. People know people. Use your local networks to find the talent that you need (this includes LinkedIn, Twitter, etc…).
You’re Only As Good As the People You Surround Yourself With
A large factor in the success of a business is figuring out how to hire the right people. The same is true for outsourcing. Be diligent when searching for people to help take on outside work. Make sure they fit with your vision and your current team. Finding the perfect consultant will help you and your company immensely. Choosing a bad consultant sucks.
Make sure you attend the next Open Coffee Club on Thursday April 19th where Donna Nelson, Vitality Officer of Economical Development for the Mayor’s Office will discuss the state of entrepreneurial activity in Colorado Springs and provide an update about the Mayor’s actions towards supporting local entrepreneurs.
Startup Cheers is taking place next Thursday, April 12th, at the V Bar downtown at 5:30pm.