Outsourcing technology is a great way for startups and small businesses to cut costs and boost productivity.
Instead of allocating resources to implement and maintain new IT systems, outsourcing enables startups and small businesses to focus on more important things, such as their products and customers.
Sometimes, however, outsourcing can cost small businesses more time and money if the wrong jobs are delegated. As with all the different types of tasks that can be outsourced, it can be daunting to figure out which ones should be handed off and which should stay in-house. Below are 5 examples of tasks that would be better suited for an expert in the field, so you can allocate your time elsewhere.
Infrastructure — or outsourcing equipment such as hardware, servers and network systems to an infrastructure provider — can save businesses millions of dollars in costs and manpower. Constructing your own infrastructure is neither cheap nor easy. It will require not only a large budget to purchase and house the equipment, but also heavy maintenance by highly skilled IT workers.
2. Cloud hosting
Cloud computing helps businesses to access information anywhere, any time using any compatible device. Hosting a cloud system in-house is costly, and can pose security risks if the technology is outdated. By outsourcing cloud technology, small businesses can focus on using the cloud as opposed to maintaining it.
3. Customer relationship management (CRM)
CRM entails more than just managing relationships with customers (as the name implies). It’s also about having a strategic system that can help a business acquire and retain those customers. While CRM can be done manually, a growing business can only handle so many customers the old-fashioned way without compromising effectiveness. Early on, small businesses should think about outsourcing CRM to Software-as-a-Service providers.
4. Web design and development
These days, with the many drag-and-drop website builders and plug-and-play website templates available, anyone can build a website. This doesn’t mean, however, that everyone can do it well. Your website represents your brand — so you want it to stand out, and you want it done right. By outsourcing Web design, your website will be built by experienced professionals who will make you look good online as well as have the technical know-how to optimize visibility and give visitors the best user experience possible.
Web design may be outsourced to large creative design agencies, but companies on a tight budget should consider outsourcing to fellow small business owners or freelance designers.
5. Social media
Tired of updating your Facebook page? Running out of things to say on Twitter? Still don’t understand Google+? You’re not alone. Social media engagement is critical to keeping businesses visible and relevant online, but most business owners have more pressing things to do than tweet all day. If social media is taking up too much of your time, find a social media manager or social media strategist to do it for you.