Let’s face it, outsourcing has been around for a long time and while some have embraced it others still want to keep things in-house so they can feel in control. If this is you then consider what control may be costing you as well as how you can maintain control when outsourcing.
When it comes to your marketing investment, there is a time when bringing someone in full time makes sense, such as looking at the long-term and anticipated growth. But realize, there is a cost in building an internal marketing department. On the one hand, if you hire expertise or someone that can hit the ground running there is a higher cost. This doesn’t just include the space they will require, benefits package, time off and so on. Also, in most cases, the individual you hire will still not be able to perform all the elements needed and will need to seek an outsource to help get the job done. If you hire a person straight out of college, even with a degree, they will not only require all the elements in hiring an experienced person but then they will need time to get up to speed on your product and services; which we have found can take up to eighteen to twenty-four months.
In another scenario, you may be a marketing director that has taken the business to the next level but in doing so find yourself spending more time in managing what you created than in having time to continue to create; or, it could be you have the ideas, but no help to execute those ideas.
So when does it make sense to outsource? First of all, take time to identify what you really need and how long. Developing a specific list of what services you want and what type of relationship you want is the first step n finding and hiring an outsource successfully. Secondly, look for a trusted partner. The outsource you select should have a track record of partnering with other companies or organizations over a period of time. If you see a great deal of short-term projects make sure you check out a few of these projects to see if the outsourcing would be a good fit. Most importantly make sure the outsource you select has your back and will be accountable for the process, start to finish. This means them standing by what they do even when that means they might have to eat some or all of the cost when they make a mistake. Without that type of willingness, there is no partnership.
Finally, give it time. Developing a relationship, whether an outsource or in-house, takes time to get to know one another. Of course, if the same problems or mistakes continue to happen you may have no recourse then to stop the relationship.
Does outsourcing work? Well, as a small company that is an outsource to many companies in the region, we outsource. We have a number of outsources that we have developed and have been with us for over twenty years and all of it to be able to provide our customers the tested expertise they need and when they need it without having to take additional risks.
At the end of the day it still remains to be able to provide what the customer needs when they need it. We have found that our customers don’t really care if we do everything in-house, only that we, as their partner, can provide what they need and when they need it as well as knowing that if anything goes wrong, we will stand behind it and fix it.