Inhouse vs outsourced: Which is best for your business?

Hire inhouse or outsource? It’s a question that has had the worlds business masterminds in debate for many years is inhouse versus outsourcing. The debate weighs up the pros and cons of outsourcing business functions to outside organisations versus hiring staff to handle the function inhouse.

There is no straight answer here as the decision as to whether or not you should outsource a business function, project or task will rely on your budget, your business model and the resources you currently have inhouse at your disposal.

outsource vs inhouseWhat you need to know

So, what is outsourcing? Outsourcing is when a business hires a separate, outside organisation that is not directly related to the company to complete specific business functions, tasks, or projects. 

Doing something inhouse, also known as insourcing, is the practice of performing these functions within the operational infrastructure of the company. This is essentially the process of assigning a person or department within the company instead of hiring someone from outside the company to do the work.

A good time to consider outsourcing is when the people within your business do not have the expertise or know-how to fulfil the function or complete the task. The process of outsourcing can also come in handy when the cost of hiring, training, and paying someone to perform the task is more expensive than hiring and outside organisation that charges less.

A bad time to outsource would be if you are concerned that an outside organisation may not be able to produce work that is to the standard and quality that your company usually delivers. Your own employees are the people who are the most aligned with your goals because they are familiar with you and your vision for the company and, in some cases, upskilling your employees to fulfil the function may be the best route to consider.

Now that we have provided a summary of the inhouse versus outsourcing debate, here are some business functions that you may want to consider outsourcing, rather than insourcing

Outsourcing your digital marketing

Digital marketing is a critical function to your business, even if you don’t know much about it. Having a digital presence that creates consistent brand awareness is key to the success of your brand. When it comes to digital marketing, you need someone (or a team) that is highly trained and proficient in a variety of areas.

This is where an outsourced marketing manager can really help. An outsourced marketing manager has the expertise and in-depth understanding to help you with your website, SEO, content marketing, social media, pay per click (PPC) advertising, email campaigns, blog posts, online brochures, and ecommerce. 

By outsourcing your digital marketing, you pay for results and not staff. You will also get an invaluable ‘outside’ insight into your business’s needs that you may not have realised yourself. Digital marketing agencies also assure you a return on investment, so you’ll know exactly what results you’re getting for the money you’re spending.

Outsourcing your IT

The thing about IT is, you won’t always have something going wrong for an IT practitioner to attend to. Also, once you have all the systems and IT infrastructure in place that you need, you may not need IT assistance again for some time. This is where outsourcing rather than having an inhouse IT team can be highly cost effective. 

Many outsourced IT companies only charge you for the work that they do. Alternatively, you may pay a retainer to have access to IT professionals when you need them, but this amount is usually considerably less than what you would pay to have an inhouse team of IT employees.

Outsourcing your accounting

Accounting can seem like a massive business function to outsource. Not only is it vital to your business, it is also crucial that you get your accounting right, from the beginning.

By hiring a professional accounting firm to take care of the financial side of your business, you are immediately cutting out the possibility of making massive mistakes when it comes to things like submitting tax returns or balancing your books. This could save you a significant amount of money and liability in the future.

Some accounting groups even have virtual financial directors that you can outsource to, who can run the entire financial division of your business for you.

Outsourcing your recruitment

Recruitment is one of the more commonly outsourced business functions, particularly if a business is not hiring mass amounts of new employees over short periods of time. 

It is more likely that you will, from time to time, need to hire an employee but not actually have the time to find the right person yourself. Recruitment agencies are well-versed in what to look for in the right employee and how to match talent with employer’s needs. 

However, if you are a fast-growing organisation, it may make more sense to hire an inhouse recruiter who understands your business needs, values, goals, and operations on a deeper level.

There are many other functions within your business that can be outsourced, and the above is certainly not an exhaustive list. Virtually anything can be outsourced these days, from personal assistants to customer service consultants. Outsourcing can truly give your business the upper hand, particularly if you hire an organisation that can provide you with a proven track record of results. If there is a particular area of your business that you are struggling with, consider outsourcing before hiring a new inhouse team to tackle it.