Once upon a time (or “back in the day” if you prefer), outsourcing had a bad reputation. People associated it with negative identifiers like cheap, rushed, and disconnected.
If those are the kinds of qualities you still think about when you think about outsourcing today, it’s time for an update.
Outsourcing should be part of every business owner’s toolkit.
The benefits can be far-reaching, and the value you can unlock from deploying outsourcing in the right situations can be significant.
Outsourcing used to be synonymous with software development or customer service departments. Today, businesses are outsourcing departments that were typically handled in-house like marketing (hello!), HR, legal, and more.
To completely understand outsourcing and how it can help your business, it’s essential to know the three “types” of outsourcing:
When your outsourcing partner is in the same country or region.
When your outsourcing partner is in a neighbouring country or region.
When your outsourcing partner is in another country with (typically) an entirely different time zone (i.e., overseas).
Offshore is what many people automatically thought of when they thought of outsourcing. But local and nearshore outsourcing have been around for ages.
The benefits and drawbacks of each type vary.
Offshore can provide some inexpensive options depending on the type of work. But you face time zone issues and may have language barriers to overcome. Someone internal who is familiar with the region you’re outsourcing to and a robust QA process are good tools to have when outsourcing offshore.
Nearshore is usually a balance between offshore and onshore. It can be the best of both worlds, providing regional familiarity with reduced cost. Or, it can be the worst, with the lingering regional issues of offshore and without any cost-benefit. The benefits of nearshore depend entirely on where you are and what you’re outsourcing.
Onshore provides close familiarity and the most uncomplicated working relationship of the three options. While the cost may not compare to offshore outsourcing in some cases (such as software development), where onshore shines is in the decision between hiring internally and onshore outsourcing.
Whether it’s marketing, HR, or another department, building an internal team costs significant time and resources and is a big financial investment.
That’s why many businesses are turning towards outsourcing to acquire the capabilities and benefits of these once-internal departments at a fraction of the cost in time and resources.
Where marketing is concerned, businesses that go the route of outsourcing their marketing can scale up their marketing efforts quickly with access to a full team, usually in less time and for a similar (or even lower) financial investment than it would cost to hire just one senior marketer internally (who would then have to hire strategists, creatives, developers, etc.).
The benefits of scale are by far the most significant. Gaining skills like marketing strategy, graphic design, web development, copywriting, and video production allow you to market your business in the most effective way possible. You use what you need when you need it. And when you work with a team that understands your business and your needs, you’re able to focus on what you do best: running your business.
Not every marketing agency is created equal.
Some are specialists in just one area, some specialize in project work but don’t provide ongoing support, and some just aren’t the right fit for your needs right now.
But when you find a marketing agency that can function as your marketing department and truly feels like a part of your business?