“Outsourcing” is one of those popular buzz words that you hear everywhere lately. On the news you hear about big corporations “outsourcing” manufacturing jobs overseas. Internet marketing gurus talk about “outsourcing” as a way to make money and to grow a business.
But do you understand what the word “outsourcing” really and truly means?
The official definition of “outsource” according to Dictionary.com is “to purchase (goods) or subcontract (services) from an outside supplier or source.”
Basically, a company that outsources work is hiring an outside person or vendor to complete a project, provide a service or perform a series of tasks. Below I’ve listed a few examples:
- A window treatment specialist hires a drapery workroom to produce gorgeous window treatments for her client.
- An internet marketing guru hires graphic designers to create images so she can concentrate on creating her next product.
- The local pizza parlor might hire a bakery down the street to bake their Italian bread because their kitchen is too small.
- A savvy interior designer might purchase industry specific articles so she always has content ready to publish in her e-zine.
- A brick and mortar cabinetry business might hire an ad agency to create a comprehensive marketing plan so they can concentrate on sales.
- A virtual assistant who gets swamped with client work might outsource a few projects to other virtual assistants with room in their calendars.
- A motivational speaker might hire a virtual assistant to manage her speaking calendar, arrange her travel schedule and manage her email.
More and more businesses today use these independent contractors – also known as vendors, service providers or freelancers. They aren’t employees so you won’t have to pay taxes or health benefits. Nor do you have to provide space for them to work. Each independent contractor is responsible for doing their own bookkeeping, paying their own taxes, and completing the work in their own environment.
One key thing to remember is that absolutely any business – no matter the size or the budget – can benefit from outsourcing. Large corporations with hefty budgets are NOT the only businesses that should use the expertise of freelancers. The small, mom and pop drapery workroom in your neighborhood can certainly find a web designer to create their website. The popular brick and mortar furniture store can find a virtual assistant within their budget to manage their emails. Even the new work-at-home mom can find a graphic designer to create her business cards. Nothing is impossible these days with the internet!
Have you started outsourcing your marketing yet? What are you ‘outsourcing’ these days? Let me know and leave a comment below…