Growing a business is often a bit like trying to juggle – lots of balls in the air and all of them important: each needing focus and attention. First you spend on marketing, then sales, then operations, then all of a sudden: marketing needs more attention again. This juggling act is tricky!
This up and down relationship between Sales, Marketing, and Delivery functions creates a problem when trying to scale your business to meet market demands. It is why most freelancers never make the jump into ownership of a business, and instead stay stagnant in their size and scale.
Enter the solution: Functional Outsourcing.
Functional outsourcing is an approach to scaling your business that helps an owner make the transition to management. It’s a lower cost, lower impact way to begin the process than directly hiring a new employee. Hiring is expensive both in time and money and the success rate for newer business owners is very low.
So what is functional outsourcing and how can I get some?
Functional outsourcing is, simply put, taking a function in your business and having it performed by a third party. The narrower the function the better. By example, a function in the marketing department might be content generation. Here at RentASmartGuy.com we outsource that function to a delightfully skilled content team. We set the tone and topic and they turn it into the marketing poetry you are currently reading (hehe).
The functional outsourcing concept is nothing new. People have been buying professional services for years. In this case; however, functional outsourcing is used to free up resources and time from the owner in a space that they traditionally have done on their own. Often times in a space that the freelancer/business owner had never considered getting help for.
Progressively moving across the functions of the business until no more outsourcing candidates are left then lets the owner start the insourcing process – hiring employees on the delivery or sales side of the business. As the business grows further, you can then hire employees for your previously outsourced work.
Functional outsourcing isn’t the best answer for everyone, but for most people looking to make the leap from freelancer to business owner it’s the best first step.