How to decide which tasks you should outsource

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How to decide if you should outsource work to a freelancer.

Outsourcing tasks is easier than ever before but how do you decide what you should outsource? Some entrepreneurs believe everything should be done internally, so they can control the quality. Some entrepreneurs believe that everything should be outsourced, so they save time and money.

I would argue the reality is somewhere in the middle. You can save time and money by outsourcing some tasks and projects, however, it is true you are likely to have less control over the outcome. Use the following questions as a guide to help you decide if you should do something in house or outsource it.

1.       Does this task require a specialist skill or competency? If not, this will be a cost based decision. Work out whether this task will cost more to get done in house or outsource. If so, go on to the next question.

2.       Do you or your team have the required skill or competency to complete the task? If not, you should outsource to someone who can do the job properly. If so, you should ask yourself the next question.

3.       Can you add significant value by completing this task yourself or within your team? If you or your team can add significant value by completing a task or project internally, you should definitely do so. If not, you should go on to the next question.

4.       Will it cost you more per hour to do it yourself or in house, rather than outsource? If it will cost you more in house and you can’t add any real value, you should outsource. If it will cost you less to keep the task or project in house, you should go on to the next question.

5.       Will this task be the most valuable use of you or your team’s time? Consider what else you could be doing instead of this task or project. If you can invest your time in something that will either save or earn more per hour than it will cost to outsource your project, you should still outsource.

In summary, you should choose your tasks and projects carefully, as there are few activities that are important enough to invest your valuable time. You should first decide if you can add value to a task or project by completing it in house. Then, you should decide if that value is greater than anything else you should be doing.

Then, and only then, should you complete a task or project yourself. If you truly value your time, everything else should be outsourced.

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