So you want to build a startup? You probably already know that the films make it look easy when in reality, it’s a juggling act in which half of the balls are daggers waiting to impale you at a moment’s notice. Okay, maybe that’s a little extreme – but the truth is, juggling is about to become your new favourite hobby. Whether you’re just launching, becoming established or are in the nice hockey stick of growth, outsourcing is your key to success.
In this guide, we take you through all of the different tasks your startup could outsource and at which point you should be thinking about making that happen.
Stage one: Launching a startup
You are: In the throws of a great idea! This is the initial bubble where you may have an idea, a minimum viable product, or even an initial launch and are beginning to achieve product market fit and/or early customers.
You could outsource:
- Administrative duties
Think about all of the repetitive administrative duties you’re fulfilling day-to-day – could a virtual assistant or administrator help take them off your hands? This could include sending out invoices, answering calls or even writing tweets to help promote your company.
Even when you are just launching they’ll be elements of bookkeeping you could outsource easily. The reason it’s useful to do this now is because when it comes to raising investment, your house needs to be in order. You can hire a freelance bookkeeper for just a few hours or one day per week, keeping costs down and saving you more time in the long run.
A crucial early stage of startup success is creating an idea that people can get on board with. Before the business is a business, great design can help others to see your vision and get behind it. Sites such as Upwork and even Twitter can be great places to find designers to build wireframes, websites and landing pages for marketing purposes.
Stage two: Establishing a startup
You are: Making a reliable source of income, or acquiring early customers and starting to raise money to help fuel your growth. This could include raising money from friends and family, angel investors, a Series A (to help establish your business model) or a Series B (to achieve serious growth).
You could outsource:
- HR and payroll
The more people your startup hires, the more HR processes required to keep the ship steering in the right direction. From onboarding new employees to working out the distribution of employee shares and recruitment hiring processes, you may begin to struggle to do it all on your own.
At this stage, you may have paying customers and a growing team. Many CEOs keep hold of “accounting” throughout the growth period but your time could be better spent elsewhere. Good accounting will actually save you money, as they’ll be able to source you better deals, streamline your taxes and find any leaky buckets where your hard-raised cash is falling through.
- Calendar management
At this point, you could have a range of appointments with investors, potential new hires and customers. Organising everything from Skype calls, to in-person meetings and business trips is a task best outsourced to a trusted personal assistant or VA (check out ibLE for some great calendar management pros!).
Stage three: Growing a startup
You are: In the crucial stage where your startup is growing, but the next few years could make or break. 25% of startups do not reach their fifth birthday. To avoid being part of that statistic, it’s time to create an engine that allows you to focus on the growth, without being hindered by some of the tasks you’ve always done yourself.
You could outsource:
In the stages of growth, a firm finger on the pulse of your industry needs someone (or a team) who can react to marketing. The great thing about the modern world is that you don’t have to hire 10 people all under your roof to achieve great marketing success. Everything from content writers to growth hackers and social media experts can be outsourced to help you get the best results, without the overheads.
- Sales processes
While you’ll probably already have sales experts or executives working for you, it’s the sales processes that could be outsourced during the growth stage. This may be creating presentations, sending follow-up emails to potential leads or ensuring that your lead gen materials are kept up to date.
- Full HR
For every five staff members, it’s said that you should have one human resources personnel. If your figure is lacking at this stage, it’s time to get outsourcing. Luckily, there are lots of great organisations (like ibLE!) which can help you hire an HR executive with tons of experience, who doesn’t have to be a full time member of your team.
For help outsourcing any of your administrative, marketing or people-management tasks, take a glance at ibLE. Your one-stop shop for an invisibLE assistant that can help.