As a startup, it’s natural to rely on help from others. You’ll outsource a lot of things, you’ll hire freelancers, and the number of employees you recruit are generally low. It’s not uncommon to see a business with only a dozen or fewer employees, but it’s still possible for them to be successful as long as they’re smart about managing their finances and continue to interact with customers in order to build long-lasting relationships.
However, there comes a point when every business needs to become self-reliant. Of course, it’s impossible to actually become so self-reliant that you never need to contact other businesses. Trying to do everything yourself is actually one of the biggest blunders that many amateur entrepreneurs will commit. Even Google uses other businesses to some degree and they’re one of the largest tech companies in the world. Outsourcing will always have its place no matter how large you are as a company, but there are certain times in business where it actually pays to become self-reliant. Let’s take a look at those situations now.
Hosting things on-site
Whether it’s fuel containers to keep your transportation vehicles topped-up as they enter your premises or an on-site tech professional to diagnose and repair server hardware, it pays to have speciality services on-site at all times. In some cases, hiring on-site food trucks and catering services can also be a huge boon to your business. It offers your employees a quick and easy way to get food, giving them less to worry about and more time to focus on their work. Another good example of an on-site service would be a lawyer. Most lawyers work on a freelance basis, but hiring one can prove to be a huge advantage to your company especially if you deal with legal issues regularly.
It’s usually not possible to manage an entire production chain as a single company. In most cases, raw materials are sourced from different corners of the world and they’re processed at different places. In addition, buying, staffing and equipping a factory to produce anything can be extremely costly, and in most cases, production is outsourced to cheaper locations such as China. This is the standard practice, but it doesn’t mean final configuration changes can’t be done on-site. For example, if you have a popular smartphone product then it’s normal to create various colours and designs to sell. While the smartphone can be manufactured in one location, the final design touches can be done in your workplace to accommodate custom or unique designs.
While becoming entirely self-reliant is impossible, there are times when it pays to take matters into your own hands. Taking control of parts of the production process or hiring on-site services to speed up the response time are two common ways to optimise your business’s efficiency and are usually worth every penny you invest. Does that mean you should always aim for these as goals? Not necessarily. There are times when it pays to continue outsourcing, but it all depends on your financial situation and if you can take advantage of becoming self-reliant.