Running a business means no two days are the same. Opportunities come and go, and you feel like you’re always looking out for the risks in every decision. Sometimes you need to hand over the reins and give yourself a break! After all, you can’t do it all yourself all the time. And chances are you don’t have the in-depth knowledge you need to tackle every task or opportunity on an expert level. So you’re faced with three choices – hire a manager, engage a consultant, or contract a service provider. Which way should you go?
Hiring a manager can be time consuming and expensive. You might need to use an agency to help you with recruitment. Of course, you also need to agree on the duties of your manager. Managers tend to oversee subordinates that do the bulk of the work. However, they might deem it necessary to get some outside help in any way. Ultimately, you’re paying a salary, taxes, insurances, and a pension for one person’s expertise. You’re in it for the long haul.
Hiring also means you need a great package to attract the right person for the job. Once you have them, though, you can mold them and nurture them to fulfill the role in the way you want them to. They answer to you, and they’re there, on site, all day every day. That means changes can be actioned immediately.
Using an agency, or contracted service provider, means you have many people with expertise available to help with problems. This arrangement is particularly useful in highly specialized areas that regularly change, like IT. Business technology solutions are essential these days for every business, but hiring a manager to look after your systems isn’t necessarily the best approach. As with doctors, you want access to a range of opinions and skill sets if something goes wrong with your IT.
Outsourcing in this way means you effectively have control of a tap. When you feel you don’t need the service anymore, then turn it off. You might have outsourced customer service teams or call handling teams. The benefit of this is that you don’t need to hire or fire as your call volumes increase and decrease. You are simply billed for what you use. The company you use is likely able to move their agents from client to client.
Consultants are highly experienced and specialized individuals. They work within companies for the short term. They come in with an outside view, meaning they can identify problems you might not know you had. With such a raft of experience, it’s unlikely you could afford someone of their caliber on the payroll. But, for a few months, they can come into your business, set things up, and train your staff to run it. This is perfect for marketing or customer services.
There are different costs and commitments involved with each of these solutions. The problems you’re trying to solve will probably determine which choice you make. If you need someone there to make instant changes, then hire a manager. If you need specialist long term services, then outsource. For specialist support in the short term, a consultant might be best.