Outsource vs Diversify: Building your business

If you are building a service-based business and find that it’s getting to the point where you aren’t able to keep up with the demand, it’s time to start outsourcing or diversifying your work. Here’s how to get started…


When your business is making significant headway, you need to consider the next set of plans to build up your empire. Along my freelancing journey, I’ve learnt the importance of never getting complacent. You need to always be ready for the next stage in your business growth. Fall complacement and you may find your business stagnating and standards slipping.

Of course, I feel the need to add a caveat at this point to say if your business is operating at a level you are happy with, that’s okay! You don’t need to always be thinking “grow, grow, grow”.

outsource or diversify - business growth - grandiose days
Image credit: Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

If you are building a service-based business and find that it’s getting to the point where you aren’t able to keep up with the demand, it’s time to start outsourcing or diversifying your work. Let’s show you how you can diversify your business in the best possible ways.

Bring in other subcontractors

Outsourcing some of your tasks is often the first solution to growing your business. If you want to start assembling a business team, the importance of getting that team right is second to none.

There are two different methods that you can use to approach this. You can either outsource and have subcontractors work for you, or you can take the in-house approach. Many marketing and digital agencies have a team all under one roof. And while it might not be physically possible right now due to the pandemic, it’s something you may want to consider for the future.

Outsourcing work to subcontractors

Personally, I like the freedom of working remotely. I’ve found working from home has had significant improvements upon my work-life balance. So when it came to growing my business, I looked at outsourcing work to subcontractors who also work remotely.

To outsource work to subcontractors, you will first want to find people who have skills that bridge the gaps where you need support, or whose skills align perfectly with your business objectives. Before you outsource work to a subcontractor, spend time plotting what tasks you want your team to work on and how you see this fitting into the wider business model. This will help you make sure you choose the best possible candidates for your team.

When outsourcing work to remote subcontractors, it’s important that you are organised and have a clear communication with your team. Being organised will allow you to ensure your business values, quality of work and standard operating procedures are upheld by your subcontractors. Similarly, a clear line of communication will help keep everyone on the same page in working towards the same goals set out by your client marketing strategy.

Building an in-house team

On the flip side, you may want to build an in-house team instead of outsourcing work to subcontractors.

As your team grows, it may be easier to bring your team under one roof in an office. Moving your team in-house could offer you improved control over the quality of work produced and the tone of voice of your content marketing. Working in-house can also allow you to work closely with your team as some people will prefer having in-person interaction.

Personally, I plan to grow my team remotely while still maintaining a tight-knit community feel that prioritises quality and client success. With my hand on my heart, I am confident that you can build a successful team remotely. But I appreciate that some business owners, an office-based team will best suit them and their business.

If you do want to nurture an in-house team to take your marketing agency to the next level, you will also need to consider the practical components of working in an office. 

It’s not just about the EPCs and EICRs (Energy Performance Certificates and Electrical Installation Condition Reports), health and safety, and the rent of the building; it’s about making sure that the environment is conducive to a productive working atmosphere. You’ll also need to take into consideration how well your team work together. Building an in-house team isn’t just about getting bums on seats; it’s about guaranteeing that you have a cohesive team.

The importance of diversity

As your business grows, you may want to change your key services or offerings. You may even want to rebrand to reflect this growth. A lot of background work goes into growing a successful business.

If you are setting up a base of standard operating procedures or planning to adapt your existing processes, it is crucial to ensure that your team is able to handle whatever is thrown at it. In many respects, it’s akin to setting up a digital marketing agency. You will need an in-house team that isn’t just able to write, but is able to create content such as videos, infographics and podcasts. Gradually, you need to diversify your offering to reflect both industry and organisational changes. 

The best way to hit the ground running is to hire a diverse team. Ultimately, you don’t want to succumb to any entrepreneurial stress, which is why it is crucial to have a strong team that can not only help you cope with the rigours of running a business, but is also able to teach you lessons. I firmly believe in the importance of hiring people who can fill the skill gaps that you lack. It’s not just about you being the boss and them being the workers; it’s about building a team.  

When you are setting up a business it is vital that you amass a team that complements each other well, but also brings in their own unique experiences. By doing so, you can learn from your team and all help oneanother reach new levels of growth. Having a wide variety of voices on your team will also enable you to better understand your audience, increase innovation, and successfully solve business challenges.

Ultimately, when it comes to setting any form of service-based business, a lot of companies out there are doing the same thing. Establishing your niche is crucial. But establishing a core group that can help you communicate and execute your brand goals is even more important.

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