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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin

๐—˜๐˜…๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ฆ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฝ๐˜€

As your startup expands, you face wider responsibilities and the need to specialize in areas outside your core knowledge.

You cannot hire all the roles and cannot expect your team to handle an increasing range of responsibilities optimally and efficiently.

You will need experts to level up the business. Examples include accounting, payroll, legal, IT, and recruiting as well as consulting.

๐‘จ๐’ ๐’†๐’™๐’‘๐’๐’๐’†๐’๐’•๐’Š๐’‚๐’ ๐’ˆ๐’“๐’๐’˜๐’•๐’‰ ๐’”๐’•๐’“๐’‚๐’•๐’†๐’ˆ๐’š ๐’“๐’†๐’๐’Š๐’†๐’” ๐’๐’ ๐’”๐’‘๐’†๐’†๐’…, ๐’Œ๐’๐’๐’˜๐’๐’†๐’…๐’ˆ๐’†, ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’‚๐’ˆ๐’Š๐’๐’Š๐’•๐’š ๐’‡๐’“๐’๐’Ž ๐’๐’–๐’•๐’”๐’๐’–๐’“๐’„๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐’“๐’†๐’”๐’๐’–๐’“๐’„๐’†๐’”.

When engaging external resources, you want to be clear that the benefits outweigh the costs.

๐—ฃ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—•๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐˜๐˜€

Impact โ€“ External resources should make a stronger and faster impact due to their past successes and learning from mistakes.

Insight โ€“ They often work with multiple clients so you can benefit from their learning about new ideas, trends, and efficiencies.

Scalable โ€“ If you find success, you can often get more time. Conversely, if work slows, you can ramp down.

Cost โ€“ An outsourced resource can be paid as needed and without added payroll taxes and benefits.

๐—ฃ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฅ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ธ๐˜€

Disruption โ€“ An external resource may be distracting or inconsistent with your current culture if added brashly.

Cost โ€“ Depending on the scope and timeline, the expense may eventually exceed the cost of hiring.

Misaligned โ€“ While their goal should be to help grow ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ business, you may find their primary interest is to improve their own business.

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—”๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ต

Screen โ€“ Vet their approach, style, and deliverables. Contact at least three of their clients and look for consistent feedback.

Set Expectations โ€“ Be clear on the scope, deliverables, timing, and costs. Discuss how to respond if something goes wrong.

Measure โ€“ Determine the desired results and the outcomes along the way. Trust data and review on a regular basis.

As needs change, outsourced services may no longer be needed, so review at least quarterly.

๐—ข๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€

Like employees, you still need to set expectations, monitor progress, and evaluate results the same as employees.

Managing resources may require a slightly different mindset, however. For example, communication needs to be more conscious

Itโ€™s tempting to hire a smart, motivated junior person and expect them to grow into proficiency. This approach will require time, training, and mentorship to get optimal results.

One compromise is to hire a junior person and engage a fractional leader* in tandem which balances proficiency and cost.

External resources are integral to high-growth startups, giving the team tools and insights needed to expand efficiently and effectively.


* See this post on Fractional Leaders:

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