The positives and negatives of outsourcing work for SMEs

In challenging economic times small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have to look at costs and reduce overheads in virtually every area possible. One of the first things that small businesses look at in order to free up time and resource is to outsource work in order to focus on other aspects of their organisation.

Outsourcing of work can have a hugely positive impact on the output and growth of an organisation.

However the decision to outsource important work to freelancers and professionals across the country and overseas should not be made lightly. It is important to outsource work for the right reasons rather than employing someone in-house to complete the task.

There may be times in business in order to progress that you will take on projects that you just don’t have the necessary skills to do so. Outsourcing enables SMEs to improve their specialised skill sets via third parties, to improve their reputation and get the job done quicker.

Here are some of the many other pros and cons of outsourcing work that businesses must consider to determine whether it is the right option for your organisation.


  •  Increased speed and quality of delivery – If your business is willing to take on work in areas which you don’t particularly specialise then outsourcing work can significantly enhance the speed and quality of completed work. Not only will you be able to complete work on time and within budget, you will be able to focus your energies on other pressing projects better suited to your expertise.
  • Free up office space – Space is precious in commercial properties and by outsourcing work within a particular department you can minimise the number of workstations and employees required, with the ability to communicate and work with third parties online with minimal fuss.
  • Ideal for business start-ups – In the infancy of any business outsourcing work proves significantly cheaper than hiring full-time staff with the same level of support. However, as businesses grow it is prudent to re-evaluate the outsourcing of particular tasks as it may prove more beneficial to employ a full-time employee to work in-house and adapt to your growing and changing needs.


  •  Concerns over quality control – Many small businesses are frightened to work with third parties as they lose the ability to manage projects in-house. This can have a significant impact on quality control, particularly if you make a poor choice of freelancer to complete a specific project.
  • Communication frustrations – If you choose to outsource a task overseas there is always the risk of work demands getting lost in translation. This can lead to hold ups in work which may result in frustration from clients and potentially the end of lucrative working relationships.
  • Difficulties selecting appropriate vendors – SMEs inexperienced with the process of selecting a freelancer or professional for outsourced work may find it hard to decipher reliable proposals from the downright shady.

Unfortunately outsourcing work is not an exact science, but with a little common sense and research you can work successfully with third parties with the necessary knowledge and work ethic.