3 Things Your Startup Should Handle In-House

(and 3 that it shouldn’t)

Small businesses have never had so many choices when it comes to outsourcing. Companies that specialize in accounting, marketing, human resources and technological advances in cloud computing and telecommuting allow entrepreneurs to focus on what they do best.  Before you pull the trigger on sending out work to another business, consider this list of 3 jobs you should keep in-house, and the 3 you’re safest sending out.

1. Retention and Termination

Human Resources is perhaps the most difficult aspect of any startup, since you’re likely dealing with a small close-knit group of people. It will be tempting to bring in outside help with it comes to doing the dirty work, but you won’t be making your life any easier. As the CEO, you need to be in charge of your office and set the mood and corporate culture. This means that you should be engaged in keeping your employees happy and taking the necessary steps when it comes to disciplining or letting an employee go. It’s important for you to set the tone of the company and for employees to feel more connected to the culture that you create.

2. Staff Development

The industry you’re getting into likely has ‘best practices’ that are common among different business, and will be understood by those who have worked in the filed for a while; but you need to know your employees the best and know when to change and adapt standard practices to better suit your company culture and business dealings. There are plenty of easily accessible training courses and online resources that can assist you in training your team. Whatever your implementation method may be, the point is that you are behind the wheel.

3. Accounting

While outsourcing is an option if you’re extremely bare-bones, the sooner you can hire a full or part-time accountant the better. Work with your accountant daily to create and modify a financial plan for your company, this can be done using easy budgeting software available for free online. You’ll thank yourself big-time at the end of the year, and probably just about every other day that you have someone there to think full-time about your budget so you can focus on your passion (which is why you created your startup in the first place).

Now for the tasks that your small business is better off outsourcing:

1. Payroll

Do yourself a favor and contract out to a company that specializes in payroll to help you out, even if you only have one or two employees. There are a lot of legal issues within payroll are easier left to a professional firm that that understands the difference between employees and independent contractors, and how your taxes need to be handled for employee pay. Have your accountant deal with the outside firm and you’ll never have to worry about your payroll again.

2. Recruitment

Finding employees is all about networking, and rather than wasting time on building that infrastructure you can utilize the network of an outside agency. Recruiters can give you access to a much larger pool of candidates that fit exactly what you need and then you can spend a little time finding the perfect match and hiring them personally. This keeps you involved and ultimately in charge of the hiring process, but you don’t have to waste time doing all of the footwork.

3. SEO

Marketing your company online requires a specialized set of tools and skills that are better left to the companies that have already invested the time and money into acquiring them. You will waste a lot of precious resources if you try to do this in-house, and you’ll be even sorrier if you don’t do something immediately about it. You are better off finding a company to assist you with your SEO needs. Once you’ve found a company to handle your SEO, work with them to develop a marketing strategy and hold them accountable.

Aimee Watts is a staff writer for Mobile Moo. She has spent ten years telecommuting full-time, and loves spreading tips and advice for fellow work-at-home parents. She loves gadgets, new ideas, and skiing with her two favorite people: her husband and teenage son. They live in Evergreen, Colorado.


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