First off, when it comes to deciding between if you should outsource or employ your team there’s no one size fits all answer – every business, and business owner, is different!
So where to start?
I’d say the first step when deciding which way to go is to go back to your goals, and re-look at what you’re trying to build with your business – when you think of a team, what does that look like? What fits with your goals and culture?
And then look at what you want them to do, how much they’ll be doing and how much control you need over them. Will they be an integral part of the business, will they need access to your software systems? What skills will they need?
If it’s more irregular work, that doesn’t need access to your systems and they can do it on their terms then maybe outsourcing is better for this role. If it’s more regular/ongoing work, or day to day, they need access to your systems, and you need to be over it then it may make more sense to employ.
You could outsource the role initially, then as the role grows you could then look to employ. It’s also worth saying here that when thinking of employing someone they don’t have to be full time. There are many people out there who would prefer a part time role, and would be a great asset to your team, so part time is a great way to dip your toe into employing. And you can always build up the hours too.
You can also have a mix of the two – your integral team can be employed, and the wider team could be outsourced. Sometimes using a well established business with existing infrastructure replaces the work of potentially multiple employees – this is especially great with marketing where there are so many parts to marketing, you can’t expect one person to do everything – but working with a marketing agency means you get the expertise of many!
The costs involved
There’s also the costs that need to be considered. Generally speaking if you outsource their hourly rate will be a lot higher, but then they pay their own tax, their own pension, and they supply their own equipment. However on the other hand you don’t need to pay sick leave or holiday.
Whereas with an employee their hourly rate would be lower, but you’d need to supply everything they need, pay employers NI and pension contributions (depending on the level of their salary), and would need to pay sick pay and holiday.
And there could be more training costs too with employing – an outsourced freelancer will do (and pay for) their own training to keep their skills (and/or regulatory requirements) up to date, but for an employee that’s your responsibility.
There are also a lot more regulations to consider with employing – you’ll need a contract (although I’d recommend this if you outsource too, just a different type!), regular reviews, there are plenty of laws you’ll need to comply with.
How it works at PPF
Here at PPF, we have a mixture of the two. Our core team are all employed, but we outsource some of the marketing, and we have partnerships with a tax team, a funding team and a HR team to help us deliver a wider range of services.
We currently don’t have the requirement/workload for us to employ specialists in these areas, so outsourcing here makes sense – we get to expand our services to offer more to our clients, it’s also a great way to test new services to see what our clients do and don’t want!
I was also very nervous at first committing to full time, so my first team member was part time, which worked great and the hours grew with the role. And now we have a mixture of part time and full time, depending on the role, capacity and what the team member can commit to – we’re all about flexible working and your work life fitting in with your personal life so you can be fully present for both!
If you’re not sure what the next step is for your growing business, feel free to reach out for a chat!