Knowing when it’s time to remove guesswork from your company

Running a small business successfully requires a level of business instinct. This instinct will vary from one person to the next, but at some point during the business’s life it’ll have to be used to guess where to take the business next. Guesswork might make up a large part of a budding business, but it should never be something that is relied upon.

As your business expands, you have to work out where to reinvest your returns. Much of your reinvestment will be updating key areas of your business. Such as technology used or management structure. Yet there might be areas that still need to be created within your business for it to sustainably grow.

One area that might not be more developed or nonexistent is market research. When you first started your company, some basic market research would have likely taken place. As you grow into a larger company, information becomes much more pivotal to a business’s success.

Brand intelligence companies can be an avenue worth exploring when resources are stretched thin, in terms of market research. Growing businesses often do not have much time allocation for a completely new department within their structure. Your alternative is outsourcing. Something which, if you want your business to expand needs to be considered. In terms of market research, these aforementioned companies can provide much more specialised and detailed information, than that which a resource-stretched company could produce. This information can break down market research in terms of demographics. As well as comparing your progress to direct competitors, as well as the market as a whole. This information allows decisions made to be informed and well backed up, rather than having to solely rely on that business instinct.

When it comes to outsourcing in a more general sense, it is important to consider all non-monetary costs. By this, I mean considering how much time a task is going to take, the resources needed for it, and how many people will be needed to perform the task. You then need to consider how well a job will be executed, both in-house and outsourced. Finally, it must be taken into account how regular a task this may be. For example, if the job is an annual one, is it worth a large retainer? Or is it worth X amount of time being allocated on a monthly basis to a new area within the company? If these non-monetary avenues are considered, it can often be the case that outsourcing is the less costly route in more than one way.