March 25, 2016  |  Brianna McKinney

5 Reasons Organizations Outsource to Agencies & Consultants

When sharing ways in which our agency works with organizations, one of the main questions I’m asked is why they hire agencies or consultants in the first place. It’s a valid question for anyone who has never outsourced services. While there is certainly a myriad of answers, here are the main forces that drive our clients to outsource to us. And yes, sometimes an organization will outsource for two or more of these reasons.

Here are five pain points that outsourcing to an agency can solve.

Lack of expertise, experience, or passion

This is possibly the most common reason that organizations hire an agency – to gain access to specialty skills that aren’t available in-house. By engaging us, our clients get access to a team of professionals that have both the skills and experience necessary to do the job, on-demand when they need it. Additionally, and maybe even more importantly, when you don’t enjoy marketing or PR, it shows. Let an agency fuel your brand and propel it forward – with passion.

Lack of budget to hire a full-time employee

Highly specialized and experienced resources are not only expensive to hire full-time, but there may not be enough work to keep an employee busy 40+ hours per week, year round. The ability for organizations of all sizes and industries to engage with a team of experts on a part-time, project-based, or as-needed basis makes top PR and marketing expertise and guidance an (often surprisingly) affordable option.

Lack of time and resources

This is often a symptom of growing pains within mid-sized organizations and nonprofits in particular. For example, when speaking with a nonprofit that has a full-time VP or Director of Development and Communications, we often discover that this staff member is a team of one. Because of bandwidth issues, 95% of his or her time is actually focused only on development. This person is certainly capable of managing external communications, but simply doesn’t have the time or resources (aka support staff) to dedicate to a well-thought-out strategy and/or implementation thereof. Because of this, he or she may have employed a volunteer PR/Marketing committee as an extension of the Board. However, the nonprofit leader is often unsure how to utilize them, doesn’t have the time to create work for them, or the all-volunteer team lacks consistency and follow through due to competing priorities in their daily work lives.

Lack of horsepower

You’ve got an experienced, capable, and tenured staff but sometimes there’s simply too much work or too many projects have become high priority. There may even be an instance in which an organization needs local support in a geographic area in which no full-time staff members reside. While solving a particular problem or tackling a project may be a top priority, the manpower isn’t always there to focus on it at all, or enough to take the company to the next level. Solving a problem or working on a new project typically requires taking an existing employee away from his or her core job responsibilities. Hiring a new, full-time employee to fill that gap doesn’t always make sense either, particularly when that gap is temporary. In instances like this, an agency team serves as a temporary employee. Because our team works with multiple organizations both at once and over time, we’re used to getting up to speed quickly which makes onboarding us much easier.

Too close to the problem to see the solution

We’ve all been there: weighing and measuring the pros and cons of a life decision. Big or small, we often turn to a friend or family member for advice. If it’s a small decision, you may just need a friend to help you bounce around ideas or allow you to talk through options. If it’s big, however, like a financial decision for example, you’ll likely turn to someone who’s faced the same problem before. Or even better, someone who has expertise in your area of concern. Your banker friend, perhaps?

Just like individuals, organizations are also regularly faced with challenges and need outside support. It’s not that they don’t have the brainpower to solve them. Often, it’s that organizations find themselves so close to the challenge at hand they can’t see the solution. This happens to us, too, and it’s a time when outsourcing can not only provide immense value, but also relieve a heavy weight or frustration. Good consultants offer their insight and opinion, but not just any opinion – an informed one based on what they have seen and experienced in their work with a myriad of companies. This experience allows them to offer ideas, new ways of looking at things, and solutions that their clients may not have been able to see without the consultant’s outside perspective. At Bloom Communications, we take strategic problem solving a step further. When it makes sense, we (and more importantly, our clients) find it of high value to allow research data to inform our recommendations.

As consultants, we get to provide support in a variety of ways by rolling up our sleeves on our clients’ behalf. Some problems are easily solved. Others are not. But to us, all are exciting. While the struggles your organization is faced with may seem daunting, a good outsourced agency will be motivated by the challenge and work diligently to provide a strategic solution.
If one or more of these reasons resonate with you, click here to start the conversation!

Topics covered in this insight: nonprofit, agency, consultant, outsourcing, why outsource

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