Should a small fashion business outsource?

One of the main challenges small fashion businesses face is dealing with workflow. While there are countless tools online and even platforms dedicated to workflow and process optimization, this still only takes away a part of the load. This is even more relevant for start-ups, as any reduction in overhead means more revenue to invest in growing your operations and more time on your hands.

This is where outsourcing comes in, as a solution to improve managing your operational costs, your risk and give you more time to focus on the big picture.

In this article, we put together a list for you of things African start-ups should consider outsourcing.

1. Content marketing

Content marketing is a way to earn the awareness and trust of your potential and existing customers and influence the relationship they have with your fashion brand. Fashion is a highly competitive industry, therefore good content marketing is a great way to get visibility and attract new customers.
Big companies have whole marketing departments in charge of their content. As a small business creating and distributing content can be very time-consuming. What is the solution? Outsourcing. You can start small by hiring a freelance writer which gives you the flexibility of deciding how much budget you want to invest, more time to focus on running your business and a better relationship with your customers.


2. Accounting

Even though, we know that you are a superstar at multi-tasking, more often than not, fashion entrepreneurs aren’t chartered accountants. The finances of your fashion business are not an area where you can afford mistakes, this is why we suggest outsourcing this important back office task.

And What about your employees’ salaries? Even if you just have 1-2 people working for you, it is a complex task, that goes beyond just calculating working hours. You need to deal with numerous government requirements, regulations and tax rules. Mistakes, omissions or incorrect documents can cost you a lot of money in case of an audit, and trust us SARS will find you. Outsourcing your payroll as well as all other accounting duties to a reliable company is a good solution for a start-up who cannot afford a full-time accountant. And it needn’t cost you so much, there exists accountancy services started from as little as R3,000 per month.


3. Optimising your conversion rate

Online marketing and the content you produce are the main sources for reaching new customers for a lot of small businesses. We are all aware of the power of a brand’s social media tools, especially in the fashion industry. The question is how do we reach potential customers and turn them into buying customers? Which channels are most suited for your fashion business?
Figuring out what to optimize, where and how is a matter of research and lots and lots of testing. Managing, testing and tracking this is a very long and time-consuming process. Given the fact that a small improvement in conversion rate can take your business to new heights, we believe this is one area you should consider outsourcing to a professional growth hacker or a specialized agency.


4. Administrative tasks

As entrepreneurs, we all get swamped with answering emails, making phone calls, setting appointments or planning the working schedule for our employees. A freelance/part-time assistant or even a software which automates your employee scheduling are good solutions for small businesses. And again more time to focus on your core processes and growing your fashion business.

Every business is different and there are more areas when it comes to outsourcing. Analyse your startup, your processes, your day-to-day work and consider the areas where you struggle. Balance the costs between a full-time employee and outsourcing and make the decision!

Outsourcing your weaknesses can be your key to taking your business to the next level and keep #RaisingTheStandards!

Threads Team

We believe in change. We believe in leaving a lasting impact. That's why threads mission is to empower the next of South African fashion entrepreneurs by providing them with the tools, resources, and networks to run a sustainable business operation and thrive internationally.