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Online product startups – Few things to know before you insource or outsource

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Cost plays a major role in deciding whether to use personnel from within your team or to recruit freelance personnel. These are the main points to consider when selecting whether to ‘insource’ or ‘outsource’ your online product.

Skills: Is there sufficient expertise in-house, or do you need to recruit outside specialists?

Internal vs external costs: Can existing team members be used at no cost to the product development, or will internal re-charging apply? If so, how will these costs compare with employing contractors (freelancers)? Will your team be office based or virtual, and will this affect your decision?

Start-up: Assuming they have the necessary skills, it is likely that existing team members could get ‘up and running’ more easily, due to their knowledge of your startup’s procedures and culture, or would freelance team members familiarity with product development mean they adapt more quickly?

Commitment: Who would be more committed to the project: existing team members who understand the values of your startup and might want the chance to learn valuable extra skills, or freelancers, who want to enhance their professional reputation?

Learning: Will any new skills learnt or new process developed during the project be lost when the team is disbanded, if the if the team consisted chiefly of freelance contractors? Or is the plan for evaluating the project sufficiently robust to prevent this happening?

Intellectual property: Do your freelance contracts make clear that the copyright of any inventions or new business process developed during the project belongs to the organization rather than an individual?

Politics: If using an internally recruited team is the best approach, members will need to be seconded from their existing teams to work on your product. Do you know how will you negotiate this? Are there any foreseeable barriers to internal recruitment, and how would these be overcome?

Find the right balance between in-house team members and freelancers. 

Hardcore Entrepreneur | Capricious Writer | Founder Guy at Switch Idea + Exam Juice + Mottled Services + Startcup