Startup Basics

Fly High on Low Fuel, Outsource Your Liabilities

A start-up needs a top marketing talent that can drive its growth at a scorching pace without burning down cash
Fly High on Low Fuel, Outsource Your Liabilities
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Founder and CEO, Outsourced CMO
5 min read
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Many ground-breaking start-up ideas fall by the wayside because their promoters cannot spend ‘big’ enough to market their offerings. But must young enterprises necessarily splurge on marketing to survive and succeed?

For years, companies have managed to wrestle down costs by outsourcing large parts of their HR and finance functions. Now, it’s the turn of marketing, the make-or-break function for young enterprises. An outsourced prototype is in every sense an integral part of your in-house executive leadership team, but he comes to you at the cost of say a senior manager, only because you are okay with the idea of sharing. It’s a new-age concept that has not only re-written business rules but also relationships and life itself.

The Big Dilemma: Growth Versus Cash Burn 

Invariably, start-ups must grow or go.  Cold as that sounds, it’s a knife’s edge that most start-up walk each day of their business life.  The paradox cannot be more real — fledgling companies must scale-up rapidly to attract funds.

But to scale-up quickly they must first get large funds. The stark question that dogs a start-up CEO, therefore, is — Can I run fast enough on my small budgets to stay in the race?

The question is simple, but it is yet to find a good answer. The reason is while new-age businesses are mushrooming all around us, ideas to address their early-stage pains remain largely on ice.

Typically, what a start-up needs is top marketing talent that can drive its growth at a scorching pace without burning down cash. This should not be as unrealistic as it sounds in a world that bets on outsourcing and shared economics.

The Simple Answer: Sharing is More than Caring

The good news for businesses, seemingly stranded in a no-man’s land, is that help finally is at hand with many marketing entrepreneurs harnessing their vast professional experience to start companies, which enable young, agile enterprises fly high on low fuel, skirting outdated stereotypes that bracketed fast growth with massive spends. As a keen business watcher, I have seen many brilliant ideas bite the dust simply because they could not be marketed effectively by their cash strapped promoters. “Why can’t they ‘outsource’ their marketing liabilities,” I often wondered. Clearly, in a world where we share everything including ‘friends’, this had to be the most ‘trending’ idea, particularly for companies struggling for funds.

Sure, in a world of shared economics why must anybusiness, big or small, shell out dollars when rupees could yield the same results? Must companies run themselves to ground hiring top-dollar executives to drive their growth merely for the pyrrhic satisfaction of having exclusive rights over their senior functionaries? Rights, which any way expire the day the functionary decides to move on, throwing their ‘employers’ into a state of disarray if not turmoil.

Outsourced Trends: An Idea Customised for Today’s Business

My experience of working as an outsourced marketing lead over the last three years at entities across the online education, technology and e-commerce space, has shown that outsourcing is indeed ‘the’ way to go for businesses of any size. This will be increasingly so as business success gets even more brutally tied up than it already is with how efficiently organizations deploy their cash for building their brands and markets.

The concept of outsourcing marketing liabilities is indeed a new-age derivative, riding on the efficiency-oriented principle of shared economics.

Typically, entities in the emerging ‘outsource’ space offer a ready-to-use resource base of marketing trail-blazers at a small fraction of what they would cost if they were to be hired as full-time employees.There are no recruitment or retention costs plus zero fear of attrition: In an outsourced setup, if a CMO placed leaves then it’s like filling the void seamlessly with zero outage.

Generally, an outsourced position in a leadership role is superior to both — full-time payroll employee and an external agency, who works shoulder-to-shoulder with in-house leadership teams like any employee for mapping strategy, finding, on-boarding and managing agencies, recommending the right tools and executing plans with the most cost-effective vendors.

Study says the companies working with outsourced setups have discovered that straight up they save on the time and cost of searching, finding and recruiting top-rate professionals. They can now have a proven leader and his vast network of resources working for them within days of signing up with just a single hire! Moreover, if a company is not satisfied with a particular outsourced leadership role, then it gets a replacement with no pain and very quickly.

On the Ground: The Outcome

Thus with outsourcing, companies can avoid recruitment, retention, budget and bandwidth challenges and focus on their core business with assured ROI. Around the world the outsource-and-grow concept is emerging as a liberating force, a force that is standing traditional paradigms and paradoxes on their head: Now, companies no longer need to raid banks to scale up fast!

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