It’s a difficult decision: Should you hire someone – and take a risk that they may not be the right fit or have the exact skills you need? Or, should you let an outside partner handle your analyst relations for now? This is a challenge that many growing B2B companies face. They need analyst relations expertise, but aren’t sure if they’re ready to take the leap to add headcount to focus solely on AR. The answer? It depends. Here are few things to consider before making a decision:
Dedicated to Your Business
If you hire an employee, then you will be guaranteed to have someone 100% focused on you and your business. With a partner, however, you will have access to an expert or team of experts with knowledge from various industries and other clients. So, think about what is more important: focused solely on your business or access to broader expertise?
Dollar for dollar, if looking only at hard costs, and not overall value, hiring someone as an employee is costly. Only if you need someone for at least 30 hours per week will it be more cost effective. If you aren’t sure how much work you have, wait to hire someone for now, and find the right partner in the meantime. You can always hire someone later.
Type of Support
If the help you need can be filled by one person (i.e., it’s all more junior level or all more strategic), then it likely makes more sense to hire an employee. If you need different types of support, although you might be able to find someone with a mix of skills, you’ll typically have to hire someone with more senior experience that’s willing to do more junior work. Think about the percentage of time they’d be spending on the different tasks to see if the investment is worth it. To get the exact skills you need, it may make more sense to hire a junior person and create a partnership for the more strategic guidance.
If the chemistry isn’t right, it’s hard to make a change if you hire someone. With a partner, you can easily make a change at any time. Another option that’s becoming more popular is to hire someone initially as a contractor and have a trial period of 60-90 days. This will ensure your needs and their skills are a match longer term.
The bottom line is that only you can decide which approach is best for you. Still having a hard time deciding? Then the ‘safest’ route is to outsource for now. Once you have a better sense of the exact skills you need, then you can always make the switch to a full-time resource at any time.