I have recently started reading the blog and I feel it has been really helpful and helped me anticipate problems that I would not have foreseen otherwise. My question is related to the decision of outsourcing all my work or hiring my own team initially after the launch of my website. My website has just completed and I was using one company for software development and another for Social Media marketing. I felt that the outsourced company is usually not as motivated about the product as the founder and this leads to delays. Another issue is the coordination between the Social media manager and the software company leading to lot of wasted energy. Also, I feel that outsourcing slows down the work significantly. Please guide me whether to hire my own team or not at this stage as I am feeling little frustrated and there is a sense of lack of control of the project on my part. The costs are slightly higher for the in house team. Help would be much appreciated.
Generally speaking I think you should decide if it's your core business or not.
Are you a software company... you should probably do software development in house. Is SEO what you want your business to be about? If not, then outsource that component.
Work out what it is you do, build the appropriate team internally to achieve that and then outsource other services that aren't core business.
There are advantages and disadvantages, you must weigh the two and find what works for you. As you said there is usually loss of control if you outsource. I have a small business myself and after much thought I decided to outsource my IT support and I also rent most of my IT equipment.
Below are the pros and cons I have noticed. You can apply these to your situation.
Finding co-founders is your best option.
Find the motivated, skillful, and attractive developers who can do great jobs that you can't otherwise. For example, if you are specialized in front-end development, find back-end engineers for database, server-side coding, etc. Most of (if not all) startups are not founded by a single, stand-alone, and expert-of-all founder. You need a great "team" to make a great company.
I am against outsourcing as an option for companies in early stages, though many of other great entrepreneurs may disagree. Outsourcing your work will eliminate the beauty of startup - spirit. You must change daily: move fast, learn faster, and fail the hardest. You won't enjoy all of these with your outsourced developers. Sure, outsourced developers may solve your problem in timely manner and in more efficient way. However, outsourced developers will only be relieving, instead of fullfilling, your need.
I suggest to outsource developers when 1. you are confident you have established a great team; 2. your company is in the stage where profit margin becomes a significant issue (i.e. mature enough to consider the profits); 3. your company has an emergency situation (e.g. server crash, data loss, etc.) as a temporary relief.
Good luck with your website! You're ahead of many of us for actually completing the project and making it alive in public!