How to Use Outsourcing to Grow Your Business
Updated: Jun 1, 2019
Today’s business environment is as competitive as ever. To stay afloat, you need to do whatever you can to get an edge. And completing your core business functions at the lowest cost and with the highest level of efficiency is one effective way to do this. But if you try to accomplish this within the confines of your business, then you may come up short. Many companies are turning to outsourcing to help them gain this advantage, as it’s an effective way to reduce overhead without sacrificing what you do best.
Outsourcing used to mean establishing an entire factory or plant overseas, and while this does still happen, outsourcing today takes on many different forms. Most outsourcing agreements take place within the same country, but this change has not lead to a reduction in the cost savings and growth potential afforded by outsourcing.
And thanks to today's technology, outsourcing is a lot easier, and it also allows you to hire people without having to provide them an office, something that can also reduce your overhead costs.
Here are some of the most commonly outsourced business functions, and some reasons why outsourcing them can help you grow your business.
IT and Tech Support
The IT world is ripe for outsourcing. Software programmers, application developers, network administrators, systems security specialists and even website designers can all be outsourced. Everything they do can be accomplished from a computer with an internet connection, so there’s really no reason to keep this function in-house.
There are two key ways outsourcing can help you grow your business:
Off-loading IT tasks and issues to an outside firm frees up employees’ time. Not only can they get expert help quickly, but this way, Tanya from sales can stop being the de facto IT guru and instead focus on her actual job, meaning better performance and productivity from your employees and improved growth.
IT and other tech functions require a massive infrastructure, one you could build yourself, for a not-so-small fortune. Outsourcing lets you keep these funds and invest them in areas that will support company growth.
Managing employee benefits, payroll and workers' compensation, recruiting, risk/safety management, and training and development are all critical aspects of running your business. But they also take up a lot of time and resources. Outsourcing your HR department to a professional employer organization (PEO) will allow you to trim your HR department, saving you both time and money.
Yet even though using a PEO can save you money and reduce your HR burden, you’ll likely want to keep a team in-house. But if you outsource some of their day-to-day functions, then you can have this group focus on higher level HR issues that will contribute more directly to growth, such as enhancing your candidate experience and developing an employer brand.
Shifting your focus to these key concepts will make you a more efficient recruiter and will increase the chances of you finding and acquiring business-transforming talent.
Business administration is a critical component of every company, yet it’s incredibly time-consuming, and as a result, costly. The good news, though, is that administrative services are among some of the easiest to be outsourced. There are lots of highly-qualified individuals out there waiting to help you make your business run more smoothly.
Scheduling, travel arrangements, data entry, typing and many other duties necessary to the effective running of a business can be managed and coordinated by a virtual assistant or administrative service company. This type of work is crucial to the normal function of a business, but since it's not a core function of most organizations, it can weigh a company down with costs, management and training.
Lighten your load and invest these resources in areas that offer better returns. If you need help finding a virtual assistant, there are services out there to help match you with the perfect person.
While absolutely critical to any business, your finance department still doesn’t contribute directly to your bottom line. Financial services involve associates such as bookkeepers, analysts, payroll processors, and accountants. Most failed businesses go under because of poor cash flow management, so this is not an area you cannot take lightly.
But that doesn't mean you can't outsource it. There are plenty of independent contractors and agencies available who can provide this service for you without all of the supervision, training, and cost associated with keeping this function in house.
Besides cost savings, outsourcing this function can better prepare your business for growth by:
Improving the accuracy of your records, making it easier to maximize investments and manage cash flow
Reducing costs or freeing up funds; expert financial advisers can help you take advantage of tax laws or other regulations that mean more cash on hand and more money to invest in growth.
Identifying more promising growth opportunities. Professional financial services companies tend to have a broader understanding of the market as a whole, meaning they can advise you on how to best spend your money so as to produce maximum returns.
It's hard to have an effective business without good marketing to establish your brand and generate leads. Using an outside firm or individual consultant helps you gain an outside perspective of your brand. These individuals can look at your company the way your target audience does, helping to make your marketing efforts more effective.
But the real value in outsourcing marketing comes from the bonus in expertise it provides. Marketing is a constantly changing field, and you can’t expect your team to keep up with their own jobs and all of the latest trends at the same time. But you can expect this from a specialized marketing firm. By working with one of these agencies, you can get help from experts who know what works and what doesn’t, increasing the likelihood your campaigns produce results.
Yet you don’t need to work with an agency for outsourced marketing to make sense. Freelance writers can help you develop high-quality, tailored content that your team doesn’t have the time to do. And this can have a huge impact on your business. Sometimes all it takes to improve conversion rates is sales copy that resonates better with your target audience.
Start Outsourcing Today
In the end, outsourcing can be of great benefit to your business. You can focus on the principal activities of your company with less of the "extra stuff" that takes up too much of your time and resources. The savings and expertise you get from outsourcing means you can spend more money on growth areas and spend it more wisely, setting your company up for long-term success.
About the Author: Jock is an entrepreneur and successful business owner. He regularly works with business owners looking to grow their business and maximize their profits and understands smart outsourcing is a great way to do that.