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What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is when you hire external professionals to perform certain tasks or projects. Outsourcing has become increasingly common and popular, especially for small businesses.
The term outsourcing is very straightforward – businesses searching outside of the company for resources to provide them with services that they need within the business.
Outsourcing goes hand-in-hand with delegating – In order to allow your business to grow, you will need to learn how and what to outsource. You simply need to let go of the tasks that are setting you back and hand it over to the experts.
When should you start outsourcing?
As Peter Drucker once said, “Do what you do best and outsource the rest!”
And this is exactly true when outsourcing professionals. Instead of being a jack of all trades and a master of none, you should delegate work to outsourced talent to help make your life a lot less stressful. Outsourcing essentially allows you the time to focus on your core competencies within your business.
Many successful business owners know when and how to delegate. When outsourcing, you need to identify areas in your business that does not need you to be hands-on. Once you have acknowledged the areas, finding an outsourcing company that matches your criteria becomes a lot easier.
If you feel overwhelmed by the workload you currently face, outsourcing will assist to run your business and tasks more efficiently, saving you time and in all, helping you achieve your business goals.
You should outsource when resources are not available internally. Hiring new staff can become a very costly affair, especially when you are running a small business and you are on a tight budget, thus you should consider outsourcing. Outsourcing is a feasible alternative, both for the interim and for the long-term.
By outsourcing, you will be able to nit-pick quality and expertise that you want within your timeframe and budget, without having to hire someone full-time.
What are the benefits of outsourcing?
Many small businesses would suggest that the most important of these would be the fact that you are saving a lot of time and money. By outsourcing non-core functions, the capital that you would have spent on hiring a permanent staff member can be spent on items that are related to your products and or your customers.
However, there are so many more benefits…
- The quality of the services you will be provided with will be of a high standard, yet at a lower cost than recruiting a full-time employee. This ensures that low-cost does not mean low-quality.
- Outsourcing helps to increase efficiency and productivity, as you no longer have to tackle the tasks that you may not be experienced in. This will initially contribute to the bottom line of your company.
- Outsourcing your business processes would free your energies and enable you to focus on building your brand, invest in research and development and move on to providing higher value-added services.
- Outsourcing eliminates the need for investment in infrastructure as the outsourcing partner takes the responsibility of the business processes and hence develops infrastructure for the same.
- You have access to skilled resources. By outsourcing, you can choose the expertise that is most needed to help your business. The resources employed are experienced in handling the business needs of companies that want to outsource.
- Working with outsourced talents from different countries with different time zones gives you the benefit of round-the-clock business operations, as they are able to get the work done while your company may not have opened its doors just yet.
What can you outsource as a business owner?
Almost anything related to the business you are running can be outsourced, especially tasks that relate to the non-core business activities.
These tasks include functions like transaction processing, payroll, and inventory management, to name a few.
The types of tasks that can be outsourced generally fall into three categories – services that require highly skilled expertise, highly repetitive tasks and specialised knowledge.
The most common outsourced activities include:
- Virtual Assistance
- Customer support
- Task preparation
- Accounting and bookkeeping
- Human Resources
- Content Writers
- Web design
- Legal services
- Research and development
- IT operations