What is your first thought when someone mentions, “outsourcing”? For some of us, it may call to mind examples such as the call centers that are located overseas. However, outsourcing has become – and continues to be – so much more.
Entrepreneur.com provides the following definition of outsourcing:
The practice of having certain job functions done outside a company instead of having an in-house department or employee handle them; functions can be outsourced to either a company or an individual.
Although simple, this definition sums it up quite well though.
Here are reasons why outsourcing doesn’t have to be scary
Outsourcing has become common for businesses of all sizes and industries
Many companies find that outsourcing their non-core business processes makes sense for them. For one thing, it allows them the time and resources they require to adequately focus on the more critical aspects of their business. It also frees them up for handling what matters the most to them – their current and potential clients.
Outsourcing can prove especially beneficial for small business owners
Owning a small business or working for yourself often means you are wearing many hats (or all of them), so to speak. Taking upon all the responsibilities can definitely hold you back from growing. When you’re entrenched with the chaos of day-to-day operations, finding the time needed for lead generation and sales becomes increasingly difficult.
Outsourcing gives businesses the gift of time
It’s worth mentioning that there are also aspects of every business which may be more complicated than others. Rather than spending countless hours learning and then ineffectively implementing those unfamiliar functions, it makes a lot more sense that you find an expert who has the knowledge and understanding of your weak area(s).
In other words, why spend unnecessary time and lose money in the long run when you can invest in others’ expertise?
Once you find an expert – or group of experts – you can fully trust for those functions, then you can focus on your more vital projects and responsibilities. You can definitely justify the money you spend through outsourcing, especially when you start seeing how much time you are saving and becoming more efficient. And, rather than having your business become bogged down or stuck in a rut, you can start thinking about you and your business’ future.
Which functions should I outsource?
A business could potentially outsource any of its functions. The best rule of thumb would be analyzing them all, then pinpointing the main processes which are either (a) those you really need, but lack the skills to do them well, (b) just bogging you down, or (c) too expensive to maintain in-house.
For example, more and more businesses are outsourcing their content marketing and social media management. Businesses know they need these activities in their marketing mix, but may lack the time and skills they need for doing it effectively and/or consistently.
A business may consider hiring knowledgeable freelancers or an agency – or both – for their content and social media needs. The idea is that this 3rd party individual or group helps the business gain the online exposure and website traffic it needs; and this allows the business owner and his or her staff to focus on their business’ other operations as it grows.
On the other hand, maybe your business has a strong marketing and sales department, but is weak in the areas of finance and accounting, payroll or human resources. Depending on the size of your company, you may find that outsourcing these types of jobs to independent contractors may end up being your most cost-effective option. This may be especially true when comparing the costs to hiring someone in-house or a larger group, like a PEO (professional employer organization).
As you can see, outsourcing isn’t scary, and may be the right fit for your business needs. I’d love to hear your thoughts about outsourcing. Please feel free to leave a comment below!Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community