Building a better business is definitely possible with outsourcing. Most SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises) and start-ups now outsource at least one non-core workplace task, with most outsourcing as many as they can without impeding their ability to deliver outstanding products and services to their valued customer base.
What is outsourcing and how can it help you grow your business?
An arrangement in which a business provides services for another in a B2B relationship, outsourcing offers many notable advantages for businesses of all sizes.
The services, or tasks, outsourced are usually, though not always, ‘non-core tasks’, which are workplace tasks that aren’t considered essential to the business fulfilling its value proposition – the promise of value to be delivered by the business and acknowledged by the customer – to its customer base.
Whilst outsourcing is a notable business trend that’s proving increasingly popular as processes become ever more digitalised, how can it help you grow your business?
After all, you still have to pay someone to perform the tasks, so is there a difference between outsourcing non-core processes and keeping them in-house? In fact, there are quite a few, including the following three:
- Outsourcing is more cost-effective than keeping processes in-house
- It empowers businesses to access the services of talented individuals
- It reduces reliance on full-time employees, thus increasing flexibility
Says the author of Source Control, David Walsh, “Small business, augmented by a global pool of human capital, can compete directly with the biggest players in their space, and win.”
Many experts echo Walsh’s comments in that outsourcing, when the right processes are outsourced at the right time, has been proven to empower small businesses like SMEs and startups to level the playing field with their larger competitors, compete with them directly and as equals, and even outperform them in many regards.
Any business owner looking to take their business to the next level would do well to look into outsourcing and the many benefits it has to offer businesses of all sizes.
What to outsource and when
What your business outsources is just as important as when it starts to outsource its non-core workplace tasks or processes to another business.
Every business differs, so identifying the right processes to outsource and the right time to start outsourcing is crucially important. And yes, if you were thinking that it would be wise to start off slowly so as to test the waters before taking the plunge, you are 100 percent correct.
The following points can help you to identify the right non-core workplace tasks to outsource at the right time.
- Only outsource non-core tasks, keep central tasks and processes in-house
- Specialised tasks requiring specialist expertise are ideal for outsourcing
- Outsource all non-core tasks that are more expensive to keep in-house
If you already outsource your accountancy and bookkeeping tasks to an accountant, as most businesses have been doing for many years now, discuss your plans to outsource with them, and have them go over your books.
A good accountant can advise you as to what you can outsource with regard to the fiscal limitations of your business and the number of workers you currently employ.
Non-core processes and tasks you should be outsourcing
Traditionally outsourced processes like accounting and manufacturing aside, there are quite a few processes that you should be outsourcing, including the following which are six of the most commonly outsourced non-core workplace tasks.
No one likes cleaning, especially employees hired to perform other tasks. Burdening a member of staff with the cleaning while others concentrate on their core tasks fuels dissatisfaction, leads to resentment, and increases absenteeism and staff turnover.
- Call handling
It proves difficult to concentrate on core workplace tasks when employees have to stop what they’re doing to answer the phone. Message Direct provides expert call handling services like media request, emergency response, and message taking.
- Data entry
Routine data entry tasks can prove far too menial to keep core members of staff interested in their work. Outsourcing data entry tasks like cataloguing, indexing, scanning, and order processing, can easily be outsourced to external teams.
- Graphic and website design
Generally speaking, graphic and website design are easily outsourced in the traditional sense. However, if the task requires substantial creativity or innovation, you may need to hire someone in-house, or work closely with a design expert.
- Lead generation
This is a good example of a non-core workplace task that’s often considered menial, yet it requires the attention of someone who specialises in generating qualified leads for sales teams to capitalise upon. Fortunately it’s easily outsourced to experts.
From simple social media posts to the creation of a fool-proof marketing strategy, if you don’t have experienced marketers employed in-house, outsource your marketing needs to a marketing agency. Marketing is essential, so leave it to the specialists.
Don’t believe for a second that these are the only non-core business processes that you can outsource as there’s a myriad more menial, and specialist, processes that can be outsourced without affecting your value proposition to your customer base.
Also, don’t outsource if you don’t need to. Keeping non-core processes in-house if your employees aren’t overly busy and don’t mind the work can prove advantageous.
Further reasons to outsource
Still not convinced of the merits of outsourcing? Here are three more reasons why you should outsource non-core processes with the aim of growing your business.
- Outsourcing empowers your employees to focus on their core tasks at work
- It facilitates access to resources required to improve opportunities for growth
- It helps businesses to meet seasonal or short-term demands with flexibility
If you feel that you and your employees are working below your paygrade it’s definitely time to look at what outsourcing can do for you and your business. Not only can outsourcing grow your business, but it can also make life at work so much more enjoyable for everyone involved. If that isn’t a win-win situation, then what is?