The fast-moving world of business with its constant twists and turns can catch even the most experienced operators unawares, with new services, trends and competitors all vying for the attention of busy business managers.
There was a time when businesses tended to keep all their operations in house, perhaps in the belief that their jealously guarded secrets would be preserved and complete control maintained.
Today many businesses have discarded this model and are using outsourcing, where specialists outside the business can provide expert services, often at considerably less cost than if the services were run in house.
The most expensive part of running a business is employing people to work for you, and whilst that is obviously good for the economy there are some areas where it could be considerably more cost effective to outsource particular areas of work, especially for one-off projects.
People are still being employed to do the work but without the ongoing overhead costs involved when employing staff directly.
When a business outsources it is buying high-quality, professional services, whether it be a trained personal assistant or cutting-edge web designers.
It makes a lot of business sense to bring in the experts, not least because it saves time on training in house staff and the cost of equipment needed to run the particular operation.
It is often the case that a business finds itself shorthanded for staff that should be working at the core tasks of delivery to customers but are instead mixed up in payroll duties, or perhaps trying the get the email and web systems to operate smoothly.
These are essential tasks but they are easy to outsource, freeing up time for employees to do what they were originally employed for, to work to improve the company’s bottom line.
Tasks for outsourcing
There are many options for outsourcing, and businesses should look carefully into which tasks to outsource and who to employ to do the work. Look for a well respected reliable company – perhaps one that has been recommended by a regular user that you know and trust. There are two particular areas that are popular for outsourcing: payroll and web design.
- Payroll: it’s hard enough to run a business without trying to keep track of the changes in tax and employment legislation. A business may have a small group working in a finance office who, while keeping on top of IRS dictates and essentials like insurances, could be better employed on customer-facing services. This is where companies are outsourcing more and more to umbrella companies that take care of the contracting necessary for providing employees and administering payroll, expenses, insurances and other incidentals. Using an umbrella company is an efficient, effective way of cutting internal costs.
- Web design: the proliferation of web design companies over the last decade or so has led to massive outsourcing for these specialist workers. Though some large companies may have an in-house team, contracting a web designer to build a site and then leave instructions for simple maintenance and updates is a cost effective way of developing a strong online presence.
Other tasks to consider are using call centers, contracting writers for specialist material and bringing in human resources consultants for hiring and firing.Follow @besz