A lot of businesses now find themselves outsourcing certain tasks and departments in order to free up more time for workers to actually focus on the business itself. It is a critical component to a number of businesses processes and became a popular strategy in the 1980s. It was initially brought in as a means to combat rising labour costs within the industry; however, now, due to its convenience and a number of other reasons, it is deployed more than ever.
What Is Outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the process by which businesses utilize the services of a third party to handle certain aspects of their business. It was originally only an option for large corporations, but now is a technique we see used by businesses great and small. In many instances, you will find the main benefit when it comes to outsourcing is the optimization side of it, as it remains one of the only feasible options for a small business to grow (given the risk and cost involved with actually hiring staff). Outsourcing can be used for factors other than growth though, for instance, it can be used to help launch a product, manage operations or delegate a variety of tasks.
What Tasks Can Be Outsourced?
There isn’t really a limitation on the services of a business that can be outsourced. One of the most common at the minute is receptionist services, thanks to programs offered by businesses such as Ivy Answer, who provide an Ivy answering service. This can be reasonably cheap as these reception services are worked out per call taken.
Other services that are commonly outsourced include the likes of bookkeeping, accounting, marketing and design.
Why Is Outsourcing Beneficial?
There are multiple reasons as to why people find outsourcing helpful. These include but are not limited to:
Outsourcing Gives You Time to Focus on Your Business Process
This is one of the main reasons that a lot of businesses choose to outsource. When you first get things set up, there is no getting away from the fact that your day-to-day work starts to become a mammoth undertaking. As such, people find it much more efficient to spend their time doing what they’re good at and what part of the business actually makes them money. For instance, if you are part of a marketing agency, you should be marketing for your clients, not worrying about bookkeeping.
Outsourcing Leads to Reduced Labour Costs and Overhead Expenses
Every business owner will know that to hire and train staff is a difficult task at the best of times. Not to mention, it can also be incredibly expensive and so if you only want them for a short period of time, it may not be worth the investment. When you outsource your work, you are effectively converting your fixed labour cost into a variable cost. As a result, you will only be paying for the services that you actually engage with, rather than a blanket sum for the service in general.
Your service level can be amended to allow for your needs in the most efficient way. Also, given you only pay for what you use, you can seamlessly scale up and down whenever it is most appropriate to do. For instance, if you are just starting, you most likely won’t need a full-time bookkeeper but that doesn’t take away from how important that role is. If you outsourced, your books would be kept up to date and their hours could be increased depending on how necessary their services become as your business grows.
Doing this is much more realistic than hiring someone part time because you are never going to find a skilled individual who is happy settling for a part-time job when plenty of other businesses would take them on for full-time roles.
You Have Better Control Over Cashflow
If you were to hire someone to work for you, you would be hiring them as part of a fixed cost. If you decide to outsource work then that fixed cost instead becomes a variable cost (which essentially means you only pay for what you need). As such, you will be freeing up cashflow within your business that can them be invested elsewhere. It could be used to improve the quality of your products or running marketing programs much more successfully. This extra bit of cash is especially helpful when it comes to launching a new product or looking to invest in / help out another business.