One of the most exciting aspects of being a small business owner is the thrill of calling something your own. It was your idea, your dream, your vision, and now, it’s your business. There’s an incredible sense of pride that comes with owning a business that’s difficult if not impossible to match.
However, just because it can be rewarding, it doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. Managing cash flow, people, resources and investors is a tremendous challenge. And it’s one most small businesses simply can’t do on their own without hurting employee morale or sacrificing growth.
So, to keep things moving in the right direction, it’s important to find ways to improve the efficiency of your business. And outsourcing is a great way to do this. Common tasks to outsource are payroll and accounting, customer service, IT, and marketing. But outsourcing provides a whole lot of other advantages to your small business. Here are five of the most significant:
#1 Reduced Cost
Managing expenses is a huge concern for any business, but it’s even more important for small enterprises. With resources tight, it’s critical you use every dollar you have as wisely as possible. And outsourcing is an effective way to do this.
Now, it’s important to remember that outsourcing isn’t always cheaper, so it’s important to make smart decisions. But most of the time it is. This is because the firms you hire to do outside work—say a firm dedicated to providing payroll and other HR services, also known as a professional employer organization—are highly specialized. They dedicate all of their resources to doing one thing as efficiently as possible. And because these specialty firms work with multiple clients, they can charge less than what a business would spend to complete these tasks on their own.
Make sure, though, that you do a thorough cost-benefit analysis before outsourcing. Figure out exactly how much money you’re spending in that area of the business by calculating the time and resources you spend on it. Then, compare this with what you could get from an outside firm. When you find a quality option that saves you money, you’ve found a real solution that can help your business. For more information on how to do a cost-benefit analysis for outsourcing, here’s a great resource to walk you through the process.
#2 Expert Help
Along these same lines, one big advantage to outsourcing is that you can take advantage of industry professionals. Because these firms specialize in one thing, they tend to be better at what they do than anyone else.
Just think about it. You may have an in-house marketing team, and they’re probably great. But they likely have to wear many different hats, and while they might be great at brand management, they might not be as good at online marketing. By outsourcing certain projects, you can keep your people doing what they do best while also taking advantage of the skills of those who have dedicated their entire careers to one thing.
As a small business, you need every boost you can get to stay alive in an ever more competitive marketplace. By outsourcing, you can get this boost by adding some highly-skilled professionals to your operation who can really help take your business to the next level.
#3 Improved Focus
Another issue many small businesses face is that they require their employees to fill many different roles. Strapped for resources, it’s not uncommon to see a small business where the HR, accounting and marketing departments are all combined into one position filled by one or two people. But it shouldn’t be hard to see why this arrangement is not ideal.
By outsourcing some of these tasks, you can free your employees up to work in a more dedicated fashion. Instead of spending an entire day catching up on payroll, they can simply sign off on a report generated by your payroll management contractor. And then they can use this day to focus on other tasks that will have a more meaningful impact on company growth.
#4 Delegated Management
Many small business owners fall into the trap of thinking they need to have their hands on every aspect of the business. Of course, it’s important to have a bead on what’s going on in different parts of the company, but micromanaging things wastes your time and makes employees crazy.
By outsourcing, you are forced to learn how to delegate, for you can’t meddle in the affairs of other forms. Instead, you have to wait for them to generate reports or for status updates/meetings. This teaches you a more hands-off management style, which will be effective in other parts of the business, and it also helps you stay focused on tasks more likely to contribute to growth.
#5 Streamlined Processes
Outsourcing also helps make your business run more smoothly. By freeing up resources and employee time, you can eliminate some of the waste and redundancy in the way you do things. Projects that used to take days or weeks can now be forgotten about until your weekly meeting with whichever firm or agency you’ve hired.
This also gives you the added benefit of being able to look at your other processes. When you trim out the excess, you can do an internal audit and find ways to improve and be more efficient, which will help increase productivity and improve company growth. No matter which way you look at it, outsourcing will make your business more streamlined and efficient.
Determine the Best Outsourcing Options for You
Outsourcing can provide a wide range of benefits to your company, all of which will help contribute to growth. However, as mentioned earlier, the decision to outsource is just as important as what you outsource. Take a look at your company and determine where outside help would make you more efficient and profitable, and then focus on what you do best internally. After you make this transition, you’ll have put your small business in a great position for growth and long-term success.
About the Author: Jock is the founder of Digital Exits. He works with small business owners to develop an exit strategy and/or discover new investment and growth opportunities. He writes frequently to serve as a resource and share his experiences.
Are you looking to outsource your IT and marketing? UNIFY marketing & technology solutions would love to become a partner with your small business! Let’s have coffee and discuss how we can benefit your company! Schedule time with us TODAY! 419.740.1010 | [email protected]