Every business owner has ambitions to achieve more, but often, a lack of time and money can put pay to the best-laid plans. If you’re struggling to hit targets and maximise productivity, have you thought about outsourcing?
Research suggests that the UK outsourcing market is stronger than ever before, with more and more companies choosing to work with external partners, agencies and individuals to accomplish their business objectives. If you’re pondering your future, here’s a useful guide to outsourcing.
What exactly is outsourcing?
Outsourcing involves working with outside agencies or hiring freelancers to take on elements of running and promoting your business. Outsourcing removes specific tasks from the in-house team and transfers them to skilled, experienced external workers.
If it’s done well, outsourcing can save you time, effort, and money at the same time as boosting productivity and facilitating better results.
If you’re keen to market your business, for example, and you don’t have a marketing team, outsourcing marketing to skilled professionals could help to increase sales and maximise profits.
Outsourcing enables you to access the skills and services you need without employing full-time members of staff and increasing your wage bill.
What to outsource
Outsourcing isn’t a given for businesses, and to make it a success, you need to ensure that you’re outsourcing the right elements of your business. Ideally, outsourcing should enable you to focus on the core aspects of the business and to access skills that you don’t already have in-house.
If you’ve got a sales and marketing team based in an office, for example, you don’t want to outsource tasks directly linked to sales and marketing.
Instead, you may want to consider working with a company like Flyford Connect and outsourcing IT support, hiring external cleaners to keep your office looking spick and span, or working with an accounting firm to ensure your books are in order.
The outsourcing process
If you start researching in a bid to find outsourcing partners and agencies, you might come across a huge number of options. It’s always beneficial to have a choice, but how do you go about narrowing down the range?
It’s crucial to be thorough when it comes to choosing who to work with. Take your time to read up on different companies, look through portfolios, and set up meetings so that you can discuss your needs and objectives.
Think of this process as a kind of recruitment scheme, and treat potential service providers in the same way as you would candidates looking for a job.
Compare quotes, look for value for money rather than the lowest price, and choose an individual or an agency that has expertise and experience in the relevant sector.
Once you’ve made a choice, be very clear about what you want to achieve, set out deadlines and timeframes, and check-in with those providers on a regular basis.
The benefits of outsourcing
Outsourcing can offer a wealth of benefits for businesses of all sizes. Consider the example of an office-based team trying to take on everything from accounting and doing the payroll to cleaning, digital marketing, and making sales calls.
If you’ve hired somebody to manage the books, they won’t be expecting to craft promotional emails or to clean up before they go home. Outsourcing enables you to access skilled workers and to ensure your employees are able to focus on their own jobs. This can increase productivity, and provide you with a better result.
A marketing agency is going to produce, implement, and monitor a new campaign much more effectively than someone who has expertise in accounting and bookkeeping.
Outsourcing can also help to boost morale, as employees don’t want to feel like they’re responsible for tasks that aren’t relevant to their skill set, and they can also concentrate on work they enjoy.