It might be a New Year but some things seem to never change. You’re working hard (perhaps harder than ever) and finding that increasingly there are many tasks for which you don’t have the right staff with the right skills to execute the job flawlessly.
And even when you do have the resources in-house to get the job done you are continually asking so much of your staff that other mission critical tasks get pushed to the side.
Sound familiar? Thought so.
Many owners of small to mid-sized businesses find themselves in exactly this situation. Doing too much and over taxing staff (or yourself) is not an effective and sustainable way to grow a business. At some point, something has to give and the answer to this situation might be outsourcing.
For quite some time the word outsourcing conjured up images of companies and workers in far off lands laboring away for big Fortune 1000 companies. Huge telemarketing and back office operations for mega-sized institutions seemed to be the norm. As for doing work for small to mid-sized firms, and especially those that provide services, well, not so much.
But it’s different now and by that I mean that resources right in your own backyard can execute the work that you may wish outsourced.
So what can you outsource? Well, pretty much everything, but for starters:
• Bookkeeping, comptroller and other financial reporting requirements
• Marketing and public relations efforts
• Administrative tasks
• Technology support
• Human resources and payroll
• Telephone reception services
As you can see these aren’t necessarily one-off efforts; people doing these outsourced services can work for you on an ongoing or periodic basis and you don’t need to incur the expenses associated with in-house employees.
An additional benefit of outsourcing is that your resources may have expertise and talents that might be difficult to get with an in-house employee either because the task is very specialized or the salary associated with the position would be too high.
So where do you find these outsourced resources? It might sound a bit glib to say everywhere but I am not being too facetious when I say that’s the case.
Start by asking some of your trusted business contacts and you might be surprised that they too are working with an outsourced company or an individual to handle certain parts of their business. A referral from a trusted business contact is best.
There are also many companies that provide you with the opportunity to submit a specific job / task request and then freelancers bid on the project. While this tends to work best on one off projects, you can also identify some great talent that can work with you on an ongoing basis. Consider Elance, Guru, oDesk, VirtualEmployee.com, Fiverr and many more that are all easily found on Google. While many of these outsourced resources work virtually, there are many situations in which they can work in your office as well (i.e. outsourced CFOs and bookkeeping staff).
Bottom line, outsourcing makes more sense now than ever before. You have access to diverse resources, both local and remote, all ready and able to provide you with the support that you need in a cost- and time-efficient manner and without impacting the other work that is going on in your company.
So yes, 2015 the year of outsourcing has begun!