By Nicole Anderson Mort – Sage Business Development Director
It’s easy to think you can do it all yourself when you’re running a business. But outsourcing can help grow your business, not to mention save time and money. Find out if it’s time to outsource.
1. Your business is growing
If you’re thinking of expanding into new business areas, or just getting bigger and better, there are bound to be new tasks that you and your staff haven’t tackled before – such as filing company accounts and tax returns if you become incorporated. Outsourcing can help you plug these gaps.
2. You need to keep overheads low
Instead of increasing your overheads by hiring new employees, and spending time training them, you could outsource to trained, talented freelancers on a much more flexible basis – freeing up your capital to invest in other areas.
3. You have a cyclical business
There’s no point outlaying valuable resources during your ‘down’ time of year or month. Outsourcing allows you to scale operations up or down accordingly.
4. You’re wasting time on routine tasks
Jobs like packing goods for delivery, chasing invoices or even answering the phones can all be taken care of externally, freeing up valuable time for you to concentrate on sales and growth.
5. You want to expand into new markets
Outsourcing can be a fast, cost-effective and reliable way to reach new audiences, from hiring a freelance designer to come up with a new product to outsourcing your manufacturing overseas.
6. You dread doing a particular role
It might be crunching the numbers, updating the website or dealing with HR. Either way, if you really dislike doing something, chances are you’re not going to do it well, so investigate how you could assign the task elsewhere.
7. You only need short-term help
Outsourcing gives you access to qualified people without the cost of hiring them full-time. Or perhaps you only carry out certain activities sporadically, such as an annual marketing campaign. In these scenarios, hiring a freelancer or specialist agency could be the ideal solution.
8. You don’t have the skills
Business owners often struggle to come to terms with the fact they can’t be in control all the time, but there are bound to be tasks which could be done better or quicker by someone else. If you struggle with IT, for example, it’s better to pay somebody to upload new software rather than waste three days trying to do it yourself. Virtually anything can be outsourced. Businesses typically outsourcepayroll, accounting, IT, customer service, training, manufacturing and delivery.
9. You’re losing your focus
Although you might not have the skills to do every job, there will be some tasks only you can do and decisions only you can make. Letting someone else lend a hand can free up your time to concentrate on these.
10. You’re restructuring or downsizing
In difficult economic times, many businesses change their way they’re structured to make things more efficient. Many choose to cut staff numbers or not replace employees who leave as a short term measure. But remaining staff may not have the time or training to tackle certain tasks. If you don’t have the skills in-house, outsourcing could help you while you get things in order.