There are a lot of different ways your business can make use of smart outsourcing. Giving work to outside firms can save you money, and it can also make it easier for you to reach your customers.
Often times it can do both. And successful companies manage to find these opportunities and leverage them into higher growth.
But smart outsourcing is about more than just making things easier. You can use it to actually grow your business.
Yet to do this, you need to have the right approach, and you need to make outsourcing decisions that make the business more profitable. To help you pursue the right solutions for your business.
Here are some of the ways smart outsourcing contributes to growth.
Make your business more efficient
When running a business, time is money. Every minute you spend on something not directly contributing to your company’s profitability isn’t necessarily time wasted.
But it is a missed opportunity. Overall, there are a couple of different ways you can make your business more efficient.
You could do an internal audit and implement revamped processes so that things run more smoothly. Or, you can decide to farm out some of your more time-consuming tasks, freeing up yourself and your employees to focus on company growth.
A good example of this is payroll and other HR functions. This is a critical business process that needs to be done correctly and efficiently to keep employees happy (no one wants to miss a paycheck) and to keep you compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.
Doing this on your own is possible but time-consuming so you might consider streamlining your HR operation.
Save money and invest resources better
Growth requires investment. But sometimes it’s less about how much you invest and more about how you invest it.
Businesses are costly to run, and as you grow, your expenses will too. It’s important you find ways to manage these expenses so that you can continue to invest in areas of the business more likely to improve sales figures, e.g. product development, marketing, branding, etc.
The firms you outsource to will be highly-specialized. And this means they can offer services to you for less than what it would cost you to do them on your own.
Furthermore, outsourcing firms have a greater incentive to invest in infrastructure. So, for example, if you outsource your IT department, you wouldn’t need to worry about building this infrastructure on your own.
The firm with which you work will likely already have it, and this means everything is cheaper for everyone. You can then take these savings and put them into the business in areas that will help it grow.
The top reason startups fail is because of improper cash flow management, so to grow and avoid becoming a statistic, it’s important you figure out how to best spend your money. And outsourcing costly, time-consuming aspects of your business is one way to do this.
Work with the best of the best
It’s always important to try and get the most bang for your buck. If you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on a marketing campaign, it’s only natural to want to get the highest return on that investment.
And sometimes what your team is capable of simply isn’t good enough, making smart outsourcing is the best choice for growth. For example, say your team is really good at managing social media marketing, but they’re clueless when it comes to SEO.
You could put them through training and ask them to learn SEO, but they will likely never match the expertise of a firm entirely dedicated to helping clients perform better with search engines. As a result, it makes the most sense to outsource this aspect of the business.
With the investment, you would make in training, and in failed attempts along the way, you will produce a far smaller return than working with a specialty firm. Of course, you can still give your employees the chance to learn, but this way they’ll be learning by doing instead of learning and then doing, which takes time and holds your company back.
Keep things easy to manage
To be successful, it’s important you have your finger on the pulse of your company. This makes it easier to identify need areas, and also to pinpoint where the best opportunities for growth are.
Outsourcing helps you do this because it reduces the amount of time you need to spend analyzing different areas of the business and locating areas of focus. For example, say you outsource shipping and logistics.
Keeping this function in-house would require a team of analysts to look over the data you have to determine if you’re doing things well enough. But when you work with an outsourcing firm, they can provide you with regular reports that highlight where you need to improve.
This makes it easier for you to strategize about the business and make better plans for its growth.
A true win-win solution
There really isn’t much question about the value of outsourcing. The real issue is in determining what to outsource.
There are some no-brainers, such as payroll and IT. But for other things, you’ll want to spend some time doing a cost-benefit analysis to make sure you’re maximizing return on investment.
Do this and you’ll soon find yourself saving money and growing better thanks to proper use of outsourcing.Photo Credit: Nearsoft Flickr via Compfight cc
Contributed by Cassie Phillips, an experienced writer with a background in tech and tech-based startups. She hopes these ideas help you consider how outsourcing can help your business.