Outsourcing is a growing industry. Many businesses rely on outsourcing to help them fulfil their goals and objectives. It’s an industry that has existed for centuries and is one that more firms are turning to for help.
If you run a business, you will almost certainly have outsourced something to a third party. Let’s face it; there is only a certain amount of stuff that you can do in-house. Are you on a drive to make your business the best that it can be?
You might not realise it, but there are plenty of outsourcing hacks you can use for your company today. Some might be quite obvious while others could be a radical innovation born out of necessity. In today’s blog post, I will give you some examples of outsourcing that may work well for your firm.
Computer repairs and maintenance
There was once a time where you needed to hire an army of skilled IT workers to be your in-house support team. Nowadays, few companies do that. Why? Because they outsource such work to third-party firms instead!
It’s quite expensive to hire an IT worker these days. Sure, you could just pay less for university graduates or “junior” support workers. But, when you’re running business critical systems, you need to depend on a skilled team. And that skill costs money!
The thing about IT workers is that, as a business, you must also pay for their ongoing training. Examples include certification in Microsoft and Cisco technologies. As you may have guessed, such training and certification can cost thousands per employee!
Businesses want to slash operating costs as much as possible. It makes sense for them to outsource their IT support to other firms for the following reasons:
- They don’t have to pay for employee training;
- The costs are a fraction of what you’d pay for in-house workers;
- IT support company workers get involved with the latest technology.
When we talk about “micro” tasks, we refer to the scores of small things that take a few minutes to complete. You might be wondering why you need to outsource those micro tasks. After all; you could do them yourself for free, right?
The truth is; those micro tasks can sometimes take up a lot of our time each day. Today’s modern businesses know that, and so they would rather outsource to third parties.
Data input is perhaps a classic example of a micro-task that we all have to do each day. But, what happens if data input tasks take you away from the most challenging projects that you need to work on?
There is a raft of micro-entrepreneurial websites out there. On those sites, you will find plenty of people offering their services as micro task workers. They will carry out all kinds of work from data input to administration.
The benefit of using such people is that they are cheap. Now, I know what you might be thinking: buy cheap, buy twice! But, many workers are from third-world countries. To them, the prices they charge are quite high in comparison to what you would expect to pay.
Quite often in the business world, it makes sense to pay someone else to carry out smaller tasks. That way, you can concentrate on the projects that “bring home the bacon” as it were.
Once upon a time, you would hire one or more accountants to work for your company on a full-time basis. They weren’t self-employed; they only worked for you. Today, as businesses look to save costs, they usually outsource their accountancy needs.
In fact, these days it’s rare to find a firm that has its own in-house accounts team. Many qualified accountants offer their services to businesses of all sizes. The good thing about using them is you can get involved as much or as little as you wish.
For example, they could handle the filing of tax paperwork each year while you do the bookkeeping. Or you could have them do everything for you. Many of today’s startups opt to do their own bookkeeping thanks to cloud-based software.
From Kashflow to Freeagent, many titles get used to streamline things.
As a business, you might deliver the products you sell to local customers. When it comes to national and international shipping, you will no doubt use a courier firm. But what about local deliveries? Many companies will hire someone in-house to make local deliveries.
We all know how high the costs are for hiring people. In this case, it’s cheaper to outsource those deliveries to a local courier firm. There are even online services that can put you in touch with such suppliers.
A preferred way to generate sales leads is to hire a team of telephone sales workers. Their job is to contact potential customers and pitch a firm’s products and services. It’s a common tactic that works well for various industries.
The thing about hiring telesales workers is that it requires a significant investment. As you can appreciate, the biggest one is the cost of hiring telesales workers. But, you also have to cover other expenses such as insurance, telephone lines and call costs. And you also need to buy the phone equipment that those workers will use. Headset systems cost more to buy than standard office telephones.
More firms realise that the way forward is to outsource their telesales needs. The way that outsourced telesales companies work is simple. First of all, the client (i.e. you) tells the provider what they wish to promote. Next, they supply a database of potential leads. The last stage involves the outsourced telesales workers contacting those people.
Often, it works out cheaper to outsource telesales needs to international businesses. One can always use a domestic firm, but they might have to pay more for their outsourcing costs. In either case, the fees usually involved work out less than hiring telesales staff.
Web and graphic design
When you need a team of creatives to work on a project, what would you do? The first thing that springs to mind is to advertise those jobs and hire some people to work for you at your office.
Nowadays, companies seldom hire creative workers direct. They would rather outsource their creative projects to freelancers! Aside from the usual cost benefits, businesses use freelancers for other reasons too.
First of all, freelance creatives often have more commercial experience than conventional employees. That’s because they’ve worked with scores of different clients. Second, they are more likely to create a result that you will find exceeds your expectations. And, third, you aren’t entered into any long-term contracts with them.
If you go onto Google and type in “web designer” or “graphic designer” you’ll have plenty of choices. You can even talk to a few different suppliers until you find one that you think is ideal for your projects.
Another way to reach out to a potential audience is to email them. There are plenty of ways to capture a person’s name and email address. Marketing is big business, and it can often cost a lot if you hire an in-house expert.
Small and large firms often outsource their email marketing. They do so for cost and convenience reasons. If your website captures people’s contact details, an email marketing provider can use them. They can act as an extension of your business, even though they don’t work for you directly!
They are experts at what they do, so you can rely on them to handle your email marketing needs. Meanwhile, you can concentrate on other ideas to grow your business.
What happens when you want to find out what people think of the products and services you sell? The answer is simple: you ask your customers for their feedback! The trouble is; if you’re running a busy company, who can you spare to organise market research?
You might have a full office and so cannot hire any more staff. It turns out the better option is – you guessed it – to outsource your market research! Some firms offer all manner of services. For example, you could use third parties to create focus groups. You might even prefer customers to answer a simple survey.
It’s important that you find out what your customers like and dislike. Even if you did the market research yourself, you could end up forgetting to ask key questions. That’s why it makes sense to rely on outsourced firms that are specialists in their field.
By now you will have seen plenty of reasons why outsourcing things to third parties make sense. Aside from the huge cost savings, you can enjoy the skill and expertise that providers offer.
If you’re going to outsource some aspects of your business, you’ll be making a good decision. Thanks for reading today’s blog post. Don’t forget to share it with others that may find it useful too!