From leaders of large companies or small business entrepreneurs, smart managers with successful businesses know when to delegate. A well-coordinated handoff of tasks can ease backlogs, save time and money and make the best use of available resources. But sometimes, delegating isn’t enough. Many companies take it step farther—to outsourcing—when necessary business functions can’t be accomplished effectively with existing in-house staff.
Essential tasks such as call management, customer service, payroll, accounting, human resources, IT and data entry are commonly outsourced when there isn’t sufficient time or staff to assign these roles. It’s easy today to find experts to do these jobs, whether you choose to work with an agency, hire a freelancer or contract with an independent professional.
Why consider it?
When resources are strained and time is short, problems arise internally and externally. Dissatisfied employees, a high rate of turnover, a pileup of projects on the backburner. All of this affect your ability to do business. A high volume of customer complaints, constant delays, bad social media reviews—these can make it hard, if not addressed, for a business to even survive.
Here are 4 benefits to outsourcing you might have overlooked.
1. It doesn’t have to be permanent
Outsourcing gets a bad rap because it sometimes gets confused with offshoring—the process of sending jobs overseas. The reality is, companies use outsourcing in a variety of ways. It isn’t always a permanent part of business structure. Outsourcing can be used to fit a temporary need, such as a staff shortage or a seasonal change in business demand.
2. It keeps your resources focused
Every day, there’s pressure to deliver—to make decisions that matter to the bottom line, ensure your staff is operating efficiently and deliver the best service to your customers. Outsourcing tedious, time-consuming or repetitive tasks can make processes more efficient and allows your staff to focus on the big picture: improving products and services, driving growth, generating sales leads and creating income opportunities.
Too much time away from primary functions increases the chance that deadlines get missed, sales goals fall short and business opportunities get passed up. You can’t give your customers the attention they deserve if you’re stretching yourself too thin.
3. You’ll benefit from the experts
Every business wants to maintain the mindset that no task is too big. Sometimes, there just isn’t time or resources to handle it. When you hire out processes you don’t have time or resources for, you’re leaving them to experts who are better equipped—even better trained—to handle the job.
For third parties, those tasks—accounting, payroll, customer service—are the first priority.
Businesses might be surprised by what trained specialists can offer. Partnering with third parties allows a business to tap the talents of skilled, outside specialists and possibly utilize better technological resources, without having to invest in them separately.
4. The digital age makes it easy
Technology has made outsourcing more practical, possible and cost-effective than ever. With the internet, it is easy to find skilled professionals to fill a specialized need.
Businesses can contract with call centers to fill a range of customer service needs, including answering phones, taking messages and fulfilling order requests. Online job boards contain the resumes of skilled talent to fit any need: Freelance writers to write blogs and marketing copy, graphic designers for an ad campaign, an extra hand at tax season or an accountant to balance the books.
Consider the possibilities from telecommuters. Work from home professionals often have their own computer, office equipment, applications and internet connection, requiring little investment from your business. Got a backlog of clerical duties that need attention? Email communication is fast and efficient and files can easily be transferred via the web. A telecommuter might fit the bill for these tasks and others.
Interested in further reading on outsourcing’s benefits to business? Read the Time Communications white papers here.