What are the things to consider when thinking about outsourcing? As part of our 600 Interesting and Useful Things for Recruiters series Marie Pegram of Virtual Business Source, whose services include outsourced bookkeeping and back office solutions, shares her thoughts.
1. It’s more common than you think. In the past decade or so, outsourcing has become really popular for two main reasons. The first is that more and more people are hanging up their work boots to start new lives as freelancers, and the second is technology. During this time there has been a huge rise in the number of freelancers (both voluntary and forced) offering their skills on the open market and this has made outsourcing both more accessible and more common. Add to this, our widespread acceptance of technology, and it’s easy to see why the outsourcing market has opened up so much.
2. You’re probably doing it already. Many SMEs are involved in outsourcing, without even realising it. Office cleaning, for example, has long been accepted as a task that’s best carried out by a specialist agency. This is a form of outsourcing, and is something that most business owners simply see as a ‘no-brainer’.
3. It’s money saving. When you add someone to your payroll to do a job, not only do you have Employers’ National Insurance Contributions to pay, but you also need to provide a safe and compliant workplace and you’ll more than likely need to fund holiday and sick leave. These things all cost business owners dearly and don’t exist with outsourcing, where you pay only for what you want, need and get.
4. It’s time saving. If you’re one of the many business owners who tries to do everything yourself, you won’t need convincing that 24 hours in each day simply isn’t enough. Outsourcing saves you burning the midnight oil doing the likes of bookkeeping and frees you up to get out and about to grow your business.
5. It opens up opportunities. If there’s a market opportunity potentially open to your business but you don’t have the skills in-house to satisfy all the requirements, outsourcing is the perfect way to fill the gap. Giving you access to affordable expertise, outsourcing will let you grasp opportunities that might otherwise be out of your reach.
6. It reduces stress. If you’ve managed to stumble your way through the summer holiday season; but only just, you’ll appreciate this one. With outsourcing, there’s no need to juggle holiday and sick leave. Your outsourcing provider does all that for you, which means you have a seamless workflow, 365 days a year if you need it.
7. It gets the job done. When you engage an outsourcing firm to do a task for you, whatever that task may be, you can expect a guarantee that your task will be carried out within the agreed guidelines and timescales. You should also expect assurances that the task has been done in full respect of current legislation and compliance requirements.
8. It’s onshore and off. When many people think of outsourcing, they automatically think of call centres that are badly run, and based in a foreign country. If that’s your mindset, it’s time to think again. There are plenty of examples of great outsourcing providers on home ground. Shopping around for and finding a top quality, homegrown outsourcing supplier is easier than you might imagine.
9. It’s more personal than you think. Good outsourcing suppliers have realised that working remotely needn’t mean being faceless. As a result, when you outsource, you can expect a personal contact who’s been chosen for their expertise and their personality, which means they’ll know you and your business inside out, in no time at all.
10. In short, outsourcing: it’s simple; it’s cost effective and makes great sense.