Are you finding that you’re spending more time on managing logistics than growing your business? Research shows that less than 15% of business owners feel that they’re spending their time on the right activities. Although every small business is different, here are 5 services that SMBs can outsource in order to grow their business.
- Information Technology
Outsourcing IT functions make you more agile as a company and provides you with more flexibility as your business naturally grows. In fact, a 2014 survey found that 53% of companies outsource some of their IT functions.
- Accounting and Finance
Payroll services in particular are one of the most commonly outsourced services. Handing these financial tasks off to expert accounting services for small businesses will help to decrease costs as well as increase compliance.
What’s more, companies that outsource services such as payroll are shown to save 18% over those businesses who try to handle everything in house. The IRS estimates that approximately 40% of small or medium sized businesses pay over £800 each year just in penalties for either late or incorrect filings and payments.
Making use of freelance and contract workers is a great way for smaller companies to get talent that they’re unlikely to be able to afford otherwise. Virtual assistants are also a useful service that allows your business to scale staffing needs according to factors like project or season.
With close to a third of businesses opting to freelance, contract or consult, there is no shortage of skilled labour for hire. Just make sure to follow the correct protocol to avoid any penalties or IRS issues.
This is especially effective for retailers because outsourcing logistics can free up a lot of time that can be used to focus on more important services such as merchandising and selling in general. Having delivery activities, for example, handled by third parties lowers overall spend and helps to improve customer service as these specialist providers are experts at what they do and better able to respond quickly and meet demand.
Note that whichever providers you use depends on the type of business, the products you sell and the size of your business.
- Customer support
For smaller businesses, having dedicated and trained customer service staff isn’t always a feasible option. This can often mean that office staff or salespeople have to handle this service and divide their time between gaining new customers and trying to keep the existing ones happy.
By outsourcing to a contact centre, for example, you’ll have the extra staff to handle customer contacts. However, small and medium business owners need to be aware of the different options available as costs and services differ a lot. As a rule, cloud-based services are the more affordable choice.
As a whole, outsourcing is a clever strategy for extending the capabilities of a smaller business whilst maintaining focus on the truly important parts. One of the best examples of cost savings is hiring freelance workers which will save a significant amount over employing full time staff.