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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Why Should Small Businesses Look at Outsourcing

Most small business owners will recognise the importance of outsourcing, even if they’ve never thought about it seriously. If there’s a problem with the staffroom sink, or a plug socket, or a section of wall in your premises, then your first instinct might be to pay a plumber, electrician, or builder to fix it. What you probably won’t do is hire these people as full-time salaried employees.

But the same principle applies to other, less obvious things. If you need a task performed that requires specialised expertise, or that isn’t going to be performed often, then it usually pays to outsource.

Lowered operational costs

Hiring and training full-time staff can be a significant expense, especially for small businesses that lack a dedicated HR department. Outsourcing allows you to avoid these expenses. It also allows you to avoid the potential legal expenses that might come with parting company with employees whose input you no longer require.

Specialised skills

As we’ve mentioned, the tasks that are best outsourced are the ones that require specialised skills. You might not have an electrician on your payroll, for example. But you might also not have a person who can configure a spreadsheet in a very particular way that, in the long run, might bolster productivity for your firm. In other words, it’s worth thinking not just about who can do a particular job, but who can do it best. Just about every job can be outsourced – whether you’re looking for a cleaner, a lawyer, an in-house chef or a bookkeeper to look after your finances.

Scalability

By outsourcing, you can keep your workforce flexible and lightweight, and pay only for the services you really need. This is particularly advantageous in highly seasonal businesses, where demand is going to vary throughout the year.

It’s also a great way to make your business more resilient against economic shocks. If the takings suddenly dip, then a large workforce can be a burden; if the takings shoot up, then you can take advantage by rapidly outsourcing.

It might also be that you need to quickly establish a presence in an unfamiliar location. If you’ve just set up a new branch of your business in Liverpool, for example, you might accelerate the bedding-in phase by supplementing your workforce with outsourced labour.

Focus

Most businesses and professionals will have a handful of core competencies. These are the things you are really good at. By focusing on these, you can extract the maximum value from your employees. They’ll spend more time doing the things they’re good at, and less time grappling with unfamiliar tasks – since these tasks are the ones that will be outsourced, instead.

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