A global marketplace means small business owners can benefit from cost-saving outsourcing services. While some processes are best handled in-house, others are better left to outside experts. In this article we’ll take a closer look at what this process entails as well as four key services you should consider outsourcing.
What is business process outsourcing?
You might think of outsourcing as a tool only available for major corporations, but it’s also within reach for small businesses. Outsourcing simply refers to using third-party providers to take care of specific business functions. These service providers could be local freelancers or international firms – the goal being not only to cut costs, but also find the most qualified provider to handle your business tasks.
Benefits of outsourcing services
It’s natural to want to take control of every aspect of your business processes, but there are several benefits to outsourcing. Here are a few reasons why you might look at business process outsourcing contracts.
Increased efficiency: Outsourcing tedious admin tasks gives you more time to focus on your strengths as a team.
Lower costs: Rather than hiring a full-time professional, you can pay less for ad-hoc services. You only pay for what you need, without a lengthy hiring and training process.
Improved cash flow: Convert the fixed cost of a full-time salary to the variable cost of an on-call consultant. With more money to spare, you open your cash flow with the capability to invest in new projects.
Specific expertise: As an entrepreneur, you probably have multiple skills and ideas. However, outsourced teams come with specialist expertise and experience that your team might not have.
Four key services to outsource
Now that we’ve covered the benefits of outsourcing, which processes should you consider farming out to offshore companies? From accounting process outsourcing to customer service outsourcing, here are a few popular options
Human resources is one area where many small businesses really benefit from a team of outside professionals. A larger recruitment firm knows how to reach out to the most qualified candidates on your behalf, ensuring their paperwork is in order before setting up payroll.
Accounting process outsourcing is beneficial for businesses without a dedicated accounting team. Automated accounting software takes care of much of the day-to-day recording and reporting. When tax deadlines roll around, it’s beneficial to use a third-party professional service that knows all the ins and outs of ATO regulations.
Customer service outsourcing is another key area to consider. If you’re a global business, it’s difficult to have members of your own team on call 24-7, which is what today’s clientele expects. Improve customer service metrics by using a dedicated call centre or offshore firm with representatives in different time zones.
Web design and maintenance is our final choice for business process outsourcing. There’s no bigger turnoff to sales leads than an unprofessional website. Although there are numerous website builders out there to help you set up a basic online shopfront, a professional team can ensure that everything runs smoothly.
The risks of business outsourcing
On the other hand, there are a few risks of outsourcing to be aware of. Outsourcing services like HR and payroll exposes sensitive financial data to third parties, which means you’ll need to vet these companies very carefully first. You also lose control over the timeframe of deliverables and the quality of your output. Again, exercising due diligence before awarding business process outsourcing contracts will help mitigate this risk.
Ultimately, a good rule of thumb to maximise the benefits of outsourcing services is to choose only those processes which are most time-consuming, costly, and stressful. Leaving these in the hands of professionals frees up your team to focus on what matters: company growth.
We can help
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