While starting a business it is very important to always understand your limitations at all time. This is one important focal point if the growth has to be consistent.
When a business is in its nascent stage, you might be the lone ranger, but as the business grows and as the work expands, you will need more people to assist you in the different departments.
You are bound to feel stagnated if the business is not moving forward because of the ever increasing workload.
But then, it is very important to know and understand that business can never stop or slow down at any instance, and thus it is imperative that outsourcing is looked into.
It is but natural to be skeptical at the outset, because you are handing over the control of your business to someone else, but if the initial jitters are handled maturely, you will realize that is a must if the business does not want to be affected.
Outsourcing is not limited to big businesses these days, and with the advancement of technology many small businesses can now outsource their functions too.
There are plenty of high quality professionals available who can do the jobs without levying exorbitant costs and with great efficiency.
Digital Marketing functions like web designers, translators, social media executive etc., can be easily delegated to professionals in the market. These professionals who are freelancers come on board as part time subcontractors and do not levy any overhead charges which will ease the financial burden on the parent company.
Initial stages of outsourcing should not rushed into, and time should be taken to arrive at service providers.
Now businessmen realize that by delegating the jobs to professionals will not only save them the extra charges but will also allow them to build a better brand in the market as they will not bother about the things which they are not versed in. You can have access to the huge pool of human capital out in the market and this will combine with your business to make it a profitable venture.
Figuring out when to outsource
For every business set-up, the timings and the things to outsource are different. Figure out if the in-house department is carrying out all the jobs satisfactorily, that is they are not over worked, because this might then compromise the quality and efficiency of the work at hand.
This is when you know that it is time to outsource, and you should not approach it in lack luster manner. Learn to let go, for this will help you in doubling the revenue in the longer run.
Also, if the businessman has all the plans ready it might not be such a bad idea to outsource few jobs right at the outset. Make a list of the all jobs and functions that are being performed but which are wasting the time more, that is the return in investment is not that high. This list will then be the go to list as far as delegating jobs are concerned.
What to outsource?
Once you have figured out the reasons to outsource, it is now up to you to decide what exactly to outsource?
The list which you have chalked out earlier will once again help you. Observe the tasks that you have to do over and over again, tasks which are very time consuming and tasks which can easily be passed off. There are professionals out there who do these very jobs with far greater efficiency. It might seem as an extra cost at the initial stages, but when the profits come trickling in this decision will stand vindicated. This will also allow you to focus on important areas of growth and brand building, and you can then enjoy the benefits from both sides.
In the current day and age almost anything and everything can be outsourced because there are so many freelancers and contractors available for all domains. However, one should guard against being too outgoing, in the sense that just because you are not good at it does not mean you have to outsource it. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business and then decide accordingly. Make sure that you are not outsourcing anything which is related to the core philosophy of your business.
For instance, if you are a technology based company, there is absolutely no point in delegating something which is related to technology. However, other areas like bookkeeping, social media and the rest can be easily outsourced. This will allow you to focus solely on the technology aspects of the business. This will also allow you to build your brand and will help you grab the market share, and in the longer run you can be the best in the business in this particular domain.
Although it is difficult, we take a look at some of the typical areas which are outsourced:
Before we get into the different specific areas, there are three wide domains under which the specifics fall.
- Highly skilled tasks which need constant monitoring, for instance a job of a CFO
- Repetitive tasks, like back end operations which involve data entry etc.
- Needing specialized knowledge of a particular domain
Now getting into the specifics, here are few roles which can be easily delegated:
1. Virtual Assistance
One of the biggest help available in the market in the current day and age is that of a Virtual Assistant. These VAs can take up time consuming tasks like social media handling, video editing and/or maintaining blogs to keep the customers updated.
They can be contacted over the telephone, or over the Internet. So much time can be saved by delegating these small yet important things to the VAs, and time saved in revenue earned. There are a number of options easily available out in the space, which makes the task of roping in a Virtual Assistant an easy job.
Well VAs can also set up a dinner date if the case may be, this exemplifies the reach and worth of outsourcing, more so of the VAs.
2. SEO and marketing, more about tracking growth
Search engine optimization, or SEO has assumed a lot of prominence these days, especially if the business is like an online portal, or website based entity. Instead of hiring an in-house staff, delegating these activities to freelancers who just do this is a much better option.
This is more like connecting the business to the customers. Also, marketing a particular brand is the biggest domain these days. There are freshers, college graduates who come up with disruptive ideas to market a brand, and they should be snapped up by the businessmen.
The fact that these freelancers have no such obligation to fall in the line will make them think out of the box. Also, they have the ears close to the ground and this makes them an asset. They know how to find the audience to market the brand, why not go out and take advantage of their skills.
3. Customer Care
If there is a business, and there are customers there are bound to be problems, and a lot of questions which need to be resolved. Thus the help desk in any company is a very important department, but then does it have to be you who answers the call every time. Certainly no!
One can easily delegate this arduous and repetitive jobs to specialist BPO. Questions like refunds, order status, And despite the bad reputation of the call centre, they are reliable and they know how to get the job done with conviction. of the bad rap call centres get, the truth is that many outsourced help desk services are not only reliable but also intelligent, and customer friendly.
For this venture to be successful, the company needs to find a BPO which understands the business and the type of services to be provided.
4. Bookkeeping and Payroll function
Bookkeeping is a very important area for any company as it involves accounting and different financial connotations attached to it. Hiring full-time employees to perform the specialist tasks like bookkeeping operations is not the required solution.
In the ever-growing market space, and with the evolving laws and tax regulations, it is best advised to leave the job to the specialists. Also, hiring a full time employee in house will not serve the purpose as this will increase the overhead costs. Freelancers will only levy costs depending on the service provided, and this will ease the costs too.
The fact that finances and accounts need a lot of time as well as immaculate amount of planning more so when the financial year draws to a close, thus it has to be looked into by experts as this will save you from a lot of problems.
It is but natural to have mixed feelings about Outsourcing, but currently it has become quite a normal affair. It depends on how you want your business to grow and expand, and it also hinges on your strengths and weaknesses. There is help available out there, thus go out and expand your potential.