Outsourcing is sometimes looked down upon as simply a way for companies to cut costs. While outsourcing different aspects of your business should certainly save you money, it can also help to boost productivity and profit levels, allowing your business to grow.
Of course, you can’t outsource everything without losing what makes your business unique. However, there are many operations that can be handled by an external company more efficiently and cost-effectively than you can manage in-house. Here are five commonly outsourced business operations to consider.
1. Payroll and taxes
Small business owners spend up to 25% of their working hours dealing with employee paperwork. Outsourcing payroll services can free you up to get back to the core of your business. While it may be mundane, payroll and taxes is a part of your business you can’t afford to ignore – it’s your responsibility to ensure everyone gets paid on time and in full.
Tax rules are forever changing so you’ll also need to allot time for training to keep up with HMRC legislation if you do it in-house. Outsourcing your payroll services means you’ll never need to worry about falling foul of the law at a serious cost to your business. Putting payroll in the hands of professionals can also lead to higher productivity – particularly for commission-based payment systems – as more efficient payment methods motivate employees to work harder.
2. Human Resources
Along with payroll, HR is the most commonly outsourced aspect of business operations. According to a study by Bond International Software, more than half of UK companies outsource either their payroll, HR, or both – and most reported that it saved them considerably in time and money.
Hiring new employees is expensive, and having a full time employee to deal with HR may not make good business sense. There’s also the cost of job advertising, time spent conducting interviews, training and more. Outsourcing HR will remove the need for all this extra expense.
You don’t have to give up control of hiring and firing by outsourcing your HR operations. Professional outsourcers will work closely with your company – usually through a dedicated administrator – to ensure your business objectives are met.
If you haven’t heard of ‘the cloud’ yet, you must have been living on one lately. Cloud – or internet-based – computing allows businesses to store and access all their documents and files online. Access is not limited to those sitting around an office desk but can be shared with anyone in the world with an internet connection.
As well as unlimited storage capacity, you can access all the software your business requires – from accounting software to creative tools – directly via the internet. This frees you from the time and costs involved in having to purchase, install and update software directly on your computer and those of your employees.
Some people still worry about security issues with cloud computing. However, your business files and documents will certainly be safer in a secure online environment than on a flashdrive that gets passed around the office. Having everything stored online also means you won’t lose anything in the event of a fire or other office disaster. For these reasons, outsourcing software and file storage to the cloud is revolutionising the way businesses operate.
Marketing your business isn’t so simple these days. As well as using traditional marketing methods such as PR or print and TV advertising, there’s the brave new world of online marketing to consider. This involves not only content creation and marketing through social media and other online platforms but also website analytics, A/B testing, search engine optimisation and more.
If all this leaves you scratching your head, you’ll probably want to outsource the task to a digital marketing agency. A good marketing strategy handled by a professional agency can add significant value to your business brand.
5. Helpdesk and reception services
Someone needs to take your calls from customers and clients but there’s no need for it to be an in-house employee. If your business receives a lot of customer enquiries, outsourcing your calls can free up a lot of time. While a few bad call centres have given the industry a bad name, professional call centres with well-trained staff can be a tremendous boost to your business.
Call centres these days can handle not just general customer enquiries but everything from sales to surveys and technical advice. Call centre services are not limited to calls, either, but can handle business enquiries across online platforms too.
Outsourcing certain aspects of your business operations is the best way to ensure your business stays as lean and competitive as possible. With expert backup from professional outsourcing companies, you’ll be able to focus on the most important tasks to grow your business.