Running a small business, or even a large one, can require that a whole range of disparate tasks be performed. If you’re a plasterer, then you might spend a lot of your time with a trowel in your hand; then again, you might be buying materials, tabulating bills, driving from place to place, liaising with clients, and doing a whole range of other tasks. There are many tasks that you can outsource as a business.
By outsourcing these tasks to specialist outside agents, business owners can focus on their main areas of competence. Outsourcing is an increasingly popular way to run a business, with third-party providers being brought in to perform a range of tasks and services. What can be effectively outsourced, and what’s better kept in-house, will depend on the way that your business is constituted.
In-House or Outsourcing?
The main benefit of outsourcing is that it saves you from the cost of bringing in permanent staff to perform rare tasks. For example, if you need the boiler on your premises serviced once a year, it doesn’t make sense to hire a full-time plumber – even if you have quite a few boilers.
A workforce at least partially composed of freelancers is more flexible. You’ll have an easier time coping with expansions if you can bring in trusted workers at a moment’s notice. Moreover, when times are leaner, you won’t have to drag around the burden of a large salaried workforce whose wages you can’t afford to pay. Thus some tasks make sense to outsource as a business.
What might I outsource?
Just about every modern business relies to some extent on IT. Being able to address problems as they arise, and even before they arise, often requires the specialised skillset of a professional IT contractor. IT firms tend to have their particular niches – whether it’s cabling, security, or day-to-day maintenance. It is one of the most common tasks chosen to outsource as a business.
Again, effective accounting requires a specialised skillset – but having a single accountant serving an entire business tends to be cost-prohibitive. Payroll is another thing that a dedicated outsider can do more effectively than you can. In many cases, your accountant will have access to specialised software tools, as well as their expertise.
You might think that getting your message out there would be something to keep in-house. After all, it’s your message. But the truth is that many of us don’t have the same flair for writing, or even thinking about communication, as a dedicated marketing firm. Many businesses elect to work in close collaboration with their marketers, but leave the heavy-lifting to the professionals.
What if something goes wrong?
One of the reasons that many businesses hesitate before bringing in an outside professional is the likelihood that something will go wrong. Should the worst happen, a business would be able to make claims against most businesses, whether it’s accounting, IT or if you have a legal firm representing your business, professional negligence solicitor claims are possible. This will cover you against financial damages, as well as reputational ones.