If you run a company, it can often be hard to let go of your internal processes. Indeed, many business owners find it hard even to delegate roles rather than going the full hog and bringing in a third party to run affairs.
However, there are some areas of your operations that you would be well advised to outsource – both from a logistical and financial perspective. Very often these are tasks that you need to complete, but would not justify bringing someone in full-time to perform.
Below are just a few core business functions that you should consider outsourcing to a professional firm or contractor – and save yourself considerable money and headaches by doing so.
IT and Digital Services
The computing industry is vast, covering everything from software coding to hardware production and networking. Unless you have specific knowledge, experience or training in IT, you’ll find yourself completely out of your depth trying to handle your company’s IT requirements. Worse yet, without the necessary skills, you could also put your company’s data (and that of your clients) at considerable risk.
Rather than trying to handle your firm’s digital services, you should look to bringing in third-party, skilled help. In recent years, an increasing number of companies have moved their IT services to cloud service providers, specialist firms that look after all aspects of their networking requirements at a fraction of the cost of installing in-house systems.
Accounts and Payroll
In our automated age, it’s now possible for firms to look after much of their accounting using specialist software and applications – however, the end-of-year accounts still need to be compiled at some point. Rather than wasting time going through spreadsheets and sorting out invoices and receipts, etc, you should bring in external help to complete your financial records. Also, you should look at automating payroll using one of the many accounting packages on the market that can automatically process wage slips, contributions, pensions, etc.
Human Resources (HR)
Having a Human Resources specialist used to be the preserve only of larger corporations. However, the role played by the modern HR executive can bring added value to any company, no matter how big or small. HR these days encompasses every stage of the employment process – from hiring to firing or redundancy.
If you find the enthusiasm or morale in your employees is low, you should consider taking on an HR specialist to address their concerns and raise their team spirit. These days, it’s possible to hire ad hoc HR help, used as and when you need it. Plus, with the rise in cloud networking and communications, your HR resources can be located at distance – for example, you could employ the services of an HR Dept in Bristol, no matter where your firm happens to be located.
Skills you need – but find it hard to justify employing someone full-time
The demand for freelancers has never been bigger than it is today and the freelance market is burgeoning – particularly for services that can be delivered digitally. Freelancers exist for almost all disciplines (everything from data science to web design and IT maintenance), which could open new opportunities and avenues for your firm.
For example, if your firm works in the web production sector, you might look at bringing in a specialist Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practitioner that will expand the range of services you can offer your clients. While web design and SEO are inextricably interlinked, it’s very rare to find a designer or programmer that has the specialist skills required for web marketing, despite the fact the service is in high demand.
Advertising, Marketing and PR
Unless your company is big enough, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to justify employing a full-time advertising or marketing executive. Perhaps more importantly, marketing is very much a stop-start, campaign-driven activity that would be hard to justify taking on someone in a permanent role to perform. That said, promoting your firm is essential for growth and expansion, so it’s not an area you can simply ignore.
Rather than potentially falling behind your competitors through lack of marketing, or suffering the financial drain of employing someone full-time, think about outsourcing as and when you need to. A good marketing consultant will take time to learn about your company, its operations and its goals for the future, so they can then formulate a plan or campaign to get you where you want to be – at a fraction of the cost of taking on specialist staff.