Your Guide to Outsourcing Services
What you need to know about professional outsourcing services
One of the first pieces of advice given to someone starting up a business is to outsource as much as possible until you get your feet under you. Outsourcing your professional services is a good idea for more than just start-ups though, because it can save you time and money over doing it in-house. It is a good idea to understand what this process is and how it can benefit your company before you decide whether to outsource and which services to look for.
What Is Outsourcing?
When you hire another company or firm to perform services usually done in-house, you are outsourcing those services. Some common examples include contracting an accounting firm to handle your books instead of putting an accountant on your payroll or hiring an event planner for your company parties or grand opening celebrations. Most startups will research professional services outsourcing because it is less expensive than putting a full-time employee on the books, saving them the cost of salary, taxes and insurance, while still providing a steady income for the accountant or IT professional.
What Services Can You Outsource?
There are many services you can outsource, no matter the size of your company, with one of the most common being accounting and bookkeeping services. Some other services include marketing, event planning, and IT tasks. If a set of tasks is taking your time away from other important tasks, but not enough time to justify bringing on new personnel, then it is a good idea to find a company to outsource the tasks to.
What Are the Pros and Cons?
Some of the advantages of outsourcing your tasks include being able to focus your efforts on your core competencies, cost reduction and improving quality. For instance, if you run an auto repair shop and spend a couple of hours a day doing bookkeeping tasks, then partnering with a bookkeeping firm can allow you to spend those hours fixing cars instead, cost less than hiring a full-time bookkeeper and put your books in the hands of a professional.
There are some disadvantages to this process and knowing what they are can sometimes help you avoid any risks involved. For instance, your company can become dependent on the service provider and must scramble to find another one if the provider goes out of business. Reintegration of the services can be costly, especially if you have to scramble to do it, because you are unlikely to have any current staff capable of filling the roll. There is also more of a risk that sensitive data can be breached. To avoid some of these, you should have a solid plan for future reintegration which updates as needed. This can help you get to work on it right away instead of trying to come up with a plan in the moment. You can also choose providers with a solid reputation, good security and who are stable and able to scale up as your company grows.
How Do You Find Outsourcing Partners?
Finding good professional service providers depends largely on your needs and your research. If you are a start-up, then it is probably more cost effective to find either one partner who can take on all your outsourced needs over multiple large firms which specialize in one type of service. If you plan on permanently outsourcing IT, then you want to find a service provider with the capabilities you need now as well as the ability to grow and scale with your company. You will want to ask around to find providers with solid reputations, research the services offered and how they can help your company, and get a consultation before signing any contracts.
When you are thinking of outsourcing some of your processes, it is a good idea to take a solid look at your needs, the services available to you and what pros and cons come with the process. Companies of all shapes and sizes can benefit from partnering with professional service providers in areas such as IT, accounting and event planning.