Modern companies of all sizes use outsourcing to make their teams more efficient and to address skill gaps.
The most important thing you should know about outsourcing is that when you outsource talent, you won’t lack qualified employees. According to statistics, one in three workers in America are freelancers, and this figure is expected to reach 40% by 2020.
Thanks to advanced technologies, you can outsource workers from virtually anywhere in the world, which makes this option affordable for small businesses and entrepreneurs. If you don’t have enough time or realize that your company cannot deal with certain tasks on its own, outsourcing might be the right solution.
Why Small Businesses Should Think About Outsourcing
- It will boost your capabilities
Outsourcing enables you to expand your team’s skill set. For example, your marketing team may have the necessary expertise in all areas except for video production. In this case, you can outsource video editors. The same way, you can outsource accountants or IT experts.
- It will move your business forward
According to research, the main benefit of outsourcing remains an opportunity to save costs. However, businesses now also have a different motivation. Outsourcing allows companies to form new partnerships and to provide services that they couldn’t offer without it. Entrepreneurs can use outsourcing to develop their startups faster than with a regular team. You can outsource graphic design, customer support, or even product development.
- It will make your team more efficient
You shouldn’t think of outsourcing as a tool that can only help you if you have problems in certain areas. Outsourcing can also save time for your team and make it more efficient. You can use it to streamline processes or to increase the productivity of your team when working on time-consuming projects so that your in-house employees can focus on the most important tasks.
The very concept of outsourcing constantly evolves. There are some distinct trends that you should take into account when outsourcing a workforce.
- Social responsibility
Millennials like socially responsible companies, and their preferences impact not only the way businesses promote their products but also the way businesses work, as well. This is a reason why Socially Responsible Outsourcing (SRO) is a strong trend. Think of employing socioeconomically vulnerable workers.
- Data security
Data security is crucial when working with remote teams and freelancers. If you lack experts in this area, the solution is obvious — you can outsource them.
- Tailored solutions
If you have many outsourcing suppliers, it can be a big logistical problem, especially for small businesses. Thus, there’s no surprise that centralized systems become a new trend in this area. Outsourcing companies that focus on a particular area start to realize that they need to expand their range of services.
How to Outsource Small Business Work
- Determine what areas are worth your effort
If you’re an owner of a small business, you may have a hard time dealing with everything by yourself. Perhaps, there are daily tasks (posting on social media, answering phone calls, etc.) that distract you from more important things. “Even though outsourcing will cost you money, it will also save you a lot of time. Determine what areas are the most important and focus on them. After this, it will become clear what work you should outsource,” explains Paula Fincher, an outsourcing manager at College Writers.
- Choose companies carefully
When deciding where to outsource talent, be as careful as when interviewing a new employee. No matter what experts you want to outsource, don’t go with the first option. Do your research and treat outsourcing as a partnership.
- Ensure effective communication
When outsourcing talent, a difference in time zones is a common issue. Therefore, you should use effective communication tools so that you can react to any problems on time. You may communicate with your employees using social media or various corporate solutions, such as Slack. Make sure that all the employees can access and share the necessary files easily and quickly.
- Mind legal aspects
No matter whether you have an in-house team or outsource workers, federal tax statutes and minimum wage policies are equally important, and you are responsible for everything that happens within your company. We recommend that you pay particular attention to data protection. Make sure to check federal, state, and local laws, as well as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) before you decide to outsource workers.
Outsourcing is a great solution when your company lacks experts in a certain area. However, you can also use it to increase the overall efficiency of your business. It can save you a lot of time so that you can focus on the most important tasks. You can outsource IT experts, designers, copywriters, and virtually any experts you need. Outsourcing also allows you to expand the range of services that you offer, being a considerable competitive advantage. All you have to do is choose outsourcing companies carefully and keep in mind that the outsourced workforce requires you to comply with the same laws as when working with in-house teams.
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About the Author
Ester Brierley is a QA Engineer in a software outsourcing company and a competent virtual assistant for College Writers. She knows the secret for balancing freelancing and her full-time job. Follow her on Twitter.