What is outsourcing? The dictionary definition is:
1. verb (used with object), outsourced, outsourcing.
(of a company or organization) to purchase (goods) or subcontract (services) from an outside supplier or source.
2. to contract out (jobs, service
s, etc.): EG a small business that outsources bookkeeping to an accounting firm.
verb (used without object), outsourced, outsourcing.
3. to obtain goods or services from an outside source. EG U.S. companies who outsource from China.
Why is this a good idea? Outsourcing allows an ‘expert’ to undertake specific tasks which they are more qualified in than yourself. And, although you might pay a premium rate for their knowledge, they are more likely to do a better job in a shorter period of time than you yourself could do. It also frees up your time, allowing you a better work-life balance or more time to spend working on the parts of the business that you are more knowledgeable about and enjoy.
What tasks might be outsourced? Typical tasks that are often outsourced are:
Accountancy and bookkeeping
Marketing and advertising
Design, including web design, logos, stationary, business cards, etc
Health and safety
Administration, including personal assistant, telephone answering service, live chat service
Should I use offshore outsourcing services? Tasks outsourced to offshore services can be cost effective, but need to be selected very carefully. All compliance and legal obligations still need to be met and work thoroughly checked. For some tasks local knowledge may be deemed more valuable and therefore more suited to onshore services, such as some marketing media. Businesses also cannot claim for GST on any services purchased offshore, which could be a consideration depending on the total value of services provided.
Where is the best place to find services? Referrals from other businesses is by far the best way to find reliable contractors to provide the services required. If possible request data to back up claims that the services are worth what you would be paying. For example, check website designed by web designers, advertising campaign statistics on lead generation and sales conversion figures, testimonials and reviews, etc.
When is the best time to start outsourcing? Straight away. The sooner the experts can do their job, the sooner your business will reap the rewards!