9 Processes Your Small Business Should Outsource
Thinking of starting a new venture? Before you start spending your capital, you should probably consider outsourcing the following critical tasks to a qualified third-party firm or agency.
1.) Design and creative work
Hiring a specialized digital design company to perform virtually every design job is currently the prevalent trend among businesses of all sizes. Not only does this tend to be the more affordable solution, but outsourcing these processes also tends to result in quicker turnarounds as well.
Whether it’s logo or web design or something more involved such as animation, it’s likely more and more small businesses will be outsourcing their creative work in the future.
2.) Property maintenance
Janitorial, groundskeeping, and other similar maintenance jobs were one of the first types of jobs to be outsourced in the way that we know it today. Given that most small businesses only have modest maintenance requirements, it makes little sense to hire full-time maintenance workers. Because you still want your property maintained professionally, outsourcing offers a more flexible option.
As with property maintenance, security is best left to specialized professionals. Outsourcing also offers a simple and convenient way to boost or downgrade security or replace specific security officers at your convenience. This would be much harder to do with an in-house team.
4.) IT and web hosting
The decline of on-site servers has come in large part to the ability of third-party IT services to scale their operations and service levels well beyond what most non-specialized businesses can do. Third-party IT and web hosting services also tend to be much more affordable and reliable than in-house teams, making them an excellent option for any small business that wants to safely scale their IT capacity without breaking the bank.
You can’t afford to mess this one up. Accounting should always be left to qualified professionals. Small businesses used to struggle with accounting and bookkeeping. These days, third-party accounting services offer even more convenience at rates never before thought possible.
6.) Customer service
Somewhat controversially, even small organizations these days rely on outsourced (and often offshored) customer service to handle queries, complaints, and other customer concerns. In any case, if you receive high volumes of calls and emails from customers, you should probably consider outsourcing your customer service. Not only do third-party customer service companies typically cost less than in-house teams, but they also tend to be able to handle higher call and email volumes as well.
Because of the implications for your brand, most prototyping and product development should probably be done in-house. However, when it comes to building products for a mass market at affordable prices, there is has long been an extreme barrier to entry in terms of money, labor, and technical know-how. This makes it highly impractical to perform most types of manufacturing in-house today.
8.) Data entry
Data migrations to new IT infrastructure and new ERP platforms will often require significant amounts of manual data entry. This kind of low skill, high-volume work is best left to contractors so that your team can focus on directly growing your business.
If you need to frequently send out products or documents outside of your immediate area, partnering with a third-party logistics service will often be the fastest and most affordable way to send items within an acceptable timeframe.
While a gofer or an in-house courier will do just fine for businesses that only need to deliver documents within a building or neighborhood, a third-party logistics company will provide a higher level of service for more demanding requirements.
Outsourcing isn’t just for large businesses. It offers a way for small businesses to equalize a playing field dominated by larger players. Anyone trying to start a venture must understand the benefits of outsourcing these critical processes before they even create their first business plan.
What other processes should you outsource? Tell us!