Outsourcing the key to smart business

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Outsourcing the key to smart businessAs the end of year approaches it’s a good time to take stock of the year gone and put the plans in place to give your business a kick start in 2012.

In my line of work I speak to many small to medium businesses, and quite a few have had to tighten their belts this year.  This usually results in staff members or even the business owner picking up the slack.  This may save costs short term, but long term it’s not going to help grow the business.

So what’s the solution?

Hiring additional staff can be an expensive process, and add significantly to your overheads.  If like many businesses you don’t want to take on the financial or management burden of a new employee, then consider outsourcing the work.

Trust is a key element to selecting an outsourcing agency, but with careful planning and selection outsourcing can offer a good solution for both short and long term business needs.  More often than not, outsourced tasks are usually of a specialised nature, such as accounting, bookkeeping, legal, IT, and Project Work, and hiring these competencies on a selective basis is a good way of obtaining the expertise at a lower total cost.

An overwhelming number of businesses now work online, and with rapid uptake of Cloud hosted solutions, Apps and devices such as smartphones and tablets like the iPad, file sharing and communicating with outsourcing agencies can be easy, secure and efficient.

Here are some tips for selecting a good outsourcing agency:

  • Check their skills – what qualifications do they hold and how competent are they at what you need?
  • Talk to their clients – ensure they’re happy with the work, structure, and management of tasks.
  • Meet with their team – are they a good fit and do they have a similar ethos to your business.
  • Have clear goals – be sure what you want to outsource, and where the boundaries lie.
  • Clearly document agreements so each party understands their roles and responsibilities, and set up a process of regular communication.
  • Review the relationship quarterly to ensure you’re both on track, and kicking some goals

Outsourcing is not for everyone, but it can be a good solution for businesses who don’t want to hire additional employees, need specialised skills, or want to redirect their current employeesskills into growing the business.

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