The cost of staff is the highest a business usually incurs. It’s not just the salary but everything else that goes with employing people – tax, pension, HR, insurance and more. Employees are an invaluable asset to most businesses but if you’re only just starting a business or looking to restructure in order to bring costs down, there are several areas where outsourcing can really work.
There is quite a lot in this bucket – social media management, Google ads, leaflet distribution, creation of marketing materials or content creation for your own website and external publications. A marketing employee will cost anything from £35,000 upwards and they’re unlikely to have all the experience. Outsourcing these functions is likely to cost you a lot less and you can engage with a number of different marketing outlets with the right expertise.
Back office administration is one of the easiest parts of your business to outsource. This would include invoicing, credit control, handling incoming calls and emails, post sorting, and any other straightforward errands that do not require specialist knowledge of your business.
Usually the better choice is to engage someone who does it on a small scale thus is likely to give your business personal attention. Subscribing to an administrative package with a company that is looking to scale its operations means you’ll become a small fish in a big bond.
This can be a touchy area as customer service is usually crucial to successful sales and return custom. However, it is also the most time consuming and costly if it requires extra employees. It’s worthwhile considering a customer service solution which can sift through the daily calls, deal with the follow ups while perhaps pass on to you the more complex or new customer enquiries. The level of customer service is usually customisable to provide the perfect balance.
A website is a must for most professional businesses and it is rarely the business owner’s strength. In order for a website to succeed in conveying the right message and be compatible with the various browsers, it has to be built by someone skilled in this area and managed continuously.
The same applies to optimising the site for search engines such as Google and Yahoo. Being closer to the first page results on search engines, means more traffic to your site therefore more customers for your business. If you don’t know where to start, simply type in the term ‘SEO agency’ plus your location into Google, e.g. ‘SEO agency London’.
It is so very easy to outsource this part of business and in fact this service has been around for hundreds of years. The difference is that it’s no longer reserved just for those with lots of money. Every business and sole trader can access accountancy services at a very reasonable cost which is well below that of paying an in house accountant.
Even if you don’t employ an in house staff to manage accounts for you, they do tend to take time to sort out and it’s rarely business owners enjoy doing. Outsourcing to a professional can save you a lot of time which you can allocate elsewhere within the business.
Any business that has employees must manage its related responsibilities. However, taking another person on if you only have a handful of employees or taking a course to include the role in your daily activities may not be possible.
There are companies these days who will run this part of business for you. It can start with something as basic as supplying employment documentation all the way to a full HR function, managing your employees, redundancies, handling disputes and more. You can usually subscribe to different levels of services that suit your business needs.
Most small businesses owners are good at their core skill that has inspired them to set up a business in the first place. However, not everyone is good with money. Tracking incomings and outgoings is one thing but budgeting to ensure a healthy cash flow, sensible investment choices and planning for the future often required experience in this area.
If you are less certain when it comes to financial planning, consider outsourcing this function to specialists. An outsourced finance director can bring to your business a different perspective, wealth of experience and expertise that would be hard to find in an employee unless you’re prepared to offer a suitable salary.
Oddly you should do the opposite with your business insurance. Outsourcing to an insurance broker is rarely a cost effective solution due the fees and commission you are likely to be charged.
These days it pays off to find your own solution by going on the internet, especially when it comes to small business insurance which is a lot less complicated. Increase the relevance of the search results by adding your profession to your search term or the exact type insurance you are looking for plus your specialty.