There are plenty of services people outsource on a regular basis, such as ordering a meal from a restaurant, paying a teenager to mow their lawn, or hiring someone to clean their house. But for some small business owners, outsourcing professional services to another company feels like a loss of control.
If you’re part of the apprehensive crowd, you may be impeding your company’s growth. As an organization grows, there’s an increasing complexity to manage everything yourself. In fact, more than 85% of business owners are unhappy with the way they distribute their time to proper business activities.
To help you improve your time allocation and streamline your operations, here’s a list of the top seven services you should consider outsourcing.
1. Information Technology (IT) Support
In today’s world, no business can thrive without information technology (IT). In fact, 92% of the top 2000 global companies use IT outsourcing as part of their strategies.
For small-scale businesses, outsourcing IT:
- Provides access to experts and cutting-edge technology
- Helps with problem-solving
- Adds flexibility beyond 40-hour workweeks
- Assists with integrating new technologies into your business
- Enhances your security
Overall, your outsourced IT support will help manage and maintain your hardware and software, provide cybersecurity services, troubleshoot technical issues, and keep your systems running more smoothly and efficiently.
2. Customer Support
Keeping close contact with customers is integral to every business. But as your company grows, it becomes a difficult balancing act to get new customers while managing the existing ones.
The solution? Outsourcing to a customer service support team.
This team will provide phone support, email support, and live chat support without you having to hire and train your own customer service team. They’ll also be available beyond your regular working hours to respond to customers even when your internal staff has gone home for the day.
3. Travel Management Systems
Are you a small business owner with travel needs? If so, you have a lot to gain from partnering with a travel management agency.
Rather than burdening your employees with official business trip matters, a corporate travel agency can provide you with a guide on how to book business travel. This will save you time planning business trips (and spending way too much time with customer support), secure you with the best corporate deals, ensure high professionalism, and provide you with travel aid assistance whenever you encounter problems or need to make travel changes.
4. Payroll and HR Services
Payroll services have been around for decades, with even large organizations choosing to outsource these administrative services. But now it’s time to take it one step further and outsource all your human resources (HR) functions to a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) like Stratus HR.
A PEO like Stratus handles your payroll, offers employee benefits to your team, administers your workers’ comp, and provides technology for all your HR needs. They also have a seasoned team of HR experts ready to help you navigate everything HR, like hiring and retaining staff, handling difficult employee situations, maintaining compliance with ever-changing labor laws, managing workers’ comp claims, and more.
If your business is multi-state, this type of service becomes even more critical to guide you through employment laws that vary based on location.
5. Marketing Services
Thanks to our technologically driven era, e-commerce and social selling have become more vital than ever for any business. But having a dedicated in-house marketing team may not be in the budget for your small business.
Here, outsourcing to a marketing agency is much more cost-effective. Not only will an outsourced marketing team help with creating brand awareness, but they’ll also manage your social media presence, provide expert designers and videographers, and create content to improve your search engine optimization.
6. Logistics Services
Does your company struggle with space? You may need to get a grip on your logistics management by outsourcing to a logistics service provider. These experts are skilled in handling warehouse (packing and storing) and delivery activities, from raw materials to the finished product.
Not only will this outsourced solution help you tap into industry expertise and know-how, but they’ll save your business money from investing in warehouses, systems and technologies unique to logistics, and all the required safety measures.
7. Accounting and Finance
Every small business needs accounting and finance services but usually lacks the resources to hire their own full-time accounting and finance staff. Outsourcing these functions not only saves you money on salaries, benefits, and office space, but also provides you with a higher level of expertise that you may not be able to afford on your own.
Because these outsourced professionals are trained to identify and manage risk, outsourcing your accounting and finance needs like mileage and expense tracking also provides you with an extra layer of protection to combat fraud, errors, and other financial risks.
Take Control of Your Time
Ultimately, the best services to outsource will depend on the specific needs of your company. Determine if your time could be better spent on other aspects of growing your business, then do your due diligence and compare outsourced solutions. In the end, you’ll likely find what other businesses have already discovered: outsourcing helps you streamline your operations, reduce costs, regain lost time, and focus on your core competencies.
Original content by Rilwan Kazeem, edited with permission.