Whatever sector you’re in, the key to long-term success is business growth, ensuring you make that transition from a fledgling enterprise into a fully established brand.
This may sound like an obvious point, but during the early days, it can be easy to lose sight of the long-term objectives. This can result in your brand not reaching its full growth potential as you become bogged down in the day-to-day operations.
To combat this, outsourcing certain facets of your business could be what’s needed to achieve better business growth. So join us as we take a closer look at when and why outsourcing makes sense and how it could make your business better.
Why outsource areas of your business?
As an entrepreneur, getting your business off the ground and on the road to success can be incredibly time-consuming. It can also mean that, regardless of where your core business skills lie, you’re required to manage every facet of the business — from accountancy to customer service.
A lot of this comes down to limited resources for task delegation and the need to be in control of the direction of your business. However, this is where outsourcing could actually help.
Firstly, choosing to utilize the expertise of a third party for areas of the business that you’re not trained in should result in a more professional end result, be that a high-quality website or top-tier customer service. Secondly, it can free up your own time to allow you to focus your efforts on growing your business — utilizing your key skills without requiring you to relinquish full control of your business operations.
When to outsource areas of your business?
Deciding when to outsource certain operational functions can be a challenge for startups as, in many instances, the decision will come down to cost. If you’re looking to scale your business, take the time to evaluate whether it will be more cost-effective to seek expertise from outside your company rather than absorbing the role in-house.
For one, this could free up more time and resources within your company to stimulate growth in other areas, while also reducing the financial pressures and constraints of employing extra staff. Choosing to outsource also opens up your business to a larger pool of talent and provides greater flexibility to adjust your expenditure to suit the needs of your business and budget.
Departments or projects to outsource
When deciding on departments or projects to outsource, here are some of the most common and viable options based on your skillset.
In the modern world, every brand needs a website. Even if it’s not where your main business transactions take place, your website provides the ideal place for you to inform and engage your customers.
With increased importance being placed on online brand awareness, it’s essential you get this part of your business right from the start. This means designing a high-quality site that has the capability to adapt as your business grows. This is where outsourcing web development can be a wise move – utilizing the skills and expertise of professionals to create a future-proof design.
Although the initial outlay of professional web development may seem steep, you should see it more as a long term investment. In most instances, building a business website is a rare, one-off expenditure that if done right from the start, will deliver a good return on investment further down the line.
Having a great website is just one part of the process of building an effective online presence. The next step is to ensure people can find it and the key information they need to know about your business. There’s little point in spending valuable time and money on building your site if people aren’t able to actually find it. This is where digital marketing comes in.
Implementing an effective online marketing strategy takes time and requires the right knowledge. These are often two things that not every business owner has. Instead, outsourcing online marketing could be a more sensible option to ensure you’re maximizing your digital marketing efforts.
From engaging, SEO-optimized website content to social media marketing, digital marketers will have the expert knowledge and understanding to create a strategy that’s right for your business. Helping to increase your brand visibility online and engage with customers in natural, organic ways to potentially drive more traffic to your site. This in turn will increase your sales conversions and bolster your brand’s reputation, too.
Outsourcing digital marketing can also offer more flexibility to suit your needs and budget. You simply pay a fixed fee and outline your project goals and let the experts take care of the rest. This leaves you free to concentrate on other areas of the business.
As a business owner, keeping track of your finances is critical to success. This doesn’t mean you should take on this burden all by yourself though. Between other pressing managerial duties, it can be tough to find the time to make accountancy a priority.
In addition, managing business finances requires a solid grasp of financial laws and taxation policies. If these aren’t adhered to, it could have a devastating impact on your business’s financial health. With this in mind, drafting in the services of professional accountants is highly recommended.
A bookkeeper will have the time and knowledge to accurately monitor your company’s cash flow, taxes, and other expenses such as procurement, staff, and logistics. This allows you to benefit from improved efficiency and profitability across your entire supply chain.
Providing good customer service is a vital part of growing your business. With data suggesting that 90% of Americans say customer service is a key factor when choosing which brands to shop with, you can’t afford to neglect this area of your business.
Naturally, getting a robust customer service system in place can take time and resources, which aren’t often readily available when you’re starting out. In these instances, enlisting the help of outsourced customer service providers can help you to bridge the gap between you and your customers.
From live chatbots to centralized call centers, there are numerous ways you can outsource customer service — meaning you won’t need to micromanage every inquiry. This style of service should guarantee every customer has a positive experience with your brand, helping to build brand loyalty.
Logistics are an integral part of most business models, whether it’s shipping inventory to your warehouse or last-mile delivery to the end-user. While you may be inclined to handle these aspects yourself, it could actually be more cost-effective to outsource at least some of your logistics to a third-party logistics provider (3PL).
For one, there are often more associated costs with running your own logistics. These could include staff wages, vehicle purchasing and fuel costs, as well as vehicle maintenance, staff training, packaging materials, insurance, and specialist loading equipment. In contrast, a 3PL provider will swallow these costs — you simply pay an agreed rate for the delivery capacity you need, which can be increased as your business grows.
Using a 3PL provider can also have a positive impact on other areas of your business such as customer service and supply chain efficiency. With one less core operational element to manage, as a business owner, you’ll have more time to put into growing your business.
Outsourcing can be a tool for growth
In the right situation, outsourcing can give you more time and flexibility to channel your efforts into other areas of your business to promote growth. However, it’s important to do your research before taking the plunge. Weigh up all the practical and financial benefits before you commit to ensure you make an informed decision that will help you expand your enterprise.