Outsourcing – How It Can Improve Your Small Business
Outsourcing is often considered the impossible by most small business owners due to the cost associated with outsourcing. Majority of the Canadian small business owners would rather fiddle with technology, accounting and graphic design than hire help. According to a Globe & Mail article that talks about a survey conducted by Angus Reid (Small-business owners still reluctant to outsource) thirty-eight per cent of small business owners would rather outsource some parts of their small business, but more than half say that outsourcing doesn’t come cheap.
Outsourcing can be a vital and lucrative arrangement for small business owners in particular. The key word with outsourcing is flexibility. Small business owners can outsource what ever they want and for how ever long they want. They’re not a hook for a contract or any specified amount of time.
And if we look closely at today’s job market in Canada, there are a lot of people going unemployed or are taking on second jobs part-time to boost their income. According to statistics Canada, in 2000 roughly ten per cent of the Canadian workforce was self employed.
This gives small business owners a vast amount of options when looking to outsource some part of their small business.
The following is a brief guide for small business owners considering outsourcing jobs to contingent workers. Truth is, small business owners can’t do it all, and outsourcing part(s) of their business is an absolute must in order to take their business to the next level.
There are many reasons small business owners may choose to outsource including:
- Owners can’t do it all them selves
- Small business owners are not experts at everything
- Additional seasonal or part-time during peak season is needed
- Replace a key employee during sick leave
- Get help to complete a temporary task
What can be outsourced?
Generally outsourcing is broken down into the following four classifications:
- Independent Contractors (Freelancers)
- Temporary Staffing
- On-Call / Seasonal Workers
Keeping in mind the four above classifications, small businesses can outsource a variety of tasks and some of the most common include:
- Website Design
- IT / Networking / Maintenance
- Accounting / Taxation
- Business Consulting
- General Administration Duties
- Product Development
- Design / Graphic Design
How Outsourcing Benefits Small Business Owners
Outsourcing some parts of the day to day operation is necessary for small business owners. And by doing so they’ll have the opportunity to focus on bigger projects – like bringing in more money through new sales.
In order to gain the maximum benefit of outsourcing, business owners need to create a detailed job description and plan of action for their contingent hires. Expectations also need to be in check. Know what you’re paying for and accept the fact that no outsourced help will do the job with as much care, love and passion as the small business owner.
Furthermore, small business owners need to accept their own strengths and weaknesses by understanding that they’re not know it all’s. For example, if one doesn’t know much about graphic design, it’s unfair to tell someone how to do their job.
As a small business owner, outsourcing is something that I invest in, rather than a one time cost. And anytime I outsource, I’m just building another block to solidify my small business foundation.
What are your thoughts on outsourcing?