We’ve mentioned it before but we’ll say it again: outsourcing is an awesome idea for a small business.
Welcome to small business week here at the Active Care blog. ICYMI, we tackled turnover yesterday. Today, we’re going deep discussing outsourcing. (My football analogies are running rampant. It must be the NFL Draft hangover effect. Or it could be that I just read that Aaron Rodger’s is supposedly dating Olivia Munn. Liking that matchup.)
Outsourcing gets a bad rap sometimes. People complain about jobs heading overseas or customers not being able to understand call center employees or the money it costs to pay contract workers or the lack of in-house control. Outsourcing, however, comes in a variety of options and we bet at least one of them is right for your small business.
- Outsourcing is when you hire/contract/retain an outside professional or firm to perform certain jobs
- It can save you money
- Independent contractors are more flexible and, in most cases, uniquely skilled and qualified
- You need to verify their references and work under a contract
Here’s what we love most about outsourcing – it allows both entities (that’s big speak for you, the owner, and you, the firm/independent contractor) to focus on your strengths. Why is that important? Not only does this streamline your operating procedures and budgets, but it produces an exemplary product because you’re both doing what you do best. In our case, that’s background checks.
Me. As a freelance content writer, I’m an independent contractor. I hold a master’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s degree in economics. I have nearly two decades of professional multimedia writing experience – web, radio, magazine, advertorial, TV, documentary, marketing, newsletter, etc. etc. Writing is what I do best. Companies like Active Screening, Fit Revolution, Buzz360, and i1Biometrics recognize this talent and know it’s a smart investment to have an outside professional do their content writing. It allows them to focus on delivering a top-grade product or service, invest in more research, add more classes to their roster, or devote precious time to networking or sales.
Bookkeeper. This is an economical and intelligent way to get your finances/payroll done as a small business. Chances are you need a bookkeeper about one day a week for most of the year… maybe a little more if they’re knowledgeable about annual budgets and tax preparation, too. Hiring a full-time or even part-time person for this position is silly. You need a professional who understands numbers better than anyone, works well on deadline, is flexible, and has impeccable references. And you need them for just one day per week. Outsource it.
Background checks. ‘Nuff said.
What You Need to Know
There is some things to consider before sending projects out of house. We consulted this Microsoft Business article and have some takeaways for you.
1.) What’s Your Mission? If your goal is to offer the most innovative fitness classes with the most professional staff available (here’s looking at you, Fit Rev!), then that’s where your focus should be. Don’t waste time on creating and maintaining your website. It’s a time suck and will take you away from teaching classes, recruiting instructors or keeping tabs on trends and trainings. Hire an independent contractor to do that for you.
2.) Test The Water. We’ve hooked you on the idea of outsourcing, but you’re not ready to jump into the boat? Good for you. Go slow. There’s no need to offer a two-year contract from the get-go. Try three months, six months. Whatever works for you to see if the relationship works well and both your needs are being met. Keep the communication lines open and offer feedback.
3.) Find a Quick Learner. You don’t want to spend a lot of money or time training someone to meet your needs. Either have the training materials ready to go for them to read on their own or find someone who is willing to do some homework on their end, on their own dime.
4.) Metrics What are your deliverables? When do you need them by? How will you measure success? When will you pay your contractor? Follow through on all of this.
Send us your outsourcing tips. We’d love to share them!
Tags: Small business outsourcing, small business, outsourcing