It can happen all too often. Small business owners tend to take too much on their own plate without delegating resources or jobs to employees or to outside contractors. One of the hardest things a small business can do is rapidly grow beyond what their financial budgeting and projections allow and beyond what their own employee base can handle. It is a very fine line to be able to put in place proper financial support, outside vendors and employees as the company grows. Without these resources the company will be destined for cash flow issues and customer service nightmares. Too much of these issues can also produce an insolvent company and possibly lead to its bankruptcy. One of the best ways to institute growth is to plan for it with scalable solutions.
When to Outsource
Figuring out the exact moment that your company will need outside resources, scalable solutions or outsourced contracting partners is like forecasting the stock market. Yet just because it is difficult does not mean that it should not be planned for. A lot of companies decide to outsource when their current employee base is overloaded and they wish to take on new projects or opportunities. These opportunities may not represent the need for hiring more staff and therefore outsourcing becomes a real solution. Another time to outsource is when the executive staff or owners are overloaded and do not have time to focus on the growth of the company but are mired in daily operational tasks. By taking some of these tasks and outsourcing them the business owner can get back to what they do—their core competencies. Most professional business consultants suggest outsourcing from the start of your company, especially technical aspects such as accounting and web design. This experience will enable you to make decisions about future outsourcing opportunities to further enable growth.
Deciding What to Outsource
As previously mentioned one of the most outsourced aspect of the business includes bookkeeping and accounting and IT. Generally if an aspect of the company is very technical and is not a core revenue building stream, it should be outsourced. Highly repetitive tasks, such as payroll, data entry, shipping inventory or customer service, can also be outsourced fall into this category. The decision to hire an outsource company to fulfill a basic need should not be taken lightly. Outside contractors will be handling very important revenue-generating aspects of the company. These third-party contractors should be well vetted and used for specific purposes. One area that can often benefit from professional outsourcing includes customer service and sales. By judiciously outsourcing specific tasks the businesses revenue can be boosted.
Servicing Customer Growth
One of the hardest aspects of business growth is managing a large influx of customers. With an increase of customers comes an increase in contact for employees to handle. Without properly increasing staff to deal with the increased volume customer satisfaction will drop followed shortly thereafter by sales. To avoid this roller coaster ride customer service outsourcing should be one of the first outsourced contracts when planning for large potential growth, followed by fulfillment strategies. By employing out side agents for customer service you need to be careful to choose the right company. Before that can be done, you need to clearly identify what the outsourcing company will be responsible for. Any contractor hired should be able to meet the specified requirements that you set out to be fulfilled.
Call answering services, customer service outsourcing, accounting and IT of the four most employed outsourcing contracts by small businesses. They allow the business owner to focus on their core competencies and ensure the healthy growth of their company.