Whether you have a one-off project or an ongoing need, outsourcing is an excellent alternative to hiring employees. In fact, outsourcing can even be essential if you want to continue growing your business and stay competitive. There are many reasons why more companies are choosing to outsource — and most likely apply to your situation.
1. Focus on Your Core Business
There are some activities that only you can do. Unfortunately, these may not even make up the majority of your time, particularly if your company is going through a period of rapid growth. By outsourcing tasks that are taking up all your time, you’re able to focus your efforts on areas like strategy, product development, and providing an exceptional service.
2. Gain the Skills You Lack
One of the best ways to utilize outsourcing is to gain the skills you lack in house. You can find professionals who are at the top of their field — the kinds of professionals who would be inaccessible to you as employees, but who do offer their services on a contract basis. As a consequence, you’ll both improve quality and see faster results.
All this is especially useful when you have a once-and-done project, such as developing an app for your brand. Contractors can complete the project in collaboration with your employees (even teaching your employees the skills they need to continue the work in the future) and then are no longer part of your team once you have no further use for their skills.
3. Save Money
Outsourcing is much more cost effective than hiring employees. It eliminates expenses related to interviewing, training, and supplies. Plus, there is no need to provide benefits to workers and you won’t incur payroll taxes. All these cost savings are particularly pronounced when you only need temporary work.
In addition, you’ll only pay for the hours you need — there’s no requirement to provide outsourced professionals with a salary when you have no work to give them. This makes it extra easy to scale, including on a seasonal basis and to fit around a product launch.
These cost savings will benefit you now and in the future. In the near term, you’ll be able to put those savings back into your company, whereas showing that you know how to save money is important long term for things like attracting investors.
4. Improve Customer Service
All the above can lead to a better service for your customers. Depending on what you outsource, you may be able to respond to customers’ queries faster, keep better records on users, or even provide higher-quality offerings. Through outsourcing, you may even be able to offer clients services that were not feasible before.
5. Lower Risk
Through outsourcing, it’s possible to find a professional service that offers quality assurance. This means that if any of the work is not up to your standards, you can either receive your money back or have the work redone at no extra cost. On the flip side, it’s never possible to regain your investment if an employee fails to fulfill your quality requirements.
Another way risk is reduced is in the case of staff turnover. Outsourced professionals are relatively easy to replace, especially if you are using an outsourcing company, in which case the provider can just assign someone else to your project and you’ll experience minimal interruptions. Everything is far more problematic if an employee quits: you’ll need to start the hiring process all over again, which is expensive and time consuming and adds an element of uncertainty.
6. Operate 24/7
If you outsource providers in a different time zone than you, it’s possible to keep your business operating around the clock. This is particularly useful if you outsource customer service or a virtual receptionist, but it’s even beneficial for bookkeeping and data management, as you’ll have the reports you need ready to start your workday.
7. Improve Efficiency
Outsourcing tends to be much more efficient than managing activities in house. Provided that your expectations are reasonable, you can find a contractor who’s available almost immediately and is able to complete the work within your timeframe.
In contrast, it takes an average of 1 to 2 months just to hire an employee. Even if you have people on your team who can do the work, you won’t see nearly such progress because the employees will need to fit the project around their other commitments. Plus, if some tasks fall outside their area of expertise, they’ll be still less efficient.
An alternative to outsourcing could be to hire someone to work part time. However, this is only suitable if you’ll require the same number of hours each week. In addition, it’s more difficult to find people who want to work part time: an employee may leave you for another company once a full-time opportunity opens up. Through outsourcing, you’ll work with professionals who collaborate with a few clients on a contract basis and who have the flexibility to fit your requirements into their schedules.
9. Access to Tools
Whereas employees expect you to provide them with all the software they need for the job, outsourced professionals tend to have their own set of tools — and they know how to use them. This is especially true if you opt for a service provider rather than an individual.
10. Remote Working
Every time you add another employee to your team, you need to think about whether you have sufficient office space. Hire even just a few more team members and you may need to upgrade to a larger space. When you outsource, however, all the new people you add to your team will work remotely.
11. More Specialized Knowledge
Most likely, the majority of the employees at your company will end up taking on responsibilities unrelated to their role. This rarely happens to contractors, meaning every moment they’re working is time spent improving skills and gaining relevant experience. Many outsourced professionals also dedicate many hours to enhancing their knowledge, staying up to date with industry trends, and learning new techniques.
12. Compete with Larger Companies
One of the reasons small businesses struggle to compete with large corporations is their lack of talent. Outsourcing allows you to build a much bigger team — when it would be impossible to hire that many people. As a result, you retain the advantages of a small business (such as agility and an in-depth knowledge of your customers) but combine this with the competitiveness of a larger company.
13. Reduced Human Resources Needs
Increasing your workforce often puts more pressure on human resources. Outsourcing keeps things simple: you significantly reduce activities related to recruiting, onboarding, and training and you don’t even need to exert effort into keeping contractors motivated. Plus, if you use an outsourcing company, workers taking sick days or vacation is one less thing to worry about — the service will simply provide you with someone else for those days.
14. Better Management
You can even outsource an entire department of your business to a service provider. This is useful if you’re struggling to manage an internal team and seeing poor performance as a result. The right contractor will bring the management skills you need, leaving you responsible just for oversight.
A flexible solution to outsource all the various tasks you need (both routine and ad hoc) is to contract a virtual assistant. With MYVA360, you’ll receive a dedicated virtual assistant to handle tasks ranging from admin and scheduling to social media management and bookkeeping.