Outsourcing strategically: maximise efficiency and productivity
Updated: Mar 1
We hear a lot about outsourcing, and there are a variety of reasons why outsourcing works well for many businesses. Today, I’d like to focus on why outsourcing strategically is good to increase efficiency and productivity, and which tasks/areas to look at outsourcing.
Why strategically outsource?
Most companies usually outsource non-core functions of their daily day-to-day business. Most outsourced non-core functions are typically excessively time-consuming or tedious - think about recruitment, administration and data entry, graphic design, etc. By outsourcing those tasks and projects, you (and your employees if you have staff) have more opportunities to focus on essential tasks such as delivering client work, product development, client relationship management, business development, etc.
Let’s have a look at a few reasons why outsourcing can maximise efficiency and productivity for small businesses.
Benefits of outsourcing
Access to specialised skills
By outsourcing certain tasks, small businesses can gain access to specialised skills and expertise that they may not have in-house, leading to improved efficiency and quality of work.
Reduced overhead costs
Outsourcing eliminates the need to hire and train full-time employees, reducing the overhead costs associated with staffing and benefits.
Outsourcing non-core tasks free up time and resources for small business owners to focus on their core competencies, leading to increased productivity. It also lets the company’s full-time employees focus on their more crucial core functions, which saves a lot of time. In addition, organisations that outsource their non-critical functions can act more rapidly.
Outsourcing allows small businesses to scale their workforce up or down as needed, providing greater flexibility to respond to changing business demands.
With outsourcing, small businesses can have tasks performed 24/7, increasing productivity and enabling them to meet tight deadlines.
Access to technology and tools
Outsourcing can provide small businesses with access to the latest technology and tools, enabling them to stay competitive and improve their operations.
What tasks/areas could you outsource?
Outsourcing is a cost-effective way to gain time back. Time can be directed towards those areas in your business that need your entire focus. Also, for small growing businesses, It’s a way to scale without taking on the risk and cost of hiring employees.
In other words, it’s a way to avoid becoming overwhelmed by all of the tasks you and your team need to keep up with to maintain your business. We can’t do it all, and when we want to grow our business, we need to have time to dedicate to growth.
Here I’ve listed the 10 tasks that I see businesses (including myself) outsourcing first.
Remember: every business is different and everything might not apply to you and your business. As a rule, anything that takes you away from working in your area of genius should be outsourced.
Administration, including email and calendar management: from document management to organisation, reports and more, there is never a shortage of admin responsibilities. Inbox and calendar management are very time-consuming too, so having someone to ensure that your emails are responded to in a timely manner and your calendar is all well organised, will save you lots of time headaches.
Data entry: it might seem simple, but outsourcing is a great option for accurate and fast data entry.
Accounting and bookkeeping: this is the first thing I outsourced in my business. Having a professional to manage your accounts and make sure you are compliant with all tax regulations is key for any business.
Social Media management: another time-consuming task, even more, if you are not familiarised with it or you don’t enjoy doing it. There are plenty of options out there to outsource your social media, from someone to help out with the social media admin to a professional that will create and schedule all your social content.
Marketing strategy and implementation: even if you are a marketer, doing your own strategy might be tricky. Delegating aspects of your marketing can help you be consistent, and grow your brand. From content and digital marketing to lead generation and SEO, outsourcing to a specialist can add value short and long term.
Graphic design: if you want to impress with your visuals, a graphic designer will help you stand out, save you time and help grow your brand.
Web design and copywriting: website creation and copy that converts is not an easy task, and definitely not a quick one. This is my next project to outsource this year!
Human resources: when you are small and don’t have an HR team yet, outsourcing your human resource requirements can save you time, money and headaches.
Recruitment: some roles are easier to fill than others, but if you feel that you are too busy to find the perfect fit for your team, there are lots of options out there to support your recruitment process - from agencies to freelancers. There are recruiters that specialise in areas of expertise and are worth looking into, specifically for technical roles.
Tech support: having someone to help out with your IT services can also ease a lot of pressure of being well-versed in new technologies and solving problems for your team.
In conclusion, strategic outsourcing allows businesses to succeed in their business objectives and saves a lot of time (as so long as it is strategically handled). Core functions are better when done by in-house employees, especially involving sensitive aspects of development. And business owners and employees are more effective when they have the time and space to focus on those core tasks.