If you’re a small business owner or contractor, get ready! According to Clutch, a leading source for B2B research, ratings, and reviews, “80% of businesses plan to outsource in 2021, citing the ability to save time, grow their business, and work with other experts across industry.” In fact, taking a number of losses in 2020, many businesses have been forced to rethink operational efficiencies and have been looking for new ways to optimize existing business structures.
As entrepreneurs, we see things differently than our colleagues or peers in the workforce. We often make excuses when things don’t go our way, and very often we feel a sense of loyalty to our weakest links. Sometimes, we do this to the detriment of our own wallets, rewarding those that were there with us from the beginning -- whether they actually do anything meaningful, or not. In some cases, we feel the need to pay them a salary before we even pay ourselves -- even if we wear damn near every hat under the sun and they sit around waiting for our business.
Likewise, we tend to exert more energy towards tasks that pay little to nothing, stealing from the hours we could be spending actually operating our business. The time spent on mundane tasks, or learning new skills that require intense mastery, takes us away from where we really excel -- and the whole reason we are even in business.
This where we lose focus, get caught up on the fine details, and so often shy away from our craft. The returns don’t equate to hours spent, and there’s always something to do before we get down to actual business.
Outsourcing allows us to focus on the parts of business that we love while paying someone else to “dot the I’s and cross the T’s.”
When we first get into business, many of us try to cut corners and stick to a strict budget.
We often think that because we’re handling a task ourselves, we’re saving our business some money. But, this couldn’t be further from the reality, and the reality is that we’re actually keeping ourselves from making even more money.
If we can sell a product, for example, and we can make a $50 profit, why aren’t we moving more units and are, instead, letting the lack of sales hold us back? Couldn’t we pay someone to handle the administrative duties? Couldn’t we outsource a professional -- and expert with talent and efficiency? Wouldn’t this make our jobs easier, and allow us to move our products much faster?
Let’s say we needed a copywriter, and for sake of numbers, they charged us $100 to create an effective ad copy. Sure, that $100 might be expensive in the short term, but in turn, this investment could lead to greater profits, selling each product for whatever price that we want.
Hiring an expert, our product is more polished. It speaks to our audiences. And, it translates to quality, as it converts to new loyalty and sales for years to come.
The profit from two of our products may be the equivalent of this cost -- but, this cost prevents us from unsold units and profits missed over time. If we take away from business function, we’re delaying more than just time. We’re delaying market share and our role in that market, while we wait in that line.
Outsourcing allows businesses to shine, as professionals team up in the best interest of business.
The better your company does, the more business the expert or vendor will receive in return.
More than one-quarter of businesses, with less than ten in their workforce, say their company has been motivated by getting help from an expert. They admit to cutting corners but still want to be taken seriously. But if only they had hired an expert, someone who knows their audiences intimately… someone who can drive their brand’s integrity... someone who can skillfully drive a position within highly competitive markets… be a voice of the brand and employ the brand’s trade secrets.
Globalization is definitely changing business, and most businesses will have to decide which is more important to them -- the cost of the almighty dollar, or the employment of their community. Onshoring has become the most popular outsourcing strategy. So much so that more than 56% of small businesses will go out of their way and spend more just to work with their neighbors.
Onshoring benefits business processes that require a native language competency, domestic business acumen, and, of course, a mutual interest in the mission or objective. A shared culture and value would be a plus in most markets. And, there wouldn’t be as many barriers or regulations when working with businesses on home turf.
President Joe Biden explains this in his new “Buy American” plan.
This plan would prioritize small businesses in the effort of rebuilding America. Owners would be introduced in a “concerted effort to help small businesses” everywhere, including “low-income communities, big cities, small towns, and rural communities that have faced systemic barriers.”
According to Jay Timmons, President, and CEO of The National Association of Manufacturers, “We can lead our economic recovery by strengthening supply chains and accelerating onshoring, through incentives for creating the next job or investing the next dollar right here in America.”
In lieu of partnering with the experts or hiring contractors for your company, Due.com states that by hiring contractors, instead of employees, your workforce is “able to have the flexibility to work the hours they would like, live closer to their families, and have a better overall work-life balance.” They continue by pointing out that most “contractors are already skilled in the services you need, alleviating the need for training” and saving your company money it may or may not have.
“Contractors can be cheaper,” and although you may pay more per hour to hire a contractor, you won’t need to pay certain taxes, into social security, or benefits to full-time employees.
Black Diamond Net goes on to explain that “Depending on the service needed, most contractors usually have their own licenses and certifications. These are things that you might have to pay for if you were to hire an employee. Even if you need a contractor for a year-long project, it probably won’t cost you as much as you would pay to have an employee for the same time.”
Seasonal workers provide more flexibility to our budgets, especially in times when demand spikes, as unexpected.
Timezones can push your business to maximize its own limits. We’ll meet more stringent deadlines and push for the earliest time of delivery. Experts are less likely to cave under pressure and are more apt to provide a superb quality of service in a time-sensitive matter of completion. Shipping and supply chains can really benefit from this type of coordination.
There are times when business is heavier or the flow of traffic is more consistent. And, then there are times where the Sahara looks more like a rainforest than your very own business.
You’re not obligated to employ a contractor or to provide them with a more long-term position. You may choose to never renew their contract if it’s not in your company’s best interest. They may decide they’ve found a better opportunity elsewhere and are free to leave once they’re finished with little-to-no hard feelings.
Retention strategies may teeter, but temporary hires and partnerships breed a higher pool of quality talent, especially those talents with hard-to-find skillsets.
The onboarding process is much faster, and less time is spent on the more trivial things, such as benefits administration and orientation. In fact, getting down to business, work could begin almost right away. By onshoring experts, businesses can quickly expand their workforce without excessive hiring practices. They minimize downtime by optimizing the schedule.
According to Black Diamond, “Hiring a consultant gives companies a way to hedge against employee burnout. Contingent staffing allows organizations to hire the talent they need while spreading the additional work amongst a greater number of employees. This can give permanent employees a more equitable workload.”
“Life happens,” they continue, “and it can be hard for companies to prepare for unforeseen leaves of absence or unexpected illnesses. These vacancies, if left unfilled, can affect project deadlines, employee morale, and overall business success. Projects can even grind to a halt if the person taking leave has an especially unique skill set or knowledge that other team members lack.”
I’ll leave you with a bit of research from our friends at Clutch, including the “Benefits of Outsourcing for Small Businesses” and how your company could really excel should you prepare for it now:
From the “Benefits of Outsourcing for Small Businesses,” reasearch by Clutch.