Although it’s always tempting to save money by keeping all areas of your business in-house, there are times when it would be more cost-effective to outsource this to qualified professionals. There are very few companies that can afford to set up numerous departments that cover all aspects of their business needs, instead most have to at some point use the services of freelancers and B2B companies.
In fact, there is a whole industry of business services available, so much so that small business owners could outsource almost every part of their business. So how do you decide when it’s best to hire external help that will improve your business? Of course, every business is different with different needs, however here are four times when you should always consider getting extra help:
There are some industries and professions that will not be connected to your core business but which will impact on your company. Marketing and PR are two such professions, as very few companies have a dedicated PR or marketing team, but there are very few businesses that will thrive and grow without them. While in today’s increasingly digital world, being up to date with the latest online trends is fast becoming an important part of most businesses however few companies would want to recruit specialists in this area full-time. Linking up with experts in these types of professions will often provide your business with the knowledge and contracts needed, but without the expense and time of having to recruit extra members of staff.
There are times when there will be legal issues and regulations that could impact on your business and in order to ensure you meet government guidelines you would be advised to use experts in these areas. Obvious areas this would apply to would be issues surrounding law and finance, but there are other surprising areas of your business that could be violating regulations. A good example of this is hazardous waste. Most business owners know that if their companies produce a vast amount of hazardous waste they need to ensure it is disposed of safely, legally and ethically. Few, however, realise that even everyday items like light bulbs, batteries and WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), needs to be legally disposed of safely. There are a number of companies, such as Enviroco, which provide hazardous waste management for small businesses.
Cheaper to outsource
There are times when it is cheaper to outsource essential areas of your business rather than hire a full-time member of staff. IT is a prime example of this and unless your business is involved in digital professions where having bespoke computer systems or the latest technology is a must, most business owners will find that using the services of an IT company to be much more cost-effective than hiring an in-house IT specialist.
There are times when you’re swamped with work, but it is unlikely to last. Instead of hiring extra staff, only for them to become unnecessary in a few months’ time, it is much more economical to hire freelancers instead. Another time when temporary help is ideal is for special projects, when a client is requesting a service that your company doesn’t provide and which is unlikely to be requested by other clients in the future. In this case by working with a freelancer you’ll be able to meet the client’s need for the specific project, while also keeping their business in the long-term.
Written by Derin Clark, a writer, editor and blogger with many years’ experience of writing for business magazines and websites