By hiring a temp, it affords you the flexibility during a labor crunch.
By Linda Klingman
How will you know if outsourcing is right for your business?
Think of this:
- Do you spend many evenings doing paperwork?
- Do you wish you had more time for the business that you’re in?
- Are you stressed about the things that you don’t know?
If these questions keep you awake at night, it’s time to avoid the fear, uncertainty and doubt — and possibly look to outsource.
Outsourcing can have negative connotations such as jobs moving offshore, leaving Americans out of work or trying to communicate complex issues with people who are not fluent in English. However, outsourcing back-office services to small business experts in the Lowcountry can save time, stress and money from startup through sunset of your business.
Most business owners don’t know how to fix their own problems without getting themselves into financial or legal trouble because they don’t know what they don’t know.
Brian Esposito, owner of Esposito Construction, realized that he would benefit from outsourcing. “I’m not the person to review HR and compliance requirements. It’s not my focus or expertise.”
“Outsourcing” is hiring an external contractor to perform a function where you, the employer, don’t have expertise. Common areas that small business owners farm out are IT, accounting and bookkeeping, web design, marketing and human resources.
Growing businesses benefit from having a strong back office, but they can’t afford to hire and support full-time employees who don’t increase their bottom line. This lack of structure behind the scenes slows momentum and limits their growth potential. However, it is affordable to outsource the work to someone with expertise when you can pick up the phone and call about a problem.
Many growing companies in the Lowcountry take advantage of contracted experts. Stoneworks, a stone fabricator in Beaufort, outsources several key back-office functions.
“The main benefits are access to key talent and experts who are accomplished in their fields. You can’t justify putting them on the payroll, and you can access their time and talent for a fraction of the cost.” said Andy Johnson, Stoneworks CEO.
Base-line cost saving is the main reason most employers subcontract, and for good reason. In our competitive market, businesses are looking for ways to cut operating costs and increase their value margin. One method is to outsource and/or replace an expensive existing role. With the increase in the use of technology and the upswing in remote work, outsourcing becomes an attractive option that saves money.
Hiring temps is also a form of outsourcing that provides flexibility during a labor crunch. Your business can staff up when extra help is needed without the financial commitment of hiring extra employees. After the rush is over, you can switch back to your core in-house team. And if you like a particular temporary employee, you can arrange for a temp-to-perm hire.
Business owners benefit from farming out work to top talent in the field. Subcontracted service providers should be experts in process, quality and delivery. They map out business processes and analyze which outsourcing model fits your business. You, the customer, are at the center of the processes. Having an expert who is only a phone call away is a calming force when you have a tax question, IT or public relations disaster, or a government auditor at your door. Their expertise also can help you avoid lawsuits.
Gabriel Aho, owner of Selectric, an electrical contractor in Beaufort, prefers outsourcing because it “provides access to a higher level of professional in an area where we don’t have resources.”
In addition, outsourcing frees up your time and focuses on more value-added functions. When back-office tasks are outsourced, your key resources and energy can be maximized. You can focus on building and developing customer relationships and increasing sales while providing the best customer experience possible. If your subcontracting arrangement doesn’t work out, you can cancel the contract and avoid downsizing permanent staff, which demoralizes both the affected employees and the surviving staff who wait for the other shoe to fall.
Industries aren’t static. Change is always around the corner, and you must be ready to adapt. Because subcontracting mitigates risk by ensuring that core functions are accomplished, managers and employees can laser focus on new business strategies. This security makes outsourcing attractive.
Now, more than ever, there is a need to help businesses achieve growth, and there are true global markets to satisfy. Outsourcing may be your key to success.
Linda Klingman is the owner of HRCoastal, a company that delivers HR and organizational development outsourcing, consulting and training for small- to medium-sized businesses. Learn more at hrcoastal.com.