With Brexit looming, many home-grown businesses are holding off increasing or replacing staff numbers and pausing their growth plans. This current environment of uncertainty has most UK business held in a state of limbo, waiting to see what happens next.
In response to this period of unpredictability, Savvy SME’s are now adopting a new culture of micro-outsourcing. This is where a company offloads a small or single aspect of their workload to an external service provider or freelancer. This process happens quite naturally when a company wants a website built, but UK business are often reluctant to outsource ] more routine duties and I can understand why.
In truth, the UK's relationship with outsourcing hasn’t always been great. Go back a decade or so and every large corporation unburdened their customer service departments in favour of the cheaper foreign call centres. This was favourable from a cost savings point of view but accent issues and lacklustre service created a backlash from the indignant British consumer.
Thankfully, time and technology have worked their magic on this once tarnished industry and surprisingly, a new love for outsourcing has emerged. This trend is rapidly gaining momentum and has not only become commonplace but is now, in today’s financial climate become a very sensible decision.
It’s not just about cost
Technology has obviously played it’s part in changing this environment, but necessity has been the catalyst to make this one of the largest growth industries we see today. In reality, you probably outsource more than you think. With software houses building websites, accountants taking care of finances, cleaners cleaning and payroll paying. You wouldn’t have time to run your business if you had to do this all yourself.
The point I’m making is that you don’t just need to offload only your difficult or menial jobs. Service providers are now labelled as consultants, industry experts, and specialists and this is not just a rebranding exercise. These service providers have the training, expertise, and technology to take almost any aspect of your business and transform them into slick, professional processes with renewed vigour and often at a much lower total cost than resourcing this yourself.
So what should you be outsourcing if you aren’t already?
Website and Apps
Employing a developer just isn’t cost effective, it’s a necessity! You often need a team of developers working simultaneously on a project to get a quick turnaround and a project manager to oversee everything. This is one best left to the experts.
HR and Payroll
With legal requirements changing month on month and stern consequences of ever getting this wrong, undertaking HR yourself doesn’t bear thinking about. Top that with the mere tedium of it all, if you’re doing your own HR then good luck to you.
Inbound telephone calls
Do you really have time to talk to all those over-enthusiastic recruitment companies, cold callers or support calls taking up your valuable time. The low cost of outsourcing this to a team of well-trained experts could give you a more professional phone image whilst freeing up your time to do what you’re best at. This is what we call a “No-brainer”
SEO and online advertising
SEO consultancies have the technology to provide a comprehensive analysis of your website and online advertising. They’ve streamlined the whole process and leveraged scales of economy, so you get the most bang for your buck. Unless you’re in the trade yourself, you won’t be able to get close to what they can achieve.
External training companies can pay dividends. You may be able to train the day to day tasks but often, we’re so close to our own products that a fresh, objective approach can provide that one idea or process that revolutionises your businesses. Also your staff will feel like they’re being invested in and this is something that’s often neglected by many businesses.
Service providers are now leading the way
There’s often an overlooked but positive disparity between the reason you outsource an aspect of your business and the result you receive. You may need to outsource to reduce costs or free up more of your time but as a consequence of this action, you’ll find that the service you provide or receive is far better than expected.
Service providers are now becoming industry experts and authorities within their given vertical. As this trend continues and more services are siloed away, service providers will not only be responsible for fulfilling a task, but will be more instrumental in the direction, success, and resilience of your business.
Embrace the change now
With Brexit causing a slow but steady exodus of EU workers over the coming years, we could start to see gaps emerging in the UK workforce, causing less high street spending and tax from fewer workers and the remaining competition for jobs pushing up salaries. Either way, we’re probably in for a longer spell of austerity than anyone had originally forecast.
Now isn’t the time for retraction or cutbacks, it’s a time for leveraging low-cost sensible alternatives to grow your business without the risk of increasing your cost base or compromising your offering.