Running a business is much more complex than many people realise, and certainly more complex than it was twenty years ago. In the modern marketplace, businesses need to be able to reach customers through a number of different marketing channels, keep up with constantly advancing technology, protect their operation from cybercriminals, satisfy high expectations in terms of customer service and run the day to day administration. With so much to do, it is only a matter of time before one or more areas of the business start to suffer. To ensure that you are giving the key areas of your business the attention they deserve, you might want to consider outsourcing.
Here we outline six areas of your business you might want to outsource to improve efficiency and take it to the next level of development.
1. IT Support and Security
It is rare that a small business has the skills or knowledge needed to maintain an up-to-date and secure IT system. From internal administration, data storage, and communication to digital marketing and customer service, much of a business’s operation depends on technology. This technology needs to run smoothly and enable the business to function efficiently and securely to achieve its maximum potential. Cybersecurity is a concern for modern businesses as hackers are constantly employing new tactics to exploit weaknesses in IT security.
Outsourcing for small businesses often includes the IT helpdesk and security, a remote data hosting service (with backup and disaster recovery), and network maintenance and monitoring.
2. Digital and print marketing
Digital marketing is a complex and varied world which demands a lot of creativity, skill, and, crucially, time. There are lots of digital marketing agencies that will devise a digital marketing strategy for your business, aligning with your objectives. This strategy is likely to include search engine optimisation (SEO) for your website, social media, online advertising, and content marketing.
While digital marketing is often viewed as the dominant force, print marketing can still be effective when planned and designed in the right way. It is important that your printed marketing materials are printed to a high quality, which is why many businesses outsource to a printing business.
3. Sales and Customer Service
Depending on the type of business, in some cases, the sales operation can be outsourced. An in-house sales team is usually small and only operates within standard office hours, which are not optimal for getting a high conversion rate. An outsourced sales team may be able to work more varied hours and may be more skilled in telephone sales techniques. You can also outsource customer service tasks, such as answering customer queries.
4. Product Storage and Distribution
If you sell products via an ecommerce website, you are probably spending a lot of time and money storing, packing, and dispatching orders. Ecommerce fulfillment can be outsourced to companies that have more experience in these areas so that orders are fulfiled to a high standard as efficiently as possible. This leaves you plenty of time to focus on maximising sales through marketing and customer service.
n the early days, most businesses will manage their own accounts and taxes, but over time this becomes a complex and time-consuming task. It is important that your accounts are accurate and compliant with all legal requirements, so it is highly recommended that you outsource your accounting to a professional company.
6. Business Development
Businesses of every size reach a crossroads, crisis, or a change, which means they need to adapt their strategy and working practices. When this happens, it is best to bring in an external business consultant who has experience in navigating these issues.