Outsourcing – A Wellspring For Any Business (Part 3)
Poised to Dive into the Outsourcing Pool…
So you’ve identified the areas you want to outsource, and found a suitable vendor – but you’re still not sure now’s the right time to sign them up?
Where are you right now in your business? Are you just starting out, taking over an established business, or already with a few years’ trading behind you? Where you are on the curve will influence your decision regarding outsourcing.
Let’s consider each scenario in turn.
Brand New Business
The benefits of putting outsourcing vendors in place from the outset are that you are guaranteed complete compliance from the start, there are no past issues to tidy up and the owner is free to concentrate on the core business at a crucial time. However, at this early stage in a company’s development, you may not yet be sure what services you want to outsource – you will get a clearer picture over time. Accountancy is one area that could best be outsourced right from the outset. Developing a close working relationship with an outsourcing firm in this field means they know what your plans are and will be able to advise you on how best to achieve them from a financial perspective. The benefits that this peace of mind brings will undoubtedly outweigh any affordability issues.
Taking over an Established Business
If you’re taking over a well-established business there may be issues regarding staff to take into consideration. The chap who’s muddled along with the accounts for several years will not take kindly to having “his” domain interfered with. Similarly the lady who’s kept the HR side of the business or the marketing “ticking over” will resent the appearance of an outsourcing company – and both will fear for their jobs unless the process is well managed.
When they hear that the “outsourcers” are coming, every tedious and irritating task becomes (briefly) a thing of joy to be treasured and clung to – however, managed well, your enthusiasm and clear vision will motivate them to work alongside the outsourcing company to achieve a brighter future for all and when they see those same dull tasks taken away their attitudes will quickly change.
Remember you are now the boss and staff will understand that things will change under your direction.
When a business has been running for a few years, there’s a danger that outsourcing becomes one of those things you know you must look at but don’t quite get around to it! In this instance the motivators to outsource are that you know exactly why you need external professional help, you can afford it and the costs will be easier to assess than in a start-up or takeover scenario. Your financial year will almost certainly impact when you choose to outsource. If your accountants have just completed your year-end and there were no problems you are probably not likely to address that situation for a further few months. But suppose you had difficulties collating all the paperwork for your accountant in time or didn’t quite know which pieces of paper were relevant – wouldn’t you like the peace of mind knowing that its being taken care of by experts in the field?
Outsourcing before the year-end will get everything ready for the year end accounts. Companies also need to be aware of the ever-changing rules and regulations regarding tax, employment benefits, dividends etc. – can you really spare the time to keep on top of it all? If that’s the case an upcoming Budget with the likely changes that this will bring might be the trigger to outsource? Outsourcing to professional accounts firms can provide a full end-to-end solution or provision for specific areas from internal payroll or credit control through to full management accounts.
In summary, only you can gauge the best time to outsource services for your business but delaying means you are deeper embroiled in areas outside of your core business. With today’s systems and technology at our disposal handovers to outsourcing companies in all spheres – from accounts to marketing, HR to IT can be easy, seamless and the benefits long-lasting.
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