This article details the business functions that can be outsourced and those that should never be given to others to do.
There are a number of business functions that have become synonymous with outsourcing, such as IT and transport, and logistics. However, as the business world becomes leaner and business looks to exploit any means possible to bounce back from the current slowdown, it is important to understand the process of outsourcing in greater detail and why some things should not be let out of your in-house business control.
The things you can outsource
As long as the money is available, then paying wages does not have to be something you do personally. The entire process can be better dealt with by a company that specializes in this process, or your business can invest in the software that will allow this process to be predominantly automated. Hours are clocked in approved, and payments are made accordingly without the need for too much human intervention. Whichever route you go, payroll is a function that can easily and safely be outsourced, do your research well as you do not want to be giving the keys to your kingdom to just anyone. Check references and reviews and ensure that the data associated with this process is stored and available in-house.
Dealing with personnel, staff development and training, absence from work, and hiring and firing is a specialized field, and there are considerable advantages of outsourcing HR functions with professionals such as GnA Partners. Primarily your business will focus on what you do best and ensure that your staff and employees are dealt with professionally as possible with all the relevant legislation and industry policies being followed. It is a trend for most businesses to go this route simply because it works.
Taxes and returns
Unless your business has a fully-fledged accounting department, then submitting your tax returns, company taxes, rebates, and payments should be handled professionally. Taxes and the amounts dues by each business, sector-specific taxes, and related government charges change all the time, and it can be impossible to keep up. It is possible to have the same firm that deals with your payroll to do this or find and put in place a one-off, yearly process of collation and submission. However, it will be important to know from the get-go who will be doing this and what information and data they will require from the business to be successful in this endeavor. Taxes and their non-payment are some of the main reasons new startups fail or face financial hardship in their emergence.
IT and tech
Software, hardware, and the repairs and maintenance of both of these is something that the business will rely on in the modern age. No longer is it necessary for your business to purchase all the required tech for operations. There are now numerous companies that specialize in providing hardware and software business solutions. The best advice here is to go with a firm that already works in your specific business sector and look for someone who can cover both hardware and software and maintenance, cybersecurity, and connectivity. Too many businesses have in the past hired entire IT sections at great cost only to still require additional assistance with software or hardware and networking. There are also set up and pay-as-you-go type contracts that will allow you to use the professionals as and when you need them but have access to their software and 24/7 support.
The things you should never outsource
Brand creation or establishment
The ideas behind your brand and the back story can never be outsourced. These are the lifeblood of your business and, as such, must be developed and finalized in-house. Yes, some use specialist facilitators to drive this process, but the knowledge and history of the product can only be told by those who were there. Once the idea or basic ideas of the brand are determined, it is then useful to engage with professionals to market and further develop the initial idea. Brand development is an area where all businesses will benefit from professional advice and some guidance but creating and envisaging your business brand is an internal process that must be guarded and should remain as such.
The core business
The product or service that the business is known for should always be in the sole control of your business. There may be manufactured off-site components, but the principal business must do the final quality checks and approvals before dispatch. There is too much at stake to allow the core elements of your product or service to be provided by others.
In a digital age where data determines your business success, it would be shortsighted not to be involved in analyzing any data gathered by the business. Specialist data analysts can do the collection and storage as well as some of the manipulation and presentation of the data, but the business must set the detailed analysis and determinants set for the reports that will be run on your data. To get the most from your data, you must understand what is collected, why it is useful, and what you want to achieve. With this knowledge, you will drive the process of data collection, mining, and analysis for actual growth and development.
In a world where most services are available to your business as a short-term contract or in longer-term consultancy, many businesses have let go of everything bar the core elements of their business. At the same time, others have hunkered down and kept everything in-house. These are two extremes, and yes, the middle ground is probably more suitable for the modern business; however, there are a few exceptions to what it is advisable to seek external professional advice and assistance with. Some business functions must be kept internal to the business, while for others, there would be no sense no financial gain to continue to perform these functions in-house. There must be some thought and planning behind this process, and this article provides the starting point in that regard.