Virtual outsourcing – considerations and benefits for small business
In this digital age, virtual outsourcing has become the go-to strategy used by companies who want to grow fast and efficiently. Think about it. You get a highly skilled member of staff without having to pay for holidays, Dr’s appointments, sick leave, benefits or employers tax and NI.
That’s not to mention the overheads you have to account for with each physical member of staff you take on, or the long list of other benefits, including:
- Minimising your risk by reducing your fixed investment
- Getting true expertise at a fraction of the cost
- Allowing you to focus on your core business and make more money
- Converting your fixed costs into a variable cost that can be quickly scaled up or down as business dictates
- Making your business more attractive to investors as you have the capital to fund new revenue streams
- Ability to start new projects quickly as you can easily take on more outsourced staff at short notice
- Saving money on training and support
- Enabling your business to compete with much larger organisations who can maintain greater in-house resource
So, it’s a no brainer. And if the past few years are anything to go on, we predict that all businesses of every size will have a partially outsourced workforce in the next few years. Bearing that in mind, it’s important you know what you are getting yourself into. What do you need to consider before you take that important step, and what can you expect in return? In this blog we will answer some of the most common questions we receive each day, and hopefully help you prepare for the outsourcing revolution, which is already well underway. Here is our guide to outsourcing to a virtual assistant.
1. What type of business can outsource?
Any organisation can benefit from outsourcing parts of their business, so long as it is planned into your process to ensure workflows are managed and to ensure you have the right resource, exactly when and where you need it. Whether it’s your customer service department, I.T support, payroll or complete virtual office outsourcing that you need, there are specialist providers who can supply all the skills you need.
2. Is outsourcing only for large companies?
Not at all. In fact, because of the huge cost benefits, it is probably small businesses that will feel the greatest benefit to their bottom line. It might mean you can delay moving to a bigger office, saving a huge amount on rent and rates, or simply that you don’t have to pay for 28 days holiday for each in-house employee every year. Either way, outsourcing can be a powerful tool for a business of any size.
3. Where do I start?
Simple – just ask yourself what parts of your business you are finding most difficult to stay on top of. The best jobs to outsource are those that are both time-intensive and essential, but do not form part of the core offering of your business. After all, that is what you specialise in! Start by doing your research to find a partner who can meet all of your needs, both short and long-term. Cost is not the only variable. You must also consider flexibility, breadth of skills on offer and how far a company is willing to integrate into your business. Ignoring these things in favour of cost is likely to leave you wanting to move on within a few months, but finding yourself locked into what will turn out to be a costly, and unsuitable contract
4. Do I need to hire different people to do every different task?
Absolutely not. In fact, to ensure you have an employee outsourcing system in place that can scale up as your business grows, find a supplier who can provide multiple disciplines under one roof. Just as with any bulk purchase, the more you spend, the better the rates you can expect to get.
For example, if you’re primarily considering lead generation outsourcing for your business, why not also get your market research outsourced too? Or if you are thinking about finding a company to issue your invoices, why not get one who can also update your accounting software? These are all skills that combine well and the cost to do both is likely to be much less than to get an independent VA to do one, and a marketer to do the other. Just ensure you chose a company who can offer all of the services you might need under one roof with a proven track record, and who is going to be willing to develop a flexible package to meet your precise needs. A one-size fits all, or single service provider is likely to leave you needing a lot more, very quickly.
We hope you found our guide to outsourcing to virtual assistants useful. If you’re ready to take your business into the future with virtual outsourcing or would like to know more about our affordable virtual business assistant services, feel free to call us on 0800 994 9016 or click here to request a free consultation.
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