A common pitfall that many new businesses and start-ups fall into is the trap of trying to do everything yourself. This is a particularly common problem as your business expands. Whilst at first it might be manageable for you to oversee and complete the finances, ensure IT is up to speed as well as take and complete orders for your product or service, over time, and as your business develops, you may need to take on additional members of staff. The software, website and ordering systems you have in place will become more complex and require additional maintenance. Tax returns and business expenses will get more and more involved.
When this happens, it might be time to start thinking about outsourcing some of the work. Big companies have entire departments dedicated to Finance, IT, Human Resources so, it makes sense, as your business grows, you might need additional support to fulfil these aspects of your work. Not to mention the legal ramifications that can be incurred if you don’t follow the rules. So, if trying to be everything to everyone is starting to prove impossible, read on for some tips for what you can outsource.
It’s incredibly beneficial to be able to call on IT support if you are having trouble with your website, security, or any other aspect of IT, including maintenance and recovery. One of the biggest issues for businesses is hacking and, while you might think that these criminals are more likely to go after the big companies, actually it’s smaller businesses that often don’t have the infrastructure in place to properly protect themselves. Don’t become one of their targets – make sure you are protected. This is particularly important if you run a business where you hold people’s personal information. Many cyber attacks target this information to steal and either threaten the business with or sell on at profit. Companies can find themselves in court and facing charges for losing customer personal information due to insufficient protection.
Outsourcing your personnel means hiring a company who can advise and direct you on your personnel needs. There are few disadvantages to this, and many companies can price competitively due to pooling expertise from a wide range of fields allowing them to cater to businesses of all shapes and sizes. You might not think this is something you need, especially if you are a small business and perhaps only have one or two other employees. But, even if this is the case, it’s still important you work within the parameters of the law to avoid being brought up before an employment tribunal. Those one or two employees will still need holidays, maternity or paternity leave, and a pension plan. It’s vital that these things are covered, or you could find yourself in breach of the law. One of the difficulties that can arise from outsourcing your human resources or personnel is that the firm you employ will not necessarily know the business culture and so will be a little distanced from your day-to-day running. This can be balanced though by having a primary contact within your HR company.
Successful accounting is at the heart of every business. It can be cumbersome and expensive to keep these operations in-house. What’s more, best practice, regulations and compliance policies change regularly, meaning that it can be difficult to stay on top of continuing developments. When you outsource your finance and accounting, you will be placing what can be a challenging and time-consuming task in the hands of experts who will be accountable if something is inaccurate. It also relieves the pressure from your staff, meaning that you can redeploy them to more forward-thinking activities. Another issue that many small businesses have is that there will be one person who does the finances or keeps the accounts and stays on top of changes and developments. If that person leaves or becomes unwell, it can result in your company having to pick up the pieces at short notice. Outsourcing finance prevents this becoming a problem as there will always be someone on hand to assist you.
If you are trying to grow your business, or you have increased your customer base quickly, you need to keep up with the speed at which you’re expanding. It can be tempting to try and manage everything at once but, when you outsource some of the day-to-day administrative tasks that every company has, you will free up your time to concentrate on planning for the future and shaping your company into what you want it to be.