As a business owner, you probably wear many hats. Your days might be full of overseeing marketing, finance, and other core business functions. Those days are often fast-paced and sometimes overwhelming. It’s impossible to do it all. That’s why you have a trusted team to whom you delegate certain tasks.
That said, in-house staff can’t always handle everything either. Sometimes it’s better to consider outsourcing business functions that are routine or outside the company’s main focus. In the new year, you can get a fresh start and come out ahead by transferring the following responsibilities to experts. Let’s look at six business functions you should consider outsourcing in 2023.
1. Employee Benefits and Payroll
Some companies stick to hiring locally, while others add to their employee roster from international talent pools. Bringing staff on board is part of running a successful business. However, paying them and keeping track of benefits can quickly become a significant undertaking. You must also worry about compliance issues, such as payroll tax withholding.
Whether your company hires stateside or abroad, managing employee benefits and payroll gets complicated. Different laws, currencies, and mandatory benefits can be confusing. But once you venture into international waters, payroll complexity can increase substantially. Partnering with a global payroll provider ensures your business follows each country’s labor laws. Outsourcing this function to an expert also reduces the chance of errors, which could become costly.
2. Product and Market Research
Before you design and introduce a new product or service, you’ll want to do plenty of research. Otherwise, the launch of that brand-new offering might not go off without a hitch. But gathering all the details you need for a successful product or service takes substantial effort and time. Good research also takes precision and knowledge of techniques or methodologies that produce accurate results. In other words, cursory Google searches for information usually won’t cut it.
While you might have an in-house product manager or marketing staff, they may not be whizzes at data and analysis. It’s thought that low-quality data causes an average loss of $15 million yearly across organizations surveyed by Gartner. A lack of proper tools, data collection practices, and analytical understanding may be to blame. Outsourcing intensive research tasks to people with the skills to perform them can prevent bad data and improve decisions.
3. Administrative Functions
In most businesses, someone has to field phone calls and respond to emails or online contact forms. It’s time-consuming and requires empathy or soft skills. Owners may want to be the face and voice of their companies. However, they can’t answer every question or inquiry.
Outsourcing administrative work frees up business owners and in-house staff so they can focus on more strategic tasks. Solutions such as virtual assistants and answering services can help cover the bases. Some virtual assistants will schedule appointments, handle employees’ travel arrangements, and help qualify leads. Those with diverse skill sets might pitch in with social media or digital marketing tasks. Assistants take most of the routine work off owners’ shoulders.
4. Information Technology
Startups often lack the resources to hire and retain in-house IT employees. Frequently, employers must compete for sought-after IT talent by offering higher pay. Many tech positions demand above-average annual salaries, ranging from around $78,000 to $131,000. Plus, different technical functions usually require specialized knowledge and experience. A help desk or end-user support technician’s training doesn’t come close to a cybersecurity expert’s knowledge.
Even larger organizations sometimes need help managing certain IT functions, including servers and web development. Partnering with managed services vendors and technical specialists prevents smaller IT departments from feeling overworked. Outsourcing fills labor and skill gaps while meeting a business’s diverse IT needs. You won’t lose productivity or compromise customer service because critical equipment or software goes down.
5. Video Production
Online tools for amateur video producers exist. But you probably don’t want to rely on these for your ads and corporate videos. Graphic designers in smaller in-house marketing teams might not have the right skills or equipment. Outsourcing ad and corporate or event video production can result in more professional and engaging marketing assets.
Video production companies have a range of equipment, resources, and expertise. Vendors’ skills and resources include writing commercial scripts and hiring actors or another talent. They may provide props and sets or know of ideal filming locations. Outsourcing video production streamlines the concept creation and editing processes, letting marketing employees concentrate on larger campaign responsibilities.
6. Supply Chain Management
Outsourcing your supply chain function can save time and resources if your business manages inventory and ships products. Usually, your company needs a warehouse, distribution network, fleet, and inventory management software. Behind your supply chain are employees who must accurately estimate inventory demands and keep everything moving regardless of volume.
As your business grows, supply chain management can become even more challenging. Logistics and shipping vendors move supplies and products at the right pace. Customers have a higher chance of getting their orders on time and have an easier way to return returns. You also don’t have to carry the expenses of maintaining warehouses, fleet vehicles, and contracts with various shipping carriers. It’s a more efficient way to scale your supply chain.
Why Outsourcing Can Benefit a Business
Companies usually excel at a few core competencies. It may be digital marketing or designing and manufacturing electronics. But owners and in-house employees can’t be expected to perform well at everything. Relying on outside vendors with specialized expertise lets leaders and staff members use their skills at capacity. In 2023, embrace outsourcing to prevent your people from becoming overwhelmed and ensure your business functions can operate without interruption.