Small business and franchise owners are some tough people. They can juggle inventory management, customer service, finances, and employee scheduling all at once. They’re even great at inspiring leadership and motivation in the workplace.
But no one person can consistently do it all, especially if that business owner needs to be out there growing his or her business. That’s why it’s important to look at business process outsourcing. BPOs specialize in taking on specialized tasks like legal advice and payroll. Not only can BPO services save you a lot of headache and burnout, they can also save you money compared to hiring a full-time person for the job.
Save money? Less headache? Where do you start? Here are five essential services that you can (and should) outsource for your business.
How often do small businesses and franchises need legal help? More than you think.
But before you start hiring a full-time lawyer for your company, think about outsourcing. That’s because no lawyer can do it all. If you’re just starting your business or planning a merger, you should work with an attorney who specializes in corporate law. But if you’re putting together a new HR policy for employees, then you’ll want an attorney with more experience in labor law. When you outsource your legal help, you can always pick out the best lawyer for the job.
If you do find that you need to work more closely with a specific attorney on a special project or situation — for example, during an M&A deal — then you can always choose to retain a lawyer until the project is over.
2. Human Resources
Human resources (HR) is a big part of any employee’s professional life. HR professionals look for talent, onboard new employees, manage compensation, and settle workplace disputes. There’s no denying that every business should have an HR team.
On the one hand, hiring a dedicated HR manager may seem like overkill when you’re managing just a few employees. But on the other hand, HR isn’t a job you should take on unless you’re a trained professional. The wrong HR move by your company can send your employees somewhere else or even expose you to lawsuits and other legal risks.
That’s when looking at HR outsourcing may be appropriate. Outsourced HR supports your business by offering a variety of HR services, such as payroll, training, compliance, and benefits management. A big bonus to outsourcing your HR is that it usually gives your business access to exclusive health and benefits plans, direct deposit, and applications that help you better track expenses and time off.
3. Customer Service
As your company grows – and especially while you are busy growing it – your customers need to be able to reach out for help. They need to feel confident that their issues will be addressed and taken seriously. They’ll want to feel like their call is important and not a bother. Your customers want to find a friendly voice when they call.
A responsive customer service department understands your company and your products and provides a warm and caring person to answer those important calls.
Every small business and franchise owner would agree that information technology (IT) isn’t a luxury anymore. You need an online presence if you want to run an effective business. But who should be in charge of setting up and maintaining your computer network, important file storage systems, and website? While these tasks do require a highly specialized person, they rarely need a full-time commitment. That makes IT an ideal choice for outsourcing.
Many IT outsourcing companies will also help you move your business data to the cloud. This is another form of outsourcing — instead of storing and maintaining a physical server in your office, you can lease storage space from companies that specialize in providing efficient, secure servers that you can access from anywhere.
We all read and hear about cyberattacks on the world’s biggest companies, but they’re not the only targets. Hackers and other cybercriminals focus on small businesses, too. They tend to be easier targets and sometimes store valuable information like passwords and credit card numbers in easily penetrable places.
Working with a cybersecurity company may save you money and legal headaches. As regulators become stricter about sensitive customer data, even a small data breach can cost your company thousands and destroy your reputation.
Would you secure your home or company office using a lock that you made yourself? Think of a professional cybersecurity team as a locksmith for your company’s online presence. But since experienced cybersecurity specialists are both expensive and hard to find, it makes a lot more sense to outsource this to a BPO company.
How Should You Pick Which Service to Outsource for Your Business?
If you’re just starting to explore your options for outsourcing, it helps to take some time to figure out where to begin.
First, make a list of all the business services you currently do in-house, from customer service to payroll processing to website and social media management. How much does each service cost you? In addition to the personnel cost, think about essential software, tools, and subscriptions. If you’re the person doing the job, don’t forget to count your time, too. After all, there’s only so much you can do in a day!
As you start talking to BPO companies, compare their prices to how much you pay now for these services. Chances are that you’ll be saving your company quite a bit of time and money.
If the BPO company quotes a lot more than you pay now, then think about other important factors. For example, HR outsourcing companies manage all the legal details of employment to avoid the risk of a lawsuit or labor audit. It could very well be that the extra cost is well worth not having to worry about these things.
At the same time, don’t be afraid to keep the services that you’re good at. For example, some business owners prefer to personally go through their company books in detail, while others enjoy the creative outlet that comes with putting together their own marketing material. But if numbers aren’t your thing, consider outsourcing your bookkeeping tasks. As long as it doesn’t get in the way of being a great leader in the workplace, you don’t need to outsource it.
The important thing is to remember that every task is essential to maintaining a healthy business. It doesn’t matter if you do it yourself or outsource it with a BPO, as long as it gets done!