What are the benefits of outsourcing for SMB’s?

August 23, 2011

The term outsourcing sometimes carries a very negative reputation when you think of large scale companies laying off thousands of their workers when transferring their factories of administration services to developing countries in particular to the BRIC nations. But this popular misconception doesn’t even begin to touch the surface of what the term outsourcing really means, and it fails to address many of the clear benefits that outsourcing can have for many SMB’s (small-medium businesses).

When a company outsources an entire division to an off-shore site then this is known as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) but it’s the concept known as outtasking that can serve the needs of SMB’s perfectly. This concept refers to the outsourcing of specific tasks or processes that are outsourced to an external freelancer or agency because the required expertise or skill cannot be found within the existing company. Why is this so useful for SMB’s then?

If you are operating a start-up or an SMB then of course a lot of the work will have to be done by a small number of employees as you don’t have the luxury of a large budget in order to hire a large number of experts in a variety of fields. Moreover, it is conceivable that when you are founding your company there are certain tasks that only need to be undertaken once, and thus your company does not need the service of a full-time in-house employee. The most stringent example could be within the creation of your brand, where you can outsource the task of creating a company logo design to an expert designer on a temporary basis.

Furthermore, by choosing to outsource certain tasks then this leaves SMB’s more time to concentrate on what they do best. For example, whilst every company needs a website, not everyone is skilled in web design. Therefore, outsourcing the task of web design or PHP development to a qualified expert is the only logical solution for SMB’s that do not want their website to have run-time errors and broken features. Thus, more time can be spent concentrating on developing business strategy.

Quality and expertise
Another clear benefit that outsourcing can bring to your SMB is that when you choose to award your project or need to a specific freelancer or agency, you can be sure that this individual will bring professionalism and experience to the task. When choosing to use an outsourcing platform such as elance, odesk or twago you are free to view the references provided by each service provider in order to ensure their quality and expertise. Additionally, when advertising online for a freelancer or agency, you can be sure to gain access to a wide-ranging number of experts and agencies who can provide their service to you – certainly more than having to physically sit through interview after interview in order to find the right applicant for an in-house position.

Cost savings
If an SMB jumps into the world of outsourcing then they can expect to receive a number of offers for their outsourced task, especially if they place their project or needed service on an online outsourcing platform that can deliver thousands of experts and freelancers. This wealth of choice means that a SMB has the luxury of choosing between different offers at different prices and decide on which experienced provider best fits their needs and budget. Moreover, when dealing with an individual through outsourcing it is far more likely that the SMB and the expert can negotiate on a fairer cost for the services, particularly if that service is catered to the scope of the project. After all, if a business chose not to outsource but instead wanted to hire a professional then this individual would have long-term salary demands on the company which could be unfeasible for a start-up to handle.

Range of Outsourced services
It’s surprising the sort of services and tasks that can be outsourced. Whilst the most popular outsourced services tend to be found within the IT sector, it’s also possible to find copywriters, translators and graphic designers through outsourcing. The beauty of using an online outsourcing platform is that membership is open to freelancers and agencies from a diverse range of fields, meaning that it is highly likely that a SMB can find any programmer, designer or translator that they need for an important, pressing task.

The increasing trend in companies opting to outsource and outtask fundamental projects and jobs within their companies shows the popularity in this process. In-fact, many start-ups and SMB’s find it impossible to function without the assistance that external experts can bring to their business through outsourcing.

David Sumner from twago


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