Picture this: You’re a first-generation entrepreneur raring to show your mettle to the world. All you want to do is prove yourself to cynics and critics alike in the cutthroat arena of business. However, there will be periods when the battle you wage seems superfluous, tough or just plain boring. Times like these can make or break your business, and you must soldier through.
When businesses processes are burdensome, time is tight and operations aren’t functioning optimally, outsourcing can offer a solution. Today, businesses of all sizes—large, medium, or small—have realized the benefits of outsourcing back-office processes such as payroll, accounting services, HR and even outsourced CFOs to lighten the load and save money to boot.
Here are seven surefire signs your business would benefit from outsourcing:
Rising stress levels: Stress is the foremost impediment to success, affecting productivity, peace of mind, creativity and your personal relationships. Feeling fidgety? Swamped with work? Family time merging with work time? These are symptoms of stress and a clear indicator that you need to outsource at least some of your job functions. You will have less to do, more energy and be more productive once you get some time to yourself.
Customer satisfaction going downhill: If you own a small company, chances are you know a number of customers by name. Do you think that they won’t jump ship if they feel ignored or unappreciated? There is a good change they do business with you because you took a personal interest in them. But with growing business to attend to, you may not be providing the same level of customer services. Times like these call for outsourcing certain business tasks so you can restore customer satisfaction and bring back more personal service.
Mind-numbing tasks taking over: Outsourcing back-office tasks frees you from tedium. Repetitive, time-consuming duties can kill the joy of work, keep you from attending to core competencies and stifle innovation. Yet that’s not to say that these tasks are unimportant; not doing them isn’t an option. If you face such a predicament, consider outsourcing to a professional company. Whatever service you need, from bookkeeping to HR administration to accounting services, there are services available to handle them, leaving you with ample time for other business responsibilities.
Dipping sales: Facing lagging sales for some time now? This often stems from a combination of many small problems rather than one easily detectable one, so it may warrant a second pair of eyes to probe the business, share insights and home in on what needs fixing. Outsourcing in this situation can prove very beneficial.
Innovation at a standstill: At some point, your business will begin to flatline and the month-over-month business growth you enjoyed will start to fall. Times like these necessitate new products and services to give your business an additional dimension. For R&D and innovation to take place, it is crucial to immerse yourself in tasks that elicit a result rather than in tasks that anyone can do by following a standard operating procedure. Yet again, outsourcing firm for the win.
Team burnout: You and your squad have had a good run, but everyone has a breaking point. After the initial taste of success wanes and the midnight oil burns out, everyone deserves a break. Teams tend to break up and dissolve in such situations, but this can be averted by lessening their workload by engaging the services of an outsourcing service. The bottom line will be affected in the short term, but in the long run it will be an excellent investment because it restores your most value asset: your team’s brainpower.
Skills paying the bills: When you scale up fast and start bringing in a lot of work, there is a tendency to agree to anything a prospective client asks, leading you to bite off more than you can chew. In this predicament, neither can you go back on your word nor can you turn in substandard work. This situation is a clear sign that to preserve your reputation and deliver on time, you must outsource whatever back-office services you can to ensure the client gets your best work.
If you said yes to even one of the seven warning signs, it’s a cry for help to stop spending time on administrative tasks. Get serious about outsourcing by recognizing it as an investment in your company’s future. Start by thinking about what change could bring about the biggest change in your business, and stop turning down opportunities because you are drowning in tasks. It’s a sign that your business is thriving, and growing pains are normal.