Business & Finance Outsourcing

Outsourcing Effectively and Profitably

As an entrepreneur you want to remain viable and be able to remain ahead of the competition. To gain, and retain, a competitive edge in today's marketplace you may need to consider outsourcing. Many small business owners find they are bombarded by pressures to keep up with both the daily demands of long-term business goals as well as the day-to-day details of keeping the doors open.

Business owners that thrive, come to the realization that they simply can't do it alone and they also find their time would be better spent concentrating on their expertise. If, for example, you're a graphic artist but you're spending your days buried in accounting paperwork, you're not focusing on your core competency. If this is the case in your business, you may want to consider outsourcing. At its most basic, outsourcing is the transfer of a business task to an outside contractor. From payroll to bookkeeping to marketing, outsourcing tasks is becoming a game changer for successful business owners.

Outsourcing basics
If you're looking to form a business partnership with an outsource professional it will be a relationship based on both parties working together to share the work task. As an example, if you're outsourcing your bookkeeping you will be compiling the information for the bookkeeper and keeping in touch with him or her so that you still know what's going on financially for your business. You're able to hand off the daily tracking of income and expenses to another who is skilled in that area but you still want to remain in-the-know.

There are many online sites in which you can hire outsource partners or you can search within your network of business partners and find a business partner that is local.

How to choose your outsource partner
1. Ask for references from current and past businesses with whom your potential outsource partner has worked.
2. Interview the potential outsourcee to see if his or her work ethic matches with yours €" ie. what hours are they available? Are they responsive to phone calls and emails? What kind of reporting will they offer you?
3. Ask for a portfolio of the outsourcee's past work €" you're looking to discover whether they are a generalist or a specialist. Do you need a specialist or a generalist?
4. You get what you pay for. While money may be tight, you don't want to choose the lowest price provider as you may not get the service you're hoping for.
5. Making the commitment. Don't sign a long term contract upfront. Ask for a 30-, 60-, or 90-day trial run to see if the partnership is a good fit for the both of you.

While outsourcing isn't right for every business, it may be able to free up your time if you outsource daily tasks which take you away from your core business. Consider what you earn per hour, how long it takes you to perform a certain task (the ones that aren't actively growing your business) and see if dollar-for-dollar you're spending your time wisely. The money you spend on an outsource partner could reap you monetary benefits by freeing up your time to pursue your core business growth

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