Nearly a third (30%) of businesses in the UK are planning to outsource more of their resources and processes in the next year.

Outsourcing can be an effective way of introducing expertise into your business without the investment and expense of hiring in-house and it can help you achieve great results.

However, blindly outsourcing functions can do more harm than good so it’s important you take a strategic approach and figure out what skills will be better bringing in-house, and where outside experts can add the most value.

These investments shouldn’t be taken lightly, and you need to complete thorough research of your options before committing to any investment.

In this article we look at the key things to consider when outsourcing to ensure you make the best, most strategic decisions to generate a better ROI.

Key considerations when outsourcing for your business

There’s undoubtedly huge benefits to be found when it comes to outsourcing for your business, but there’s also huge risks when you get wrong.

Many businesses fail with outsourcing because they don’t plan strategically.

When planning to outsource parts of your business, there’s a few key things to consider first:

1 – What’s the goal?

Why do you want to outsource parts of your business?

Are you looking to take repetitive jobs off your team so they can focus more on value added work? Do you want to add expertise into your business for a specific function but don’t want the expense of bringing those skills in-house?

Before you outsource anything you need to understand the reasons why you’re outsourcing.

It might be the case that the skills you want to outsource would be better placed inside your business while others which you thought you needed more in-house control over would actually be better suited to being outsourced.

Whatever the case, make sure you understand exactly what the objectives are you want to achieve by outsourcing.

2 – Can you find reliable providers?

Depending on the skills or resources you want to outsource, you might find it harder to find a reliable outsourced partner.

Basic admin and IT support are relatively easy to find because they’re broad services.

As those services become more niche, the outsourcing pool becomes shallower and you’ll have to do more research to find a reliable partner.

This is where you need to be very specific about what you’re looking for.

Always look for an outsourcing partner who makes it easy for you to judge the quality and success of their work and can simply prove their results to you.

Look for a steady stream of good reviews from previous clients and even the ability to speak with their existing clients.

3 – Understand your budget

When outsourcing it can be easy to let your potential partner dictate the prices, especially when you’re not an expert in their field and not totally familiar with the value of the services.

But you need to do some research to find an industry benchmark for prices and use this as a comparison for any quotes you receive.

Just be aware that while costs are always going to be important, the value of your outsourced partner isn’t solely down to the cost, you need to think strategically about whether the investment is going to allow your business to grow in the best way moving forward.

A higher initial cost and access to better expertise could yield better results in the long-term rather than taking the cheaper option at the start.

And lastly on budget, will your demand be the same every week, month or quarter, do you have peak and low seasons and will the outsourcing partner be flexible with the billing.

How strategic outsourcing can benefit your business

1 – Give you more time to be productive

When you’re growing a business you need to focus your time on the things that will add value to your business or clients – anything that takes away from this is simply a distraction.

By outsourcing the right functions you can remove the repetitive or mundane tasks from your schedule so you have more time to be productive on the right tasks.

2 – Reduce your costs

Nearly three quarters (71%) of UK businesses say that cost reductions are their main reason for outsourcing because it gives them greater control.

When outsourcing, there’s always the option of only paying for services as and when you need them, as well as scaling the amount of resources you have based on your requirements.

This is compared to making a bigger, long-term investment by hiring resources in-house.

For example, you could invest in a telephone answering service and only pay for the time your receptionists are on the phone.

Or, you could hire a full-time receptionist and pay at least £24,000 a year in salary regardless of how busy you are.

3 – Access a wider talent pool

More than three quarters (67%) of UK start-ups outsource to bring in skilled workers for specific tasks.

By outsourcing these skills it means you only need to pay for them at the time you need them – which is perfect when you need resources on a project basis.

Plus, by outsourcing skills you get access to a much wider pool of experts to use.

For example, investing £3,000 a month in a marketing agency gives you access to a full team of experts in every aspect of marketing, rather than hiring a single person who may not have the same level of in-depth knowledge in all areas of marketing to work for you in-house.

Getting the most out of outsourcing

Outsourcing specific skills and services can be a more efficient and cost-effective way of bringing experts and specific functions into your business.

Whether you want access to specialist providers, tactics or technology, outsourcing can help you achieve your business goals quicker.

One function you could outsource is your business’ telephone answering.

With a call answering service you never need to worry about missing a call while you’re working and stop losing sales when you’re focusing on existing clients.

But if you want to start seeing some of the benefits for yourself, why not start a telephone answering service free trial from Face For Business