Ask The Experts

Growing a business takes time and resources; time and resources you may not feel you have. When you start feeling this tension, it might be time to consider getting some help…

For entrepreneurs, time is almost as valuable as money, as both a measurable cost internally, and a means of exchange externally. Starting and running an operation is such a multi-faceted process, and business owners need to have skills as diverse as pitching skills to growth management in HR to tax compliance. By getting bogged down by activities that are not your core function, you can easily steer the company off its strategic course. Instead, bringing in specialist services or core skills to support your team can be valuable in expanding your business. Outsourcing frees leaders up to better focus on their talent, their team and the core aspects of their business. By managing their resources carefully, they are better able to drive optimal efficiency and effectiveness, creating room for creativity and innovation.

Outsourcing can:
■  Improve staff efficiency,
■  Cut overall operational costs,
■  Drive faster turnaround times,
■  Streamline capabilities, and productivity,
■  Increase competitiveness within an industry,
■  Improve job satisfaction, as staff will be doing more of what they love, not burdened by the stress of doing work they are not confident, comfortable or motivated doing, and
■  Improve internal culture, creating one of pride and innovation, where staff will hunt for new ideas and further training out of a want instead of a need.

It is important, however, to choose the right partner, and, even if you feel that you trust the service provider, make sure you scrutinise your contractual agreements. Be wary of any hidden costs, and know that outsourcing can increase your risk of exposing your financial data or other intellectual property. Remember that you still take ultimate responsibility for the growth of your business and should manage that through clearly specified service level agreements. Choose the right partner, set clear objectives and manage your staff carefully, if you decide to go this route.

“In choosing an outsourced service provider, if you find someone who gives you the impression that they really want you to succeed in your business, this is the person to go with. If they give you an indication like they charge “by the hour”, then you should rather look for someone else. You are expecting to hear things like “Don’t worry, I don’t charge too much. I want you to be happy because if you don’t feel like you are getting a really good deal, we won’t last. Let’s just get on with what you need done and we can grow together as your business grows”. This is what you are looking for. Maybe test it
out for 1 or 2 small things and if the first invoice is too high, move on to finding someone else.”

-Adi Kaimowitz, Co-Founder of Virtual Actuary