Business Essentials Your Growing Business Should Outsource
Good news, your new small business venture is off and running. It's almost fair to say, it's booming! Your product or service is selling like hot cakes on a cold morning. And it's time to expand. To sustain your growing business, you need to add people, get more equipment and, perhaps, develop more products and services to turn your current happy clients into brand evangelists.
That's the good news.
The not-so-good news? It's time to expand... and you may find yourself a little out of your depth. But maybe you aren't there yet. No matter: It's still valuable to plan ahead for the possibility. A growing business brings with it a whole set of issues., especially if you want to ensure its long-term success. And you do.
There's more good news - Outsourcing
There is a way to ramp up your business capabilities in a number of essential areas outside of your core business. While you focus on what you do best - the core product or service that sets you apart from the competition - the traditional aspects of business can be farmed out to specialists in an outsourcing model.
From accounting practices to IT to personnel, what would be a department in a mid-sized or larger enterprise can be accessed through outsourcing to help your company survive through growing pains. Bottom line, whatever isn't strategic to your business if fair game for outsourcing.
It's even better when you plan ahead
If you can, plan ahead. Spend some time to think through what growth will require of your business, determine which functions make the most sense to farm out, and so some research on the relevant service-providers in your area, city or state. Business functions to consider outsourcing include:
- Marketing/Creative/Social Media
- IT Services/Support/Security
- Office Space
For a company that offers the latest, greatest, widget, jumping from a small-scale production (whether it started in a local workshop or even your garage) into a full-scale manufacturing plant takes a lot of capital and effort. Plus, there's the time required to ramp-up the facility and train new personnel.
Take a tip from bigger businesses that outsource manufacturing to assembly plants that already have the necessary equipment and personnel. Whether you "off-shore" with a manufacturer overseas or "on-shore" here in the U.S.A. as more and more production facilities are getting up and running to compete with the now-higher wage-demands and shipping costs of off-shoring, you have options. Possibly in your own backyard. It's worth the time to make some connections now.
There are entire agencies dedicated to helping you find prospective customers and sell your services or goods. When it's time to put a professional touch on your web site or your packaging needs an upgrade - say, when your business moves from local to regional to national ad beyond - it's time to call the professionals.
The right partner can give you an edge, helping you explore marketing solutions you hadn't even considered. Just do them a favor and never, ask to "make the logo bigger."
Now that you're about to hit the big-time, your IT infrastructure should, too. Fortunately, this is one of the most common areas to outsource. Look for partners who are as interested in your IT security as they are in designing a user-friendly web site. Ask if they have the ability to grow with you with a modular model for your network needs, storage capacity and all the other details IT pros know.
What are their cloud storage capabilities? Do they offer 24/7 tech support? How good are they with Macs? You get the picture.
The currency of business is, well, currency. It's a smart idea to pay attention to where the money travels, coming and going. Small accounting packages like QuickBooks go a long way for small businesses. But when you get to a certain point, you have to ask yourself if you started this company to make the world a better place for your services or product... or to run the accounting department.
You don't need a CFO (yet). Especially when there are several reliable services you can count on to check the finances and keep the books. It's also worth a Google to consider using a "fractional CFO" - it's like a part-time financial executive that can manage your back office.
You know people. You know you're a good judge of character. But if your business takes off, it may be hard to get to know - and do the necessary background checks - on every potential employee. That's just one of the many ways outsourcing HR functions can help.
Form investigating benefits to screening job candidates, most HR functions can be handled, and handled better, through outsourcing. Take a look at Professional Employee Organizations (PER) in your neighborhood. They can do everything from processing payroll to pooling with other companies through the PED to give your employees even better benefits.
One more thing to outsource - your office. When your business has outgrown your garage or your service shop's small office, but you're not ready to commit to a 10-year lease on anything, consider upgrading to scaleable, temporary office solution like Edison Spaces. Easy to book, often with month-to-month leasing options, these temporary office solutions provide all the administrative office benefits of much larger organizations with much less cash outlay.
Edison Spaces offices are fully furnished with desks, chairs whiteboards, collaborative spaces, break rooms, huddle rooms, fiber internet services, utilities, and more. When your business is ready for growth, Edison spaces is here to help you through the office space growing pains.