Outsourcing is not a new thing when it comes to small business. Statistics provided by the federal Small Business Administration reveal that a third of all small businesses already outsource some functions, and that number is growing. In 2021, the picture of where outsourcing can provide value is changing.

From IT services to HR functions, there are new and interesting ways to generate extra growth for your business from handing over functions to a third party. As a small business, your focus should focus on two areas: can expertise benefit my business, and will this free up significant time to dedicate to innovation and growth?

IT management

Systems management is an often selected area for outsourcing, and that’s for good reason. Outsourcing allows you to use external expertise to provide a level of assurance to your business, and that’s more important than ever in the digital age.

There is an inherent risk online to small businesses, with CNBC reporting that 43% of all cyberattacks target small enterprises. With a digital presence becoming non-negotiable to the success of any small business, having effective management of your digital services, and full protection against cyber threats is something often best managed by IT experts.

Industry veterans CoreTech note that the main benefit of this comes with expert support – having a team of dedicated IT professionals can help to take the weight off you and your employees’ shoulders.

Consider, too, how IT support will help you to keep up-to-date with the latest technological shifts. This is crucial for two reasons. Firstly, as technology chances, so do threats – staying safe from day zero exploits, new hacking programs and new ways to exploit business security will always provide a need for new tech.

There’s also the fact that experts within the technology and IT management sphere will be able to procure and implement new software to help your business run in an efficient manner.

Administration

Along with managed IT systems often comes the opportunity to automate or remove time-consuming admin activities. This can include records management, payroll and business process storage.

Little tasks that, day-to-day, stack up to take away from your chances to work on quality and innovation. There are some areas of administration that are generally unwise to shirk on when it comes to time and expertise, however, or to automate entirely. HR is one such area that requires a deft hand to manage properly.

Human resources

Another tricky area to get just right is human resources, and 2020 has seen the situation muddied further as employees get to grips with properly managing remote staff; the SHRM has noted the need for HR managers themselves to shift their perceptions of remote workforces.

Outsourcing HR is a step that takes a lot of stress out of the process of any problems that arise for you. It also ensures that any actions taken are legally sound and sustainable.

Furthermore, CERS Now estimate that the average employee lawsuit costs $250,000. While this may eventually be repaid to you if you win your case, that’s a significant amount of money to be spent without the expertise behind it.

Having dedicated HR functions can help to ensure that any litigation process is undertaken in a professional manner, and it ensures that your business has the evidence and procedural assurance to make sure that any litigation outcomes are likely to benefit you and produce a fair result for both parties.

Social marketing

An increasingly important area of business is social media marketing. Forbes statistics report that even a single social media platform can provide huge benefits to small business – Snapchat, for instance, has 250 million daily users.

This can be tricky to get right, however, with social media marketing requiring a natural, personable brand voice that can only be produced over years. Outsourcing to someone who knows the tricks is an effective way to obtain this, and also to take away some of the workload – it can be time-consuming to market on social media.

There is clear value to be gained, however, in focusing on social marketing. Increasing marketing spend is being funneled into social media, and the rise of the influencer is making this a no-brainer for businesses looking to widen their marketing net and find new customers. It can be relatively inexpensive and straightforward to get a team dedicated to doing this marketing for you.

Time is a big factor across all of this. Functions that don’t involve innovation within your business take away from the chance you have to improve.

Giving yourself that time back will help to generate new growth and enable you to focus on the important parts of your business; that time is absolutely invaluable for innovation, and will also help you to focus on the processes and diligence that underpin the good running of any business.

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The Small Business Blog was started in 2009. Aiming to start, help, and grow small and medium sized businesses.