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10 Reasons to Outsource Your Business

10 Reasons to Outsource Your Business

Outsourcing by sending some of your company’s work to a third party is an increasingly common way of doing business in the 21st century. It was first developed in the late 1980s as a way companies could gain a competitive edge in the newly global market, and is now used widely across a number of fields. Here are just some of the reasons you should consider outsourcing for your business.

1. Labor costs

One of the main reasons businesses began outsourcing is because it is an effective way to decrease labor costs. This is because, rather than employing a number of full-time staff who are on the payroll even when their services may not be required, outsourcing provides you with a flexible workforce who can work only when needed. What’s more, the cost of labor in some countries is significantly lower than it is in the U.S., which means that even if you are a small company or only outsourcing a small portion of your work, you could still see an extreme reduction in labor costs.

2. Infrastructure and material costs

In additional to decreasing labor costs, outsourcing also allows businesses to cut down on other expenses, such as materials and shipping costs. The cost of materials you use may be decreased by moving some functions overseas, where those materials may be obtainable for significantly cheaper. You may also save on shipping costs if the materials you need for the outsourced functions are available in their new location. You will also save on infrastructure costs, as these will become your outsourcing partner’s responsibility.

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3. Efficiency

Outsourcing also leads to increased efficiency, because you are entrusting non-central company functions to experts elsewhere. Since these vendors are specialists in their area, they are intimately familiar with its ins and outs in a way that members your employees couldn’t be without extensive investment and training. This way, the functions you’ve outsourced can be completed both effectively and efficiently by highly-trained experts in the field who are able to implement their skills and knowledge immediately.

For example, by outsourcing your accounting department, you are taking the burden of mastering complicated accounting duties away from your own offices. This allows you to focus more on your core business functions. Meanwhile, your accounting work will be completed quickly and smoothly by your outside experts of choice.

4. Core business functions

When you keep all of your businesses functions housed together, things get busy and complicated, and your core functions can get overwhelmed by outside issues. These back-end operations end up requiring significant funds and attention, which detracting from what should be your more central concerns. If you outsource those back-end pieces of your company though, it allows you to focus all of your attention and resources on more essential parts of the business. Comfortable in the knowledge that experts elsewhere are dealing with the other functions required to keep your business running, you can put more of your energy toward research, development, and other ways of improving your business’s products and services.

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5. Customer satisfaction

The increased efficiency and ability to focus on your core business functions that come with outsourcing will also have a large, positive impact on the satisfaction of your customers. You’ll be able to produce your products and services faster, which is always a hit. You don’t need to have a separate department at your place, most of the work, even accounting, can be outsourced, thanks to the internet. Plus, with non-core tasks in the hands of experts elsewhere, you’ll be able to focus more on your central functions, thereby improving the quality of products and services you offer. What’s more, by breaking your company down into specialized units, you increase your ability to respond quickly to changes or issues, so any customer complaints or problems can be handled more smoothly.

6. Risk management and continuity

Risk management is central to any business, especially during times of change, such as mergers, downsizing, or management changes. Outsourcing certain departments can help in these transitional times because it lets those areas of your company’s work remain unchanged. Plus, your outsourcing partner will absorb any of the risks associated with the departments it now oversees. This can also help your company maintain an appearance of continuity, as products or services coming from the outsourcing partner will stay the same, too.

7. Globalization

Sending part of your business overseas also enables you to plant your company more firmly within today’s increasingly global markets. These days, many American companies site their international sales as making up a third or more of their total sales. Depending on where your outsourced functions are located, you may also gain a time zone advantage from this new arrangement by having offices that are in sync with different world business schedules, allowing you to operate close to 24 hours a day!

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8. Flexibility

Adapting to changes in the market requires the flexibility to make changes to your company’s size and costs in response to a changing market. You need to be able to react in time to cut the necessary costs during downturns or to ramp back up when the market bounces back.  This is very difficult for companies with large, centralized infrastructures. Outsourcing can help solve this problem because it lets you have short term and flexible contracts with your outsourcing partners. Then your company can cut down or ramp up on staff, production, etc. right away in response to changes in the market.

9. Resources

Having some of your businesses functions outsourced also gives your company accessed to new resources and frees up resources that would otherwise be devoted to those back-end functions. With the outsourced aspects of your business now being taken care of by experts in the field, you’ll no longer have to use resources on recruitment, training, or salaries for those competencies. Plus, by creating a connection in a new, possibly overseas location, you may open your business up to more cost-effective resource streams.

10. Innovation

By outsourcing non-core functions of your company, you allow your business to focus its attention and energy on more central aspects of your work. Part of what your newfound time and energy can go into is developing new ideas. After all, the shift to an outsourcing model automatically opens your company up to some changes in structure, which is a great way to spur more foundational types of innovation.

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Meanwhile, the functions now being carried out by a third party outsourcer could also be home to innovation, because the staff in question will be highly trained specialists in the area at hand, they may also be able to innovate in ways that benefit your company.

Final thoughts

If you’ve looked at these numerous advantages to outsourcing and realized what a good option it might be for your business, it’s now time for you to make a plan of action. Decide which departments would be best outsourced to a third party and start looking around for experts who fit the bill. It may seem daunting at first, but it will do wonders for your bottom line.

Featured photo credit: pexels.com via pexels.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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