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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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Published on March 25, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

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Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

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Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

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Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

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Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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