The smaller the business, the tougher it is to get everything done in-house. The sheer depth and breadth of what’s needed will require a multi-departmental, highly-qualified team to satisfy every requirement.
While this may be fine for multinationals that can take this in their stride, for SMEs, it presents considerable difficulties. In this article, we look directly at what potential services could be outsourced to third-party providers and what the benefits might be for doing so.
IT managed services
IT managed services are often needed by small businesses that do not yet have a dedicated IT department or there are only 1-2 people working there. Trouble occurs when there are issues beyond the regular technical queries received by employees. When they experience unusual technical issues, a small IT team or tiny companies without IT staff can struggle to know what to do.
Resolving network issues
When a problem originating with the company network crops up, it can become highly technical and something that’s beyond employees that are unskilled in computing. At this point, a support contract with a managed services provider can answer questions and fix the network without necessarily needing to be on-site. The cost of managed services can be less than creating a substantial IT department from scratch.
Protection for security issues
Cybersecurity is catching out a disproportionate number of smaller businesses because they failed to take it seriously enough. By not investing in the resources required to keep the network and company hardware safe, will have left the door open to hackers. Don’t wait until worries about intellectual property theft and malware on the server become real. It’s wise to use a third-party provider to cover the bases by performing a security audit. This can highlight what needs fixing quickly and whether ongoing security protection services are needed to keep the network safe.
For companies with 5-10 employees, having an accountant on the staff full-time is a luxury. Most micro-companies of small size cannot afford to do so. Nevertheless, accounting services are required to adhere to certain business requirements.
An accountant does not need to be located in your city. For example, an accountant in Cardiff can perform the work well for businesses in England and Wales were similar, and often identical, financial requirements and rules exist. A Cardiff accountant like Hodge Bakshi can bridge the gap when there isn’t an accountant employed within the business. They can provide support, advice, and the required services to keep operating properly.
Customer service in the early days is likely to be handled inside the office. While there may be a receptionist that receives visitors and answers the phone, other staff may be required to pick up calls and contacts when it gets busy.
At the stage when proper VoIP contact centre equipment is required to improve and monitor how every customer contact is responded to, small companies must decide whether it’s time to consider outsourcing or create a full-blown customer contact facility.
Many customer contact providers have been in business for decades and know exactly what’s required to answer your calls using your brand name. They can resolve most queries quickly and efficiently. Additionally, for the small business that does use third-party providers for their customer services, they do not have to invest in a larger office space, customer service employees, VoIP equipment, and more.
Web design, and management
Websites usually do not require redesigning that frequently. Updating periodically and a site redesign every 1-2 years is usually more than adequate. A founder who is quite useful on their PC may try to create a website using WordPress and a custom theme. It is possible to do so; however, the creation of a professional logo, managing web hosting requirements, and other design-oriented or technical details may be stretching it.
At a certain stage, it becomes necessary to use the services of a web studio to produce and update the website. While an employee may find part of their work duties to include minor updates to the site as a webmaster of sorts, improved design quality and functionality can be achieved by using a web studio for everything else.
App creation and maintenance
Some companies do find that customers repeatedly keep asking, “Where’s your app?” necessitating its production to not appear to be behind the times. Also, regardless of the size of the company, some businesses do wish to offer a mobile app for iOS and Android users. This can be helpful to offer their services when they change depending on the location of the customer. The GPS on the customer’s phone can clarify which services are available in their current area, and an app can make light work of this type of functionality.
Creating a mobile app is highly involved even for one with relatively simple functionality. As you may have seen with the frequent app updates on your smartphone, additional and ongoing work is required to resolve security bugs and update even when the app’s features haven’t changed. Therefore, this is something that specialist third-party providers in the form of app creators should develop and maintain, rather than hiring someone to do so.
Small and one-off tasks to freelancers
For added flexibility, companies can make use of freelancers to perform certain tasks. Outsourcing to freelancers offers many benefits including the completion of one-off tasks requiring skills that the company doesn’t possess. Also, uninteresting repetitive tasks can be completed by less skilled personnel.
It’s also possible to hire freelancers for projects like a new website, a new mobile app, etc. In this situation, it’s necessary to heavily vet them to determine if they have the requisite skills and past proof that they can deliver on what’s required. Just as many apps fell short when delivered by freelancers, many others exceeded expectations. The more advanced the solution required; additional care must be taken to hire well.
As a small business, it’s often necessary to work with third-party service providers to complete work. Picking and choosing between providers to get the best quality at a fair price is required. Clear guidance on the project also avoids misunderstandings.