The Small Business Question: To Outsource or Not to Outsource?

Managing the day-to-day operations of a small business can be tiresome. From serving customers to placing orders and fulfilling payroll, there just aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done. If you are a small business owner who struggles to get it all done, outsourcing may provide a unique solution. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine whether or not outsourcing is right for your small business:

What kind of financial position is my business in?

Outsourcing has the potential to save a lot of money for various reasons. You can call upon a virtual assistant or virtual worker when you need them, which eliminates the need for full or part-time employees. In addition, there is no need to outfit a virtual assistant with office space, supplies or a computer. If you are looking for a cost effective way to complete the little tasks that take up so much time, then outsourcing work to a virtual employee or firm might be the right solution.

Does the volume and nature of your business change from time to time?

Small businesses often experience fluctuations in volume of work. There may be peak seasons when extra help is necessary, as well as down time when too many hands are on deck. If you operate a business that experiences volume changes like this, then outsourcing is a good way to manage overflow work during the busy times, while not paying extra for labor costs during the slow season.

Is there a degree of flexibility when it comes to the work I am outsourcing?

Certain tasks that need to be completed are more flexible than others. For example, data entry must be done, but it is not necessarily a high-priority item on a to-do list. Placing phone calls is sometimes necessary too, but the hours and deadlines for completion are usually somewhat flexible. If the tasks you need assistance with completing are somewhat flexible, then outsourcing work to a virtual employee or firm is a logical choice.

Outsourcing provides unique financial solutions and flexibility for small business owners. The decision to hire a regular full or part-time employee should only be made when there is ongoing work available that is essential to the operation of the business. Look to outsourcing for “non-essential” tasks that are not ongoing to meet small business needs.

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