When Does Outsourcing Make Sense?
As a small business owner, chances are you started small and did much of the work yourself. But when, if ever, is it time to get out of your own way? Outsourcing is something many small businesses contemplate as they get bigger. The question of hiring people to handle the load or outsource can be a difficult one. Finding services outside the business that are reliable, trustworthy, and cost effective isn’t always easy. There are key factors to consider with each job you outsource:
Payroll is one of the most commonly outsourced tasks. According to a 2013 survey by the National Small Business Association (NSBA), 40 percent of small businesses outsource their payroll. One in three who outsource spend more than $6,000 a year. Businesses that handle payroll in-house spend, on average, 6 hours a month on payroll duties totaling approximately $2,600 in hourly wages. However, the Small Business Association reports that small businesses that handle payroll themselves run a much higher risk of errors, tax penalties, and legal issues. One solution for your business is to choose reliable payroll software that offers the right level of payroll support for you.
IT professionals can wear many hats, from setting up servers and solving printer problems, to upgrading entire systems. Having IT support in-house can be very helpful, save time, and sometimes save money. However, the Ecommerce Times points out the many hidden costs to maintaining IT staff in-house, like ongoing training, maintaining and upgrading equipment, and increasing salaries. It is also unlikely that one IT professional could handle every type of IT issues, requiring outside help (at high cost) or hiring multiple IT support staff (more expense). Small businesses have to measure their IT needs vs. cost. Often times, they find a balance by outsourcing more expensive needs, such as cloud services, with maintaining IT staff in-house for other needs, such as security.
Marketing today has many facets, both online and off. With social media marketing, email campaigns, graphic designing, branding, and more, marketing can be overwhelming. Your marketing is the face of your business. If you don’t have the time and expertise to back up your marketing strategy, Inc. recommends you find outside help. Outsourcing your marketing in part or in whole can give your business a real boost. However, outsourcing your marketing can also be expensive. Marketing expert Joshua Steimie points out there is no one set formula for determining a solution. Finding the right combination can depend on budget, goals, and need. He warns against marketing services that promise dramatic results with a low price tag. On average, hiring on a marketing expert can run $50,000 a year or more in salary. When you add in the cost of this resources, it is beyond the budget of many small businesses. The best solution is to determine exactly what your marketing needs are, break them into essential pieces, then price out the services for outsourcing or handling in-house.
Article Submitted by Aaron Thomson
Marketing project manager, app junky, foodie
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