Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
Many businesses don’t have the money, space or resources to hire an employee. Adding a new member of staff usually involves buying an entire computer setup, reserving them desk space and paying a salary and benefits.
Not everything can be outsourced. There are some jobs, such as security and human resource management, that work better when the employee that you assign has a connection to the office and works within your workplace. For example, an outsourced HR department won’t have a chance to get to know your employees before a dispute or they won’t know how your business operates before knowing if you need to hire an extra employee or not.
To help you decide what you should spend money on outsourcing, here are a couple of examples of services that you should consider outsourcing.
Whether you’re a small business looking to increase exposure or a large business that wants to protect their intellectual property, you’re going to need a marketing advisor eventually. Internet marketing advisors can be proficient at law as well because they need to understand what designs do and don’t count as copyright infringement, and how to ensure that your design won’t be flagged by other companies.
Internet marketing also includes using platforms like Twitter and Facebook to advertise and promote your services. They might also specialize in graphics design (like J & A Creative!) to create banners, fliers and posters to post over social media and advertise your business. An internet marketing package can include many things so make sure you check pricing and ask what you’re getting for your money.
Technology can cost a business extreme amounts of money if not handled properly. For example, computer maintenance and repair costs can add up if your employees aren’t taking proper care of your devices, or if they’re too old and slow to run the software that your employees use. For example, trying to cut corners by purchasing cheap second-hand computers might end up backfiring if they are at the end of their lifespan. Computer components can last for decades, but they’re generally rated to be used for a couple of years before they fail.
Don’t buy the wrong technology for your business. Make sure you hire a specialist that knows what and how to setup technology that’s related to your business. A simple office that works with documents and spreadsheets isn’t going to need expensive computers and tablet input devices, but an art studio will almost certainly need expensive computers, graphics tablets, large screens with the best color reproduction and lots of networked storage to save their work.
Unlike human resources, your accountant doesn’t necessarily need to know you or your employees. If you hire someone to manage your books, then all they need to know is how much money is coming in and going out. If you give them access to your company records and give them free reign over your books, then they can easily manage your finances, help you budget and also improve how efficiently your business runs.
There are many ways for an accountant to improve your business, but it’s also a job that doesn’t need to be attached to an employee. Hiring an accountant is something that should be a priority when you make lots of transactions in a small period of time or if it’s beneficial to speak with your accountant face to face, but those situations are very rare unless you have a large or popular business with many employees. In fact, you might need to eventually upgrade to a team of accountants that deal with separate tasks once you grow big enough as a business.
It’s never a bad idea to get involved with a legal team from the start. Until your business grows and you come under heavy fire from angry consumers or rival companies, outsourcing your legal team is good enough. Ensure that the legal team you hire is diverse and has some relation to your business. For example, hiring someone that specializes in civil disputes will be a great asset to you frequently work with freelancers, and a lawyer that knows a lot about trademark and copyright laws will be essential to protect your brand from imitations and copycats.
If you are sued or someone has filed a lawsuit against you, then you need to have a legal team on standby ready to offer you advice and represent you in court if it’s a serious issue. But the truth is, many disputes are settled before it reaches the court stage. This is because most companies don’t want to risk paying ludicrous amounts of money in legal fees, so if the dispute is trivial or won’t affect your business if you settle it quickly, then your lawyers will probably advise you to take the route of least resistance even if it means forking over cash that would otherwise be spent on excessive legal fees.
In a sense, outsourcing represents a good starting point for your business because it’s a more cost-effective way to get your business off the ground. Eventually, you’ll want to replace outsourcing with an actual employee because your company will reach a point where it’s in your financial best interests to have someone on board rather than hiring someone outside of your staff. When that point arrives, you’ll know when to flip the switch and get your human resource management team to start a recruitment drive.