How Outsourcing Can Help Small Businesses Keep Up

How Outsourcing Can Help Small Businesses Keep Up

Did you know that nearly 60% of companies are outsourcing tasks to cut costs? Many small companies are falling behind.

They don’t have the ability to afford in-house specialists to keep up. This is due to fast pace technology making business more competitive. Outsourcing is the main key you might be missing for your company to thrive.

Today, IT and other professionals are very expensive to hire. Leaving small businesses in the dust if they can’t afford them.

The benefits of outsourcing are countless. You can outsource mundane tasks so your in-house team can focus on essential assignments that require time and effort. Outsourcing offers both big and small companies significant money-saving opportunities and the ability to stay ahead of the game.

Three Types of Outsourcing

There are three main types of outsourcing. There are many types of jobs and ways to outsource. The key is to find what is best for your company and your needs.

Outsourcing Professionals

This is the most common type of outsourcing. Many small companies cannot afford to outsource expensive specialists. This includes specialists in accounting, administrative, and legal work.

In most cases, you don’t need an in-house full-time professional to do these jobs. You can outsource work to a company or professional when necessary.

Outsourcing IT Experts

Not only are in-house IT experts costly, but they aren’t necessary all the time. The majority of the work they do can be done from anywhere.

Why not hire remotely a professional that has the expertise in the latest technologies.

From app development, system administration, and software design to maintaining your website. You can find less expensive IT experts around the globe that are a fraction of the price of hiring locally.

Outsourcing Copywriters and Marketers

When it comes to marketing, many small businesses turn to their in-house employees. Creating text and design for pamphlets, websites, social media, and blogs.

There is a lot more that goes into creating a quality marketing campaign than just writing text.

Today, with proper content, a company can go far. Outsourcing professionals in the field can help boost their image and put them in the limelight

Outsourcing Benefits and Risks

Did you know that 47% of companies choose to outsource work to reduce capacity issues? Paying for office space costs a lot more than hiring a freelance professional.

Benefits of Outsourcing

1. More specialized talent. – As a small company, it’s not always possible to hire professional talent. They tend to be costly to hire in-house. With outsourcing, you have access to professionals around the globe at a lower cost, depending on your specific needs.

2. Save Money. – A company may spend $1,252 per new employee training alone. This doesn’t include additional costs of office space and expenses such as sick pay, pension, and others. Also, you have more access to professionals with more experience and knowledge that cost less on average.

3. More transfer of knowledge. – A strong team made of experienced experts can cover everything across the board to keep your company up to date.

4. Higher performance. – Most outsourced professionals work per-project basis. Focusing only on the task at hand without distractions that an in-house employee may have. As a result, they deliver work faster and of a much higher quality.

5. Reduce expenditures on new technology. – Technology is always changing. The moment a company finally has the funds to invest, new technology is on the rise. By hiring experts already using the latest technology, the company doesn’t have to train in-house employees to implement it.

6. Improve in-house productivity. – Allow your employees to focus on the crucial tasks. Keep your business moving forward by outsourcing mundane tasks such as data entry.

Drawbacks of Outsourcing

As with everything else, there are always drawbacks. If you pay close attention, do your research whom you outsource to, and always read the fine print, you should be fine.

1. Loss of control. – If you assign work to an outsourcing company or freelancer, be aware. Without controlling the results, you may find yourself worse off than before. Outsourcing requires a bit of organization and work on your side to maintain quality and move forward.

2. Hidden costs. – If you choose to outsource work to a company, be diligent about what you are signing up for. There is often a small print that may incur more costs than hiring in-house. Always review the contracts carefully. Make sure you are aware of what you are paying for and which added costs might come up.

3. Security risk. – If what you plan to outsource requires sharing personal customer or employee data, it could pose a risk. Always consider what type of work you plan on outsourcing and hire trusted companies and freelancers.

4. Time difference. – Many outsourcing companies and freelancers may be working in a different time zone. This might make it challenging to sync with your schedules. However, with good time management, there are always ways around it.

5. Language barriers. – Remember that many outsourcing companies and freelancers are not native English speakers. This could pose a problem with the language barrier. However, if you do your research well, you can find fantastic professionals with perfect English.

6. Moral dilemmas. – One of the moral dilemmas may be denying someone from your team an opportunity to grow by outsourcing work. The possibility of stumping the growth of your community by not working with a local talent agency. Another issue is that some consumers frown upon outsourcing.

Bottom Line

In essence, the benefits of outsourcing for small businesses outweigh the drawbacks. This is because you need to keep up with the big guys if you wish to grow as a company. The best way is by having experts on your team that many small businesses can only afford in-house.

A small business requires a dream team to advance and keep up. Outsource as much as possible by finding companies, or freelancers on sites like PeopleByTheHour and UpWork. Even small businesses could build a dream team,save money, and keep up with the latest changes in technology.

Which tasks you feel could be outsourced in your company?

 Question: Would you outsource to give your in-house team more time to focus on important tasks? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Hristina Nikolovska is the appointed Community Manager at WhatToBecome. Using her extensive background in digital marketing, as well as her social media and public relations experience, Hristina’s passion is helping others stay organized through clear communication and pushing for the realization of projects of every sort.

UK Small Business Grants to Help You Scale Up

 

UK Small Business Grants

Whether you need funding for a new office space in London or the money to launch a new marketing campaign, there are a number of resources that provide small businesses with the capital they need to succeed.

 

Here, The Brew rounds up some of the best grants and funding options that will help your small business to scale up.

Small Business Grants Initiative

While some companies can easily survive with minimal investment when starting out, others need to deal with immediate and necessary expenditures. That’s why The Brew have partnered with smallbusiness.co.uk to offer £5,000 every month to the brightest UK businesses in a free-to-enter competition.

If your business has a turnover between £50,000 and £500,000, then you’re eligible to enter – and the entering is simple and user-friendly, to avoid businesses having to jump through the usual multiple, complex application hoops.

Simply include as much information as possible about your successes so far and why you deserve to win, and your application will be considered by a panel of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders – including The Brew’s very own Andrew Clough.

Innovate UK Grants

Replacing the old Smart award programme which was scrapped by the government last year, Innovate UK now runs funding competitions offering grants to businesses working on innovative new technologies.

The programme has competitions open to businesses and organisations of all sizes and from all corners of the technology sector, but some are open exclusively to SMEs. Recipients of Innovate UK grants have seen higher employment and turnover and a better success rate than comparable businesses without the same funding.

The full list of open competitions can be found on the Innovate UK website.

Horizon 2020

Supporting research and innovation all over Europe, this massive EU fund has a dedicated SME Instrument through which small businesses can receive funding for innovative projects with high potential. Businesses involved in ground-breaking research or new technologies, or responding to challenges such as climate change and food security, can access the €3 million set aside for the SME Instrument over the period 2014-2020.

Applications by UK organisations will be made via a National Contact Point – usually a government agency or organisation. One of Horizon 2020’s aims is to foster links between EU nations, so some funding is conditional on forming partnerships with businesses overseas.

However, you may have a limited window in which to take full advantage of this particular fund – although projects will not be affected until the UK has officially left the EU, the policy after this point remains uncertain.

Innovation Vouchers

While money itself is no doubt important, the benefits of having the right knowledge and expertise to hand is an often overlooked part of scaling up a small business. With Innovation Vouchers, £5000 is awarded for an SME to specifically seek out the experts, advisors or consultants they need to take their innovative idea to the next level, build within their industry or protect their intellectual property rights.

Start-Up Loans

One of the common difficulties faced by even the most innovative and forward-thinking start-ups is that their small size and untested business credentials make it difficult to attract investment from high street banks. This government-backed initiative was set up to help get around this problem – if you’re a start-up or very small early stage business that is yet to launch or has been trading for less than 12 months then you could receive mentoring, business planning support and a loan with an average size of £6,000.

Although this funding option will affect your business at a very early stage, it could be what you need to get the right footing for scaling up further down the line.

No matter how dedicated, hard-working and imaginative, sometimes nothing will help your business break through to the next level like a bit of extra money – so it’s worth researching these funding options to see whether they could benefit your business.

 

Daniel Moore is an experienced content writer by profession and he mainly writes on different aspects of business from business start ups to expansion.

Strategic Planning Tip – Staging Your Business to Succeed!

Stage Your Business to Succeed!

“If you keep on doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep on getting what you’re getting. If you want to get something different, then you need to do something different”

Strategic Planning Tip - Staging Your Business to Succeed!Profound quote isn’t it? …. So, of course, the translation to your business is, if you want to achieve different results by this time next year, you need to take a different approach from how you’ve currently been doing things in your business.

This is the key reason why it is critical for you to do a strategic plan each year for your business regardless if you are a Fortune 500 company, a small family run business, or even a solopreneur. Your strategic plan is your written road map that will help keep you from falling into the same ineffective patterns of behavior and from repeating out dated systems that are no longer worth your time and investment.

Better than that, your strategic plan is your road map that keeps you focused on what things you will now commit to doing differently this year — designed to getting you greater results than ever before.

You know, every time I share the opening quote with business owners and Entrepreneurs I find that 100% of them agree with the truth of this principle. But, you know what? I find that less than 10% of the small business owner audiences I speak to actually have a strategic plan each year.

The 3 biggest reasons I hear all the time from small business owners and Entrepreneurs on why they do not do strategic plans each year is:

1. It seems like an exercise in futility for me to set goals and milestones on paper when things in the past never went according to plan anyway.

2. Doing a strategic plan seems like a large daunting project that I frankly don’t have those large chunks of time to be doing.

3. I don’t know where to start in creating an effective strategic plan

Alright, so let me try to de-bunk some of these limiting beliefs, so that I can help you to accelerate your business growth in 2012.

 

First, think of your strategic plan as a staging plan.

 
Strategic planning is not just a piece of paper that shows you’ve written down a bunch of numbers and dates on when you would theoretically like to see those numbers and figures achieved by.
So, if you could have a do-over of this past year (knowing the cause and effects of each of your decisions)…
     1.) What would you put on your short list of things you want to do the same?
    2.) What would you put on your short list of things you would do differently?
That said, you don’t want to be answering those 2 questions for your business as a whole, you want to segment your post-mortem thoughts as you would address a house room by room.Take the analogy of selling a house. In today’s difficult economy, there are an awful lot of homes on the market.

So, if you’re the seller, you’re going to need to maximize the staging of your home to stand out from all your competition. There are so many other homes your buyers have to choose from!Your realtor or your staging consultant will walk you through room by room with their recommended list of changes you should make to maximize your home’s appeal to the type of buyer you are targeting. The homeowner typically, will have 2 common responses to the staging plan:a) Yes, I’ve been meaning to do that for years, but just haven’t gotten around to fixing that yet.

b) No, I never noticed that was a problem (because I live here I just get used to it and have grown immune to noticing that horrible wallpaper throughout the house)

When the homeowner follows the staging plan, he/she watches their home magically transform from drab to becoming the next coveted hot seller.

That’s what your strategic plan does for your business. It should serve as your room-by-room improvement list that will help you to attract more targeted buyers.

It can do even more than that. Your strategic plan is there not just to achieve your sales goals, but all your other business-related goals — like, here’s one I help small business owners with a lot: I want to work 10-20 hours less per week this year but still increase my profits.

Yes, I can help you formulate what you roadmap should look like in your 2012 Strategic Plan to help you achieve that goal of working less while still growing the business so you’re earning even more.

Now, as for the other 2 objections for not doing a strategic plan:

  • Not thinking you have the time
  • Not knowing where to start

You give me 1 hour a month and I’ll show you how to stage your business to have your best year ever!

If you truly want to achieve better results this year in growing your business and you are ready to commit even just one hour a week, I have a simple 1-page strategic plan system that I can hold your hand step-by-step and guide you to do.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can invest 1 hour a week using my 1-page strategic plan system, I invite you to call me for a no-charge 30-minute discovery session to explore what that could mean for you.

But, hurry on calling me. Because good intentions often turn into wasting years from procrastinating on what you could have easily and quickly done today.

Why not call me now? My direct line is 215-292-4947 EST.

QUESTION: What is the most challenging part of working on your strategic plan to help you grow your business? Please share your comments in the box below.

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at http://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: [email protected] To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

 

© Copyright 2016

What They Don’t Teach You in Harvard Business School About Goal Setting

In the book, What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School, author Mark McCormack tells a study about the students in the 1979 MBA program. The students were asked, “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”
The results were striking–only 3% of the students had written goals. Another 13% had some idea of goals but they weren’t written down. The other 84% had no specific goals.

10 years later, the graduates were interviewed again. The 13% who had goals were earning an average of twice as much as the 84% who had no goals. The 3% who had clearly defined and written their goals, were earning an average of 10 times their classmates.

Clearly, setting goals is powerful. Writing them down is more powerful. They’re important in achieving not just financial success but success in your health and relationships too.

But, to be effective, goals must be specific and clearly defined with a time limit. They can drive your “to do” list forward so you make measurable progress each day.

Goals are personal. It’s not enough to say you want to be “successful”. Define that, what does success look like for you? Is it flexibility with your time? A certain amount of money in the bank? Living debt free?

Be honest with yourself as you set your goals so you’re setting ones that will give you energy and motivation.

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself to set the goals that are right for you:

1) Set specific and measurable goals– otherwise, you won’t know when you’ve achieved them. Do you want more time off? If so, what does that mean? 2 mornings a week? Every Tuesday? Be specific. Likewise, it’s not enough to say you want to make “more money”. How much money? Do you want to increase your net worth by $100,000 in the next three years? Do you want to increase your pay rate by 10% in the coming six months? Once you define the goal, you can look at the big picture to know how you can make it happen.

2) Set the right goals for you–Your goals should energize and inspire you. If they don’t, re evaluate. May be they’re not big enough. Or, may be they’re too big. Goals should be big enough to push you but if they’re overwhelming you may need to readjust.

3) What has to go? As you grow and transition in your business, you will need to let go of some things. They may be tasks, habits or even people. Be aware of things/ideas/people that give you energy and what depletes you. Delegate or outsource your energy draining tasks and replace them with ones that energize. Recognize habits that move you forward in your goals such as getting regular exercise so you’re able to perform at your optimum level and continue doing them.
You’re in charge of your business! Design your business around the life you want to live and watch your achievements grow!

If you need someone to come alongside you to help you plan your goals so you reach them quicker, I’m only a phone call away! (215) 292-4947

QUESTION:  What has been your most effective strategy to help you set and achieve your goals? Please share your comments in the box below.

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at http://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: [email protected] To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

 

© Copyright 2016

 

The Myth Behind Fast Growth Companies

Note From Yoon

Fast Growth CompaniesOnly 3 more months until we find out who the 100 fastest growing companies are in the Philadelphia area. 

If you would like to attend to network with these CEO’s I invite you to email me for an invitation. Or, if you’re like to be one of these winning companies I invite you to call me to discuss how we can get you positioned for fast growth awards like this. 

Enjoy today’s article on my take on the Myths Behind Fast Growth Companies. 

Blessings~ 

Signature

 

 

The Myth Behind Fast Growth Companies

As co-chair of the Philadelphia 100 awards I get to help promote our area’s 100 fastest growing companies.  When you read about the success stories of fast growing companies it’s easy to get sucked into the thinkingt hat these lucky entrepreneurs had the “midas” touch and got to enjoy overnight success.

Well, more often than not, that just isn’t so. When you read past the headlines and dig deeper into many of the back stories of those successful entrepreneurs who turned their small business into the dream big business, what you’ll learn is a common thread of simple patience.

There is a special species of bamboo that grows in China and the Far East. After the bamboo is planted, no visible growth occurs for up to 5 years. Even under ideal conditions, the plant shows no signs of growth for years after it is planted. Then suddenly, as if by magic, the bamboo begins to grow at a rate of nearly 2 ½ feet per day until it reaches its full height of 90 feet! The bamboo farmer who persistently cares for the seemingly barren land will reap the rewards once the bamboo shoots take off. He knows that the rapid growth of the bamboo is not at all magical – the bamboo is able to grow so quickly because it spends the first five years of its life developing miles of roots to support its growth.

 

As a business owner, you must also develop a “root system” . When it comes to your marketing tactics are you patient in your persistence or do you swiftly abort tactics that do not result in immediate prospect inquiries? Frequently, it is just when a tactic was about to begin to take root that the business owner quits and moves on to trying something else. Often times, the difference between successful outcomes and failed outcomes is the one degree difference in your own mental state of mind between ‘trying’ and ‘committing’.

How about in your prospect conversion strategy? Do you have a follow up system that keeps in touch with your prospects for up to 2 years or do you typically give up after just 2 or 3 follow ups? Did you know that, on average, businesses have to follow up with potential clients 8 times in order to make the sale?! So, if you’re not happy with the results of your marketing, ask yourself,  “Have I been patiently persistent?” If you’re considering whether to abort a specific tactic take a good look at your actual efforts and ask yourself, “Have I simply been trying or have I truly committed to this tactic?” If you’re willing to be persistent, but just not sure whether you are taking the right approach to nurturing the root system of your business.

QUESTION: What inspires and encourages you as an entrepreneur to keep pushing forward in the midst of struggle?  Please share your comments below in the comment box.

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at http://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: [email protected] To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

QUESTION: What inspires and encourages you as an entrepreneur to keep pushing forward in the midst of struggle?  Please share your comments below in the comment box.

© Copyright 2016