The business world is a tough place. Sometimes, it seems like it’s every person for him or herself. Competition is everywhere, secrets are closely guarded, and no quarter is given by any other company in your business space.
But, of course, it’s not as simple – or as grim – as all of that. While your business has plenty of competitors to worry about, it also interacts with dozens of other companies on a more friendly level. From the electrical company that supplies your business space with power to the parcel delivery service that you use, your business relies on a lot of other businesses to get by.
And that’s how it should be, because a smart business doesn’t try to do everything on its own. Your business is the best at something, but it’s not the best at everything. So rely on other businesses through outsourcing, subcontracting, and other arrangements. It will make your company stronger and leave your team with more time to focus on what they do best.
Outsourcing to defend your business
Outsourcing is important in part because it keeps your business from tripping up. Your team has plenty of expertise, but it may not be the kind of expertise that will help you avoid legal dilemmas or workplace scandals. That’s why you have lawyers and training companies – they’re the experts in reducing those risks.
A company should operate efficiently but safely. Efficient small businesses don’t have bulky legal departments, but they do have lawyers – they just recognize that a the most efficient way to deal with legal threats is to keep an attorney on retainer, not to hire one.
So by all means, keep your employees trained and up-to-date with best practices, safety measures, and sexual harassment issues. But don’t keep an expensive in-house training team – hire a training company instead.
Outsourcing to get ahead
Outsourcing isn’t just about playing defense, of course. It can also be about gaining a competitive edge.
Your company is good at what it does, of course, and it will be freer to tackle the big issues facing it when things like legal dangers and payroll errors are taken care of by outsourced solutions. But your company doesn’t have to act alone. Outsourcing can also mean teaming up with subcontractors to tackle larger projects that help your company grow. It can mean software as a service (SaaS) solutions for product and technology lifecycle management. You can use outside software, consultants, and managed services to handle everything from inventory management to customer-facing services.
And you can also outsource the things that put your company in front of potential customers. Your advertising schemes, your website’s design, and even your logo can (and should) be the work of people who specialize in exactly those things.
While some huge companies keep in-house teams to handle a wide variety of tasks, a lean and agile small- or medium-sized business shouldn’t. Proper outsourcing can give your company the flexibility and focus that it needs to succeed.