Tag Archives: Outsourcing

Grow Your Business With Outsourcing

images (2)Running a small business can be fulfilling: you get to pursue your passion, be in control and be your own boss. However, it can also be incredibly frustrating. When you decided to start your own business you probably did not imagine that most of your time would be hijacked by mundane routine tasks such as bookkeeping, making appointments, writing PR materials and so on. If you are inundated with back office tasks that can really throw a spanner in the expansion of your brilliant innovating business.  Instead of trying to do it all yourself, you can get easy affordable help by outsourcing.

Outsourcing seems like something big businesses need to do. Thanks to the innovations in technology, however, any and all manner of tasks can be effectively outsourced. There is an entire global workforce online who are qualified in various skills but do want the flexibility for working from home, or from working from other countries, and are therefore freelancing online. These include everything from executive assistants who will answer you mail and set up your appointments, to writers who will create effective copy for your marketing, to graphic designers, PR managers, graphic designers, IT consultants; the list is endless.

Here are some things you can and should outsource, without hampering your progress:

  • Any job that requires highly skilled expertise, such as finance management. If you are not from a finance background, it would be a good idea to have a finance expert step in and take a look at your books to make sure things are in ordering. Also, a brand consultant can help you create a brand and comprehensive marketing strategy that you can then deploy;
  • Any job that is routine and mechanical, such as data entry, bookkeeping, inventory and so forth;
  • Jobs that require specific technical expertise such as IT support for your business, or graphic design and search engine optimized copywriting for your marketing materials.
  • Another area that could easily be outsourced is your payroll and HR functions.  HR and Payroll can be confusing and could cost you a ton in fines.  Team up with a qualified payroll management comapny to complte your HR functions the right way.

To figure out who the right contractor is for you to get your job done right, you will need to do some research. The best way as usual is to go through personal recommendations from people in your business network. However, you can also get referrals and ratings on contractors on websites that connect freelancers to businesses who need them. Once you have figured out what exactly you need from your contractor, communicate it clearly to the contractor, and make sure you understand each other before embarking on work together.

Finally, although you should keep some focus on following up with your contractor to ensure your work is done according to your needs and specifications, do not get so involved that you are not able to effectively use all the time you freed up by outsourcing in the first place. Outsourcing gives you the chance to focus on the things that really matter to your business, such as research and development to improve the quality of your product and service, and expanding your business.

Shawn Wise is the Director of Marketing at  CFI provides Employee Leasing, Payroll Management, and other affordable contractors insurance services to help small business owners outsource time consuming parts of their company and get back to the more important operations.



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How Managed Services Can Benefit Your Business By Cutting Cost

Managed Services GuyCost cutting has hit each and every business in the last decade. The businesses target on maximizing profits by getting rid of extra overhead expenses and outsourcing the processes if required. It has been observed that the first step towards cost cutting is laying off extra, under-used or non-performing human resources. Downsizing has been a major threat to the employees specially working at lower and middle level.

The department that usually witnesses downsizing the most is IT department. It has been observed that in the long run, the companies tend to outsource IT processes to maximize their profits. While closing down the IT departments, the companies usually start with outsourcing server and storage management. The service providers that are specialized in this field are contacted for data storage, maintenance, retrieval and access.  This saves IT infrastructure cost that the company has to bear from time to time. Although outsourcing is a solution but there are ways through which a company can reduce costs without putting down the machines and servers. Remember, closing down the IT department can be very risky as a single wrong decision can lose data worth of millions of dollars or can shut down the whole IT infrastructure of the company. There are companies that specialize in this transition process and even help companies use their current setup efficiently.  Based on following solutions, they may recommend a solution that best suits your company’s IT environment:

Using Serve Space To Increase Efficiency

It has been seen that many companies do not take full advantage of the installed servers. The servers have a specific capacity and if a company is shifting to a new server without using the previous one to its maximum capacity, the company is actually wasting money, hence, increasing its cost. The service providers can review the server usage and recommend accordingly. They can even guide how a company can effectively use its server capacity. They can consolidate some data, remove unwanted and useless data and free some space for more storage.

Avoid Upgrading Already Installed Servers

Many companies opt for updating the old servers rather than buying the new machinery, but it is observed that this decision can cost more in the long run. Although old machinery can be upgraded at lower cost but new machinery is usually more energy efficient and can bear more load. Maintenance and troubleshooting requirements also minimize with new machinery on board.

Minimize Cost Of Virtualization Licenses

Virtualization also amuses many companies as they tend to reduce the cost of IT processes. It is however important to know that if a Virtualization solution is not selected intelligently, it can cost more than physical IT arrangements. The companies usually pay an annual subscription or monthly rent for virtualized data space and also for licenses of required applications. The experts and service providers may at times suggest hosting some machines in the office and reducing licensing cost of applications while using only the data storage facility virtually.

If the IT department of your company needs certain changes, consider hiring a service organization and ask them to provide a diverse but specific IT solutions for your organization like managed services to ensure smooth operations.

Author Bio
Maegan Pulman is a freelance IT consultant and technology enthusiast. She is active in local and international IT events and is always on the lookout for the latest industry trends.



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Four Most Affordable & Talented Countries to Hire English Speaking Outsourcers

money-changing-handsOutsourcing parts of a business to another country is a great way for businesses to save money. There are plenty of companies overseas that can help your business perform a variety of tasks, such as handle your online marketing to performing your phone customer service.

When you outsource your business overseas, you will not have to pay a team of individuals to do the tasks for your company in house, and you will also pay significantly less than you would if you hired a local company.

But some companies worry about the language challenges that occur when a non local company is hired to perform tasks for the business. These companies worry that there may be grammatical errors or misspellings on their written communications, and some fear that it may be hard for customers to understand them over the phone.

Luckily, there are plenty of talented countries that are not only affordable, but can also give you a team that can write and speak great English. If you want to outsource parts of your business to a country that is affordable and has great English, then you’ll want to choose one of these four.

1. India

India is one of the most popular countries to outsource your business to. Not only do they boast some affordable talents, but they are also great English speakers and can help avoid any language barrier. First, India has many universities and schools that focus on IT, which is why many companies outsource their IT needs to these country. But the reason that India is the most popular country to outsource business is because over 2 million people graduate from universities in India annually, and each one of them speaks fluent English. Plus, the average salary of an IT person in India runs about $5,000-$15,000, which is significantly less than what it is in the US.

2. Philippines

The Philippines is another popular country to outsource your business efforts to. Along with graduates who focus on IT, plenty of those who graduate in the Philippines focus on customer service and accounting, allowing your business to outsource additional efforts instead of just your IT needs. Plus, you will receive English speaking talent as well as low cost for all your outsourcing needs.

3. Ireland

Though unexpected, Ireland is also known as a popular outsourcing country. Though they don’t boast high graduating numbers as India or the Philippines, Ireland still has plenty of talented individuals that can help your country with call centers or software development. Major companies like Dell and Intel outsource to Ireland, and aside from the thick Irish brogue, you’ll have all the English speaking individuals you could ask for.

4. Russia

Russia is a great country to outsource to if you’re looking for affordable talent. They also have plenty of English speaking individuals, but there are not nearly as many as India, the Philippines or Ireland, so it’s best to use Russia as a last resort. Russia does boast plenty of engineers and scientists, so if your company is in need of this type of outsourcing, this may be the best country for you.

Mary Anne Bances helps American contractors learn Tagalog in order to more efficiently lead remote outsourcer teams. She is also the writer of several communication guides aimed at those conducting business overseas.


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Outsourcing and Its Benefits

Outsourcing refers to working with one or several third party contractors, instead of regular employees, to perform certain business tasks, operations and functions off-site or on-site for a specific time period.

Outsourcing contractors who do the job off-site is commonly referred to as offshoring. It simply means working with overseas contractors, commonly from China, India or the Philippines, to accomplish some business tasks.

When done right, outsourcing helps a business grow and gain more profit. Aside from that, here are the other benefits of outsourcing in detail.

Outsourcing helps owners and managers concentrate on core functions

Owners and managers do not have to worry about the minor but necessary tasks because outsourcing will provide them the human resources to do those. This lets them put their 100% attention and effort on the core business functions that keep the company successful.

Examples are: Outsourcing security services from a contractor specializing in security; and outsourcing of purchasing personnel to take care of the expanding purchasing tasks, while the bosses take care of the more important leadership and decision-making tasks.

Outsourcing helps save money

A company does not need to spend so much effort and money to address complicated back office tasks. Outsourcing contractors who are experts in back office functions will help. Aside from providing excellent back office operations, it also reduces the overhead costs.

Outsourcing is cheaper than hiring additional employees to perform minor tasks. Also, it keeps a company from spending money to expand the office space and buy additional equipment for the new employees.

Outsourcing provides flexibility

Outsourcing provides a company with additional human resources during peak seasons or when the demands are high. In addition, it allows the company to release those staff when the job is done or when the demands are manageable.

For example: A company outsources from an accounting firm to help the accounting department during tax and auditing seasons.

Outsourcing provides stability

Outsourcing is a great solution for departments gone out of control. Contractors can help in sorting out priorities and providing better management skills. They also provide human resources to help the department accomplish the projects on time and at a lesser cost.

Outsourcing provides continuity and risk management

A company can rely on outsourcing once there is a high employee turnover. It helps the company continue the operations despite the people leaving for some reasons.

For example: Outsourcing keeps the administrative tasks from being unattended or abandoned when an administrative assistant leaves abruptly for a new job.

Outsourcing helps a company’s employees grow

A company can also count on outsourcing when there is a big project in the works and its employees do not have the skills yet to accomplish it. Outsourcing experts and making them work with the current roster of employees will not only accomplish the project on time, but also help the employees learn new skills.

So those are the benefits of outsourcing that may help you decide if you are going to outsource or not. Just remember, study your business well. Know its needs by heart. This will help you tell if outsourcing is right for you.

This article is written by Louis Liem. He is a fulltime blogger and an online marketer. You can visit his blog Homebiz Resource that contains helpful resources about blogging, SEO, social media and freelancing.


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Top 10 Business Services to Make You more Productive

Running a business involves a lot of work, and many of the jobs that eat up your day are things that are peripheral to the actual niche of your business.  If you’re spending more time on paperwork, invoicing and payroll than you are on the task of making money, then perhaps it’s time to consider outsourcing those parts of your business.  Consider how much time the following tasks eat up on a weekly basis:

1. Invoicing: Calculating, printing and sending invoices, and then chasing for payment if it is late can be a time consuming job.  There are many companies that will handle it for you, for a percentage of each invoice.  If you have a lot of invoices to handle then outsourcing could be good value for money.

2. Accounting: If you aren’t a qualified accountant, then it makes sense to let someone else handle the books for you.  A good accountant can often save you money in the long term, by greatly reducing the amount of tax you pay.

3. Document storage: The amount of paperwork that the average business ends up saddled with can be spectacular.  Outsourcing your document storage is a good way to stay organized and free up a lot of office space.

4. Payroll: If you have more than a handful of employees, payroll can eat up a lot of time each month.

5. Marketing: Don’t underestimate the importance of a sound marketing strategy.  Investing in marketing is a good way to grow your business, and should pay for itself many times over.

6. Order fulfilment: If you have a high volume of orders to cope with, then you may save money by outsourcing packing and delivery to a specialist company.

7. Human resources: How much of your time is taken up managing schedules, holidays, new hires, and departing employees?  If you don’t have a big enough office to justify a full time HR person, then perhaps outsourcing could benefit you.

8. Customer service: Instead of tying up specialist employees by having them do double-duty on the phone, consider letting them focus on their jobs, while using remote workers to manage live chat, email support, and other contact lines.

9. Web services: You run a small business because you’re an expert in your trade.  If that trade is not web development or something else IT related, then you probably don’t want to be stressing about website errors or server crashes.  Let a dedicated IT company handle those.

10. Training: There is sometimes an overlap between the best teachers and the best “do-ers” but not always. If your star employee doesn’t have the time, inclination, or ability to train junior team members, why not send those new starters on a training course instead. Yes, it will cost you more up-front, but in the long term you’ll end up with happier and more productive employees because of it.

Outsourcing isn’t always the best option.  If your company is still doing things on a small scale you might want to keep those things in-house, but there are times when it does work out cheaper and more efficient to let a specialist take over.  The key to success is identifying those times.

This is a guest post by James Harper on behalf of Whitefields Document Storage, specialists in document storage. Find out more here.


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How Outsourcing Can Make Your Business Work Smarter

For small business owners there comes the extra burden of dealing with all the ‘back office’ stuff.  From paperwork to invoices, stock control and payroll, it can quickly mount up becoming a time sapping, resource consuming monster!  But is outsourcing some of these jobs a good idea for the small business and can it help to make you more efficient?

For any business considering outsourcing it is often their payroll that comes up for consideration first.  Payroll systems these days rely on complex software programs to calculate payable hours, salaries, deductions and bonuses, it is therefore one of the easiest ‘back office’ tasks to outsource to an external company.  However there are pros and cons to this and they should be weighed up first before any decision is made about outsourcing.

The pros for outsourcing your payroll for instance, add up to the following:

  • There are significant cost savings to be made by outsourcing, most notably in hiring staff to manage it for you, investing in the necessary software and equipment and in IT systems as well as IT support.
  • Time is a valuable resource to the small business owner so outsourcing elements like the payroll will free up valuable time for other tasks.
  • For businesses who experience strong growth and expansion, outsourcing the payroll means they will already have in place systems to cope with an increased workforce and payroll. This will give greater flexibility when it comes to expanding a business.
  • One of the key benefits to outsourcing is knowing just how much the service will cost.  The cost of keeping your payroll in-house can be difficult to manage and many business owners find it impossible to put a figure on it.
  • For many there is one reason only to outsource to companies like Calgary payroll firm Payweb and that is to save money.  Because outsourcing is typically cheaper than running it in-house businesses can free up some much needed capital to reinvest elsewhere.
  • Finally outsourcing payroll services means your payroll will be handled efficiently with the latest software and by professionals who will ensure it is produced correctly.

So what about the cons?

Actually these are few and far between but they still need to be considered.  Two key areas of concern include the ability to access employees records relating to pay and taxes and allowing third parties access to personal and confidential employee information.

Because the pros do far outweigh the cons outsourcing is something small businesses should consider to help them work smarter and in a way which will allow them to free up time and money.

Written by Georgina Clatworthy, a freelance writer writing on subjects relating to business, marketing and technology.  Although I am not connected to the company, I can fully recommend employing the services of Payweb, an experienced payroll outsourcing company.


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Reduce Setup Costs with Ecommerce Fulfilment

  The current harsh economic climate has created an environment whereby it is exceptionally difficult to establish a new business from scratch. Lenders are more cautious than ever to provide start-up businesses with the necessary capital to enable them to establish the infrastructure that is required to begin trading. Moreover, a reduction in disposable income in general has significantly reduced the amount of money that consumers have to spend on any given product. This in term has created tougher competition between companies even in different market sectors.

In view of such a climate it is important that start-up businesses take advantage of every cost saving available in order to reduce the initial investment required to establish the business and to ensure that the business is competitive. One way in which this can be achieved is through outsourcing some or all of the company’s critical processes. For example, by outsourcing a company’s storage and dispatch systems through ecommerce fulfilment a business can remove the need to purchase, maintain and operate extensive warehousing property and specialist dispatch and packing equipment.

Moreover, ecommerce fulfilment can offer considerable savings for businesses that make extensive use of direct website sales. By utilising an outsourced shopping basket and payment processing system companies eliminate the requirement to produce, implement and maintain their own system. Such website infrastructure can be exceptionally costly to develop, test and implement, therefore outsourcing provides an extremely attractive alternative. Tried and tested systems have the advantage of being refined through practical use and modified according to feedback. Moreover, they can be implemented immediately without the time consuming development and testing period. Outsourced website payment infrastructure offers considerable advantages in terms of both time and money to companies who provide direct sales through their website.

By selecting outsourced services businesses do not have to directly employ nearly so many staff as they would otherwise due to the reductions offered by using outsourced storage property and equipment and using outsourced website infrastructure. Company employees would not be required to operate and maintain the storage and dispatch facility and would likewise not be required to design, test and implement website infrastructure. As employees are one of the most expensive outgoings for any business, ecommerce fulfilment offers considerable cost savings when outsourcing services as opposed to providing such processes internally.

By outsourcing critical business processes businesses can enjoy large cost savings over providing the same service internally. The primary advantage is the reduction in initial investment required to setup a new business. This is followed by the time, effort and expense saved by utilising systems that are already in place and ready for immediate use. Moreover, a business that outsources its requirements for product storage, dispatch and website payment infrastructure takes advantage of the considerable experience accumulated by the service company over many years. This means that the client company does not need to begin at the start of the learning curve as regards these processes but can build on existing tried and tested processes.

This article was written by Amy Fowler on behalf of Hallmark Consumer Services. Amy writes on a variety of topics including ecommerce fulfilment and ways to reduce business setup costs.


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