When not to outsource

20th October 2017

Over the past three blogs I’ve been encouraging you to think carefully about when outsourcing is appropriate for your business.

I’ve argued that outsourcing works best when you are bringing in high-level expertise and talent, rather than simply hiring an outsider to do a job nobody else wants or knows how to do. You want the companies you outsource to to add significant value.

I’ve made the case that outsourcing to a team brings more benefits than hiring an individual to work in-house, because a team naturally brings you more skills, capabilities, systems and technology.

And I’ve shown that often, outsourcing is more cost-effective than hiring a new staff member.

So that’s when and why you should outsource, bringing specialist skills into your company.

But that doesn’t mean you should be outsourcing all important functions.

In fact, some times it makes no sense at all.

One of those times is when the job you’re handing over is mission-critical on an hour-by-hour basis.

This was something I was never warned about, but learned from bitter experience.

In our early days we worked with a company that needed us to take a particular action every single time they received an order. They literally couldn’t dispatch their product until we’d fulfilled our role. And of course, they wanted to dispatch their product on the same day it was received, and if possible, within a couple of hours.

We needed to be available at a moment’s notice, or their business would suffer.

On both sides the stress and the opportunities for misunderstanding were endless.

The client was wrong to hand over an essential, time-critical job to an outside group. They really needed someone sitting in their office to do that job. And of course, we were wrong to accept it, and in the end we did have to walk away.

I should have known that one of the reasons accounting is such a good function to outsource is that it’s seldom an emergency. Crucially important yes; absolutely essential to your future; but not normally extremely urgent.

I find most of my clients know very little about how complete their accounts are on a day-to-day basis, and yet that doesn’t affect the success of their businesses.

In fact, with us looking after your numbers, you can concentrate on what you do best – building your business and making it grow faster. And that’s really what outsourcing should be all about.

Just contact me to make it happen.

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