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Before You Hit Submit on Your Next Job Posting, Consider Your Outsourcing Alternatives

Opting to outsource functions of day-to-day business operations has become a trend in just about every industry. Here at blumshapiro, we’ve covered several different angles of the outsourced professional services trend.

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Opting to outsource functions of day-to-day business operations has become a trend in just about every industry. Here at blumshapiro, we’ve covered several different angles of the outsourced professional services trend.

Opting to outsource functions of day-to-day business operations has become a trend in just about every industry. Here at blumshapiro, we’ve covered several different angles of the outsourced professional services trend. We’ve talked about why outsourcing is particularly useful for entrepreneurs, whether they’re in the process of starting up a start-up or looking to scale an established businessAnd we’ve dug into why the professional services industrythe hospitality industry, private medical and dental practices and nonprofit organizations may want to consider outsourcing strategies.  

We’re writing about this topic this often for a simple reason: As financial experts with years of experience working in virtually any industry, we firmly believe that outsourcing is a common-sense solution for most, if not all, growing businesses. The advantages are clear: In certain situations, bringing in a third-party professional services vendor can help companies trim operating costs – while freeing up the invaluable time they need to focus on their business’s core competencies. 

That said, we certainly understand that not every role within a company can (or should!) be outsourced. So, for the purposes of this article, let’s imagine we’re running a business – and we’re putting together a job description for a role we need to fill at our company. We need to decide: Should we hire a full-time staffer, or should we consider outsourcing this function to a third-party professional services provider? 

Here are three basic questions we need to ask ourselves. 

Is this role a core part of our company’s inherent purpose?

This is the first and most important question business owners need to ask when they’re weighing the scales of hiring a full-time employee versus outsourcing. Some jobs, just by their very nature, obviously need to be in-house. Restaurants need chefs to imagine and cook the recipes; private medical practices need doctors to treat the patients; advertising agencies need creative types to produce the work. 

When they take a step back, though, many business owners quickly realize that a big chunk of their company’s daily to-do list has little, or nothing, to do with their actual business. These functions, though certainly necessary to the long-term health of the business, don’t necessarily need to be completed by a member of the company’s internal staff. 

The upshot: If the role we’re looking to fill is directly related to what our business does, a full-time staffer probably makes sense. If not, we can consider outsourcing. 

Does this role require someone on-site, every day?

As technology continues to advance and the professional environment becomes more and more remote, this question will become more and more difficult to answer. But, even with the growing popularity of flexible work schedules, there are still certain business functions that need to be done on-site, in the office, every day.  

In most cases, the answer to this question is going to depend on the type of business we’re operating. 

Do we need an IT expert in the office for 40 hours a week? If our company is extremely reliant on the technology we use – say, if we’re running an e-commerce or enterprise software firm – then yes, perhaps we do. If not, then we can probably consider outsourcing to an on-call IT firm. 

Do we need someone at the front desk every day? If our company is client- or customer-facing, then yes, absolutely! But if not, an outsourced Virtual Assistant may be able to meet our company’s needs at a more efficient price point.  

The upshot: If the role you’re looking to fill absolutely requires an on-site employee, a full-time staffer is likely your best bet. If it can be done remotely by a third party, you can consider outsourcing options. 

Does this role require specific software, equipment or other external resources?

This question is particularly relevant to a company’s financial back office. Day-to-day business functions like accounting, tax planning, bookkeeping, payroll processing and other finance-related tasks don’t just require a team of certified financial professionals; they require subscriptions to various industry-standard programs and software.  

And these subscriptions can be awfully expensive.  

The good news: Most outsourced professional services firms already have these subscriptions. They’ve already built the infrastructure you need. Plus, they have a trained staff of financial experts ready on day one of the engagement to professionally manage that side of your business. 

Unless we’re running a large, global company that has the resources to invest in the software, staff and infrastructure we need to efficiently and accurately manage the financial side of our business, it will almost always make sense to consider outsourcing these roles. 

The upshot: You (probably) didn’t go into business to do your own accounting. Bring in a team of professionals, and save yourself time, money and agony! 

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