How to outsource work to contractors and freelancers

Close-up dictionary definition of the word Outsourcing.

Small businesses certainly don’t have an easy life. In a bid to compete with the well-known names in their field, they have to ensure they employ a great team of staff and have the right working environment for employees to operate in. Getting the funds together to bring new employees on board, and purchase necessary technology, is no easy feat, though, especially with the fragile UK economy and factors like new legislation requiring employers to make contributions to workplace pensions. However, small businesses should remember they have a huge helping hand just waiting to assist them – outsourcing. This strategy, popular with both big and small firms, can add a lot of value to businesses if they tap into it correctly. Here are three sectors that SMEs should definitely consider outsourcing:

Human resources (HR) – Outsourcing

It can seem very easy to get your head around hiring, paying, training and – if the unfortunate matter arises – firing staff when you are first setting up a business. Chances are you’ll only have a few workers on the books, after all. As a company expands, though, so will the workforce. Not only will it become harder to juggle the needs of every existing staff member, as well as those you are hoping to hire next, there’s also legislation to consider so that you don’t stray onto the wrong side of workplace law.

Fortunately, some or even all of your HR requirements can be outsourced to experts.  Whether you use a firm like ADP in the US to handle training procedures or Best Online Accounting in the UK to keep an online payroll setup in check, you ultimately remove the need to juggle these tasks with all the other demands of being an employer.

Information Technology (IT) – Outsourcing

Outsourcing IT has been used by companies of all sizes for years, though recent research by analyst firm Ovum suggests this strategy dropped to its lowest level in a decade during 2012.

The fact that the IT landscape seems to change on a daily basis could be the main reason for this dip, or perhaps it’s because firms in both the private and public sectors are spending less on IT services.

However, the figures do not mean that outsourcing IT should be ignored. Opting for an IT outsource partner is perfect for giving you the peace of mind that someone is always on hand to service all of your workplace equipment – some even offer you deals, so you’re always assured of the most up-to-date software and hardware.

Just check that any IT outsource partner you choose has the correct insurances in place so that you are protected if they should accidentally damage any of your IT systems. Reviewing the service is also recommended, to ensure you always receive the best package no matter how much your company grows.

Marketing – Outsourcing

Depending on your SME, creating leaflets that advertise your services, or putting your company logo and contact details on promotional pens is easy – they even teach many of these marketing strategies in schools these days! When it comes to selling a small business via telesales or across social media, though, this is where it might be best to leave it to the experts.  Marketing outsource partners will know exactly when and where to promote your services so you get the best exposure to your target audience, while they can also advise you on critical growth times so that you can expand your business with ease.

For more info, have a browse at our guide to how contractors can help a business.