Let experts be experts. As business leaders, we hear this often and perhaps even profess it to others, but what does it mean? Some businesses designate specialized tasks to an in-house team while other businesses find it more cost-effective to manage operations using outside contractors and vendors. Either way, the premise for doing so is the same: Maximize output and increase productivity and revenue by letting experts do what they do best.
The first step is realizing that you can’t do it all as a business leader. While you have strengths in areas that can help your company thrive, you also have weaknesses with which you can do two things: Either invest copious amounts of time and money to strengthen those weak skill sets, or invest in a vendor that possesses those skill sets. I outsource my accounting, time sheets and hours, payroll and online file storage to keep my business running smoothly. Here are some benefits I have seen that might persuade you to outsource tasks to expert vendors.
1. Generating revenue. Outsourcing various services from administrative duties to marketing efforts is one of the most effective ways, and we continue to read success stories that prove its ROI. The blog Business 2 Community? profiled two notable entrepreneurs that had major business growth because of outsourcing their business services. Mark McRae, for example, an entrepreneur of the Sunshine Coast in Australia, generated $280 million in online and offline sales for his businesses by entrusting tasks to better-suited vendors.
2. Saving time and money. This is impressive, no doubt, but being a Colorado-based company, we wanted to hear from some of our local business networks about what operation management strategies they implement to keep employees happy, processes and systems running smoothly and business booming.
Patrick Welsh, trial attorney for Feldmann Nagel, LLC, has watched the legal profession change drastically over the years. To ensure he can best protect and serve his clients, he turns to outside experts to help keep his firm running smoothly and efficiently. He makes sure the vendors he uses are up-to-date with technology, which ultimately saves him a lot of time keeping up with changes. As an attorney working with law enforcement personnel, Welsh appreciates the technological advancements (e.g. body cams, dash cams) used by police officers that help capture the true story of his clients’ cases. When I spoke with him, he said that accurate records could be the difference between the client having their rights violated and protected, which could be the key to his defense.
3. Enhancing internal operations. Not only is outsourcing a tactical strategy that improves day-to-day business operations, but letting experts be experts can meet larger business goals that reflect your company mission.
As the associate director of evaluation, Sue Griggs, Ph.D., performs qualitative research to evaluate the effectiveness of the Public Education and Business Coalition, including its Boettcher Teacher Residency program. She outsources tasks that help gauge the effectiveness of the organization’s programs. By letting experts be experts, Griggs spends less time worrying about who’s who (which keeps her reporting unbiased) and more time being present during her interviews in order to get the most out of her research efforts.
4. Looking beyond your office door. Sometimes letting an expert be an expert isn’t a matter of contracting or hiring specialized talent. More often than not, the experts are right in front of you. John White, chief marketing officer of Social Marketing Solutions, said, “Many companies still discourage their employees from sharing company content on their personal social media pages. Instead, encourage your employees to be active on social media and demonstrate their expertise as much as possible. Doing so will increase your company’s credibility and create many new marketing arms that were not there for the company before.”
Better yet, let experts be experts by implementing a blogging program that encourages internal staff to write about topics that showcase their expertise, are relevant to your industry, and speak to your audiences’ interests. Sometimes, you don’t need to look far to build instant credibility and a solid professional following.
5. Seeing results in business operation trends. Regardless of whether you decide to use in-house or outside experts to keep business management operations running smoothly, there is a cultural shift in management where leaders and staff are focused on results first, rather than revenue, according to Deloitte’s 2014 Global Outsourcing and Insourcing Survey. If clients and customers are happy working with your business, their loyalty to your services and products increases, word of mouth spreads and the relationships you have with your professional networks grow.