There’s a wide range of other businesses that can support yours by focusing on the things you don’t have the expertise or time for. Outsourced services range from payroll to marketing to human resources to software development and software testing. Here’s a look at some of the most useful outsourced services and how they can help your business.
- Accounting and Payroll
Some people love keeping track of the numbers and the laws, which is great for those of us who don’t. Look for an accounting and/or payroll firm that works with other companies in your industry. Such a firm will understand how you need to manage your records and will be able to recommend best practices for your type of company.
These firms maintain the highest level of data security within systems designed specifically for the types of tasks they perform. Accounting and payroll professionals also maintain the highest level of accuracy to gain your trust and referrals.
- Software Development and QA Testing
Not every company needs custom software development. But, if yours does and your IT team already has a full plate, outsourcing could be a great choice. As with all the services on this list, the professionals working as software developers perform their craft exclusively, meaning they’re highly trained for and skilled at what they do. Additionally, they may already have developed the type of software you need and already solved the problems your IT crew might run into in the development process.
Because it’s tweaked to perform the tasks you need in exactly the way you need them, custom software can make a huge difference in your company’s productivity, efficiency, and profitability and give you an edge over the competition. It can also grow with your business, eliminating the need to buy new off-the-shelf software every few years.
Just as important is quality assurance (QA) testing, to ensure any software developed for you is secure, easy to use, fully functional, and compatible with your other software and hardware. QA testing is typically part of custom software development. Don’t leave this important step to chance. Make sure it’s part of the process before you sign on with a software development service.
- Marketing and PR
Marketing is more complicated (and time-consuming) than it may appear to be. Sure, someone on your team can spend a few minutes a day on social media and — depending on your company and target market — that might be enough. But, if you’re not getting the kind of traction you want, a more concerted effort may be required.
An outsourced marketing service can help you get noticed in the right ways, at the right times, on the right platforms. Whether it’s in a media publication, at a conference, or on your very own website, strong marketing (backed up by excellent products and services) can help you stand out, build a strong reputation, and inspire customers to rave about you to others.
- Human Resources
Hiring the right people to perform the core functions of your company is a must; treating them well once they get there is arguably even more important. To ensure they get the best benefits and working conditions, you may want to hire a full-time human resources (HR) person or department. But keep in mind that outsourcing HR can be a better option for several reasons.
First, if your company is very small, you may be able to negotiate lower costs for benefits because your staff will be combined with others for a better group rate. Outsourced HR providers are well-versed in employment laws and regulations to help your business remains in compliance. Additionally, it’s much easier to increase outsourced HR capacity quickly as your company grows.
- Cloud Hosting
Of the many risks in business, online security breaches are certainly a valid concern. Your company’s data is always vulnerable to attack, putting you at risk for lost time and money to retrieve information, a stained reputation, and lost business. Such an attack also puts your customers at risk for cash and identity theft. You need to do everything you can to keep your systems and your data safe.
Of course, there’s much you can do to prevent cyber intrusions on your premises. You might have an ace IT team that ensures your security as much as possible. But even the most rigorous procedures may have fatal flaws. That’s why 93 percent of companies have at least considered a cloud solution.
Putting some or all your applications and data on the cloud is a smart move no matter what industry you’re in. Aside from security, cloud solutions can cut costs by reducing or eliminating the need for you to purchase and maintain your own hardware onsite.
Outsourcing may seem like an unnecessary expense if you have a diverse and talented staff. But this method can actually save you money because it reduces the need to hire, train, and retain employees who require salaries and benefits year-round. Outsourcing also helps your company remain flexible as it changes and grows.