The term “outsourcing” gets a bad rap because it’s become synonymous with hundreds of thousands of disappearing manufacturing jobs, shipped overseas by supposed fat cat factory owners.
Here at IAAB, we’re not exactly advocates of laying off your staff and sending jobs to China (a strategy that might be backfiring on big manufacturers), but from experience, we know it’s a good strategy to look outside your organization for help…to in effect outsource certain roles, either in full or in part, no matter the size of your organization and no matter the industry. In fact, small professional service businesses such as insurance agencies just might benefit the most from seeking outside talent.
Insurance agencies and other firms that handle a great deal of financial information can benefit from the increased cross checking of data that comes from having part of your team be an outside vendor. Sure, you may have an auditor review your books once a year, but having outsourced, outside vendors playing a role in your day-to-day work process increases the number of disinterested eyes on your data, reducing the chance for employee theft and other nefarious activities.
By outsourcing certain roles, you’ve in effect hired a full team to be responsible for a major task, rather than relying on one in-house person. For example, if you hire IAAB to handle your accounting, you will have multiple team members working on your books, as opposed to one in-house person who may be sick, on vacation, etc. at a crucial time. Outsourced expertise in this case also equals seamless attention.
Outsourcing tangential business activities such as bookkeeping that are essential but not part of your business’s core mission of, for example, selling insurance policies, frees up your in-house staff to actually focus on what they do best. Let your outsourced vendors handle the tasks that are necessary but don’t contribute to your bottom line so that your employees can spend their time growing your business.
Revenue enhancement aside, your bottom line will benefit from outsourcing as it’s often extremely cost effective. You’re not on the hook for fringe benefits, paid time off, etc. as you are for in-house employees, and you’re only paying for services rendered, not idle time.
Outsourcing also allows you to buy expertise you otherwise couldn’t afford to have in-house. This is especially crucial for start-up agencies and small businesses that really need to watch every penny.
Have you outsourced a key function at your business? We’d love to hear about how that process is working for you.
Founder and President