- Outsourcing can help SMEs save time and resources while improving efficiency.
- It is a cost-effective solution compared to hiring in-house employees.
- Access to specialized skills and expertise is another benefit of outsourcing.
- Key business functions SMEs should consider outsourcing include warehousing, distribution, accounting, and bookkeeping.
- IT support, human resources, and customer service are other functions that can be outsourced to external companies.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a lot on their plate, often with limited resources and a tight budget. As an SME owner, you want to focus your time and efforts on growing your business while keeping costs low. Outsourcing functions that don’t require constant attention is one way to do this. This saves you time and helps you save money in the long run. This blog post will discuss five SME business functions you can outsource today.
What is an SME?
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in the economy, but what exactly makes a business an SME? The definition of an SME can vary depending on the country, sector, and industry. In general, an SME is a business with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than €50 million.
However, some countries have different thresholds, with some considering businesses with up to 500 employees as SMEs. These businesses are often the backbone of local communities, providing goods and services while creating jobs and driving economic growth. Despite their size, SMEs are agile and innovative, allowing them to adapt quickly to market changes and meet the evolving needs of their customers.
The benefits of outsourcing services
Regardless of the size of your business, you may feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks that require your attention. Outsourcing can help alleviate some of this pressure and free up your time to focus on core competencies. Here are some of the key benefits:
- Increased efficiency: By delegating tasks to external companies, you can save time and resources and improve overall business efficiency.
- Cost savings: Outsourcing can be a more cost-effective solution for businesses than hiring in-house employees. With outsourcing, you only pay for the services you need without any additional overhead costs.
- Access to specialized skills: Outsourcing allows you to access the expertise and skills of professionals in specific areas without investing in training or hiring new employees.
- Focus on core competencies: By outsourcing functions not part of your core business, you can focus on what you do best and improve your competitive advantage.
Services to outsource
As mentioned, there are various functions that SMEs can outsource to external companies. However, here are five essential business functions that SMEs should consider outsourcing today:
Warehousing and distribution
Running a successful business requires a great deal of organization and strategy. One significant aspect of any company that cannot be ignored is warehousing and distribution. Handling these operations independently can be challenging, especially as your business grows.
When you hire a warehousing and distribution company, you can rest assured that your products will be stored safely and efficiently. These companies have the expertise, technology, and resources to manage inventory, handle orders, and get products delivered to your customers on time.
Accounting and bookkeeping
Managing finances is the backbone of any successful business. Still, it can be time-consuming and prone to errors if not done correctly. Outsourcing accounting and bookkeeping functions to a professional service can give you peace of mind and ensure your finances are in order.
An outsourcing partner can provide the latest accounting software, timely reports, and expert advice. This will help you make informed financial decisions for your business.
Maintaining an in-house IT department can be expensive, especially for SMEs. Outsourcing IT support can offer cost-effective solutions tailored to your business’s needs.
An IT service provider can manage your network infrastructure, software updates, backups, and security. Outsourcing IT support can also free your IT staff to work on high-value activities and innovation.
Managing personnel can be challenging and time-consuming. Outsourcing HR functions, such as recruitment, payroll, and employee benefits, can save you time and ensure compliance with regulations.
Partnering with an HR outsourcing company can give you access to expert HR staff and technologies your business may not have in-house. This will enable you to focus on your core business functions.
Providing excellent customer service is essential for SMEs to retain loyal customers. Outsourcing customer service functions can offer round-the-clock support for your customers.
A customer service outsourcing company can provide multiple communication channels, such as chatbots, email, and phone, to ensure fast and reliable customer service. They can also help improve customer satisfaction and increase sales.
Outsourcing non-core SME business functions can help you save time, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. Outsourcing these functions can enable you to focus on your core business objectives and achieve growth and success. As an SME owner, evaluate which parts can be outsourced, assess the costs and benefits, and find a reliable partner to offer tailored outsourcing solutions for your business.