Successful Small Business Outsourcing

Making the decision to outsource work can be a difficult one to make for any company. However, if you are a small or new business, this can be even more difficult to decide. In order for outsourcing to be successful, it needs to be cost-effective first of all. To ensure that it is cost-effective, you need to ensure that you outsource the right tasks at the right time.

If you are beginning to consider outsourcing some of your tasks or just want more information to ensure this works for your business, you can use our hints and tips. We have gathered details of ways to make outsourcing work for you.

What can I Outsource?

Deciding which tasks can be outsourced is the first thing you will need to do. If you have no tasks that can be outsourced, then this is the end of the process. However, we are confident you will have tasks that can be outsourced. For office-based roles, you can use companies to outsource: 

  • Payroll – using a payroll company will save you from having to put through payroll each month. This can save you costs on specialized software, a member of staff who processes payroll, and the cost of training someone in how to complete payroll tasks. 
  • IT support – outsourcing your IT support will help you to save money on a dedicated IT technician. This again will save wages for an IT technician, save costs of updating training, and also allow you to only pay when you need support. 
  • Marketing – this is a common task to outsource as you may not need marketing on a regular basis. Using an external marketing company allows you to make use of (and pay for their services) only when you need them. 
  • Telephone answering – phone answering services are becoming more popular for small businesses that include some work outside of the office. A telephone answering service means you will know there is always someone available to answer the calls for your business without needing a full-time member of office staff.

Do I Need to Outsource? 

The quick answer to this is no; there are no companies that need to outsource their tasks. However, outsourcing may be the best option for your company for any number of reasons. Outsourcing tasks and using companies when you need to could save you money overall. Also, it means that if you are setting up a new business, you may not need to lease business premises if you outsource office roles. This would allow you to create a professional business for your clients while saving costs for leases and using a room in your home. 

Where Do I Start? 

If you think outsourcing could be the best thing for your business, then the first place to start is with research. You should search for companies that are compatible with your needs. These may be companies that are in your local area or the country where your business is based. If there are multiple companies that fit your basic requirements, you should compare the specifics that each company offers. You might be able to find one company that offers multiple services for your business, enabling you to deal with only one outsourcing company. 

If you are still unsure of which company to use, you can use online review sites to see what other businesses have rated each company you are considering. We recommend that you create a shortlist of several companies that you would be interested in using for outsourcing tasks for your business. Once you have the shortlist, you are ready to take the next step. 


The main consideration, we have found, when deciding whether or not to outsource tasks is the cost. We advise that you look at the cost in isolation and then also consider whether or not it is cost-effective to outsource. 

When you have created your shortlist of companies you are considering using. We recommend getting a quote so you can begin costing each service. 

The most effective way we have found to check if outsourcing is cost-effective is to list each of the employees you would need to run your business yourself. For each employee, note the hourly, daily, weekly and annual wage you would intend to pay. Then compare the quoted rate of the outsourcing company.

It is worth checking if you need to pay the outsourcing company a retainer for the times when they are not in use. For example, if you were to use a marketing company, could you commission work on an ad hoc basis, or would you need to pay a monthly or annual fee even when not using their services? 

Also, consider whether a full-time member of staff is required at this stage of your business development. If you are a very new company that is not receiving a high volume of customer inquiries as yet, is it worth having a member of office staff answer the phones? Remember that with an employed member of staff. You will be paying them regardless of how many calls or emails they receive that day. There will also be other potential costs for employing someone; healthcare and taxes should also be considered. 

Outsourcing certain tasks may be highly cost-effective for you when your business is starting up. Outsourcing certain tasks can help you to grow your business without huge initial financial outlays, such as wages for multiple staff when you are unsure of how your new business will perform. Not having the responsibility of your own staff can make the setup and growth period of your business feel much less pressured.

You do not need to continue to outsource. As your business grows, you may find that hiring full-time staff for your business may work out as more cost-effective or less lonely. Having colleagues who are as invested in the success of your business as you are can make a difference in the day-to-day of your business.

Outsourcing can be a valuable tool for your small business, but thorough research and consideration before beginning this is a must to ensure you do not make a misstep financially.