You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: Change is the only constant. While this cliché is almost everywhere, especially in this time of health crisis, it remains true. Business agility – the ability to quickly pivot towards change – is now an essential characteristic every business and its owners must possess. Agility can define a business’ success or failure in seizing any opportunity that may come, such as:
An investment opportunity
A potential customer inquiring for services that the business specialises in, but may not be able to take on
A chance to add value to existing customers and stay relevant to potential ones
Another product or service to offer
Being agile opens chances to level the playing field and compete. The ever-changing business landscape calls for more business models and strategies that enable agility; one of which is outsourcing.
What is outsourcing?
In one way or another, you are already outsourcing a certain part of your personal an/or professional life. Much like hiring a dentist to clean your teeth, business process outsourcing (BPO) is hiring an external or third-party company/provider to do business tasks that would otherwise take up resources when done in-house.
While you may choose to outsource tasks to outsourced service providers that specialise in that task/industry, most BPO companies offer a wide range of outsourced services like marketing, IT, finance and accounting, and customer service.
How can outsourcing enable business agility?
Businesses – large and small alike – have adopted outsourcing as a business technique to increase agility so every opportunity is grabbed. Below are instances where business agility is enabled through outsourcing, particularly outsourcing offshore.
When scaling up or down
Whether it’s a short-time project or one that can go on for years, your business can benefit from outsourcing greatly because of the staffing flexibility that most outsource service providers offer. Instead of jampacking your in-house HR staff with recruitment (and retrenchment) work, free up their time and focus on more value-add tasks by outsourcing. Service providers can easily align staff with your business needs and work well within your budget.
Outsourcing also lets you tap into the existing and latest technology an outsource service provider has to offer and assess which tech you need. So, if you need a simple CRM or full accounting tech capability, and then your needs changed over time, outsourcing can help you – without additional of fixed lengthy contract costs.
When time and focus are freed up
Many business owners and their key staff in-house are getting bogged down by tasks that are not a part of their core business or function. There are a lot of instances where CFOs or business owners do the bookkeeping function themselves when they should be focusing on higher level finance and accounting tasks such as financial reporting and decision-making.
Outsourcing takes the leg work away from key in-house staff so their time and energy can be focused towards adding more value and service offerings to both existing and potential customers. In this time of uncertainty, staying relevant is now paramount to staying in business; and to stay in business, one must ensure that the products or services are relevant and of value to the people they care about. Opportunities are everywhere and they can only be grabbed if resources are being directed to high value functions.
When money is flowing
Cash is still king in business. When you have cash readily available, your business can quickly pivot and take hold of opportunities, like finally catering to a potential customer that you previously could not serve.
There are a myriad of ways you can increase revenue and save on costs through outsourcing. The first would be collecting accounts receivable or the amount of money you have yet to receive from debtors. Admittedly, lots of business owners find it awkward to make a call and get what is rightfully theirs without straining the relationship with the customer. As an alternative, businesses outsource their collections (or AR) processes so aging invoices can be resolved. When opting for this, it is crucial to make sure that whichever BPO provider you choose, they must understand how valuable customer relationship is and act in such a way that they (the BPO) is an extension of your business – not a third-party contractor.
Another way to save on cost is to outsource whatever function or process that is not within your core business, that is in the “periphery”. These peripheral tasks can take so much time and focus and money away from you and your business and having a specialist somewhere else take care of these tasks can give you advantage to get ahead of competition.
When you need an expert
Having a expert by your side can make a great deal of difference for your business. Being updated on latest developments in specific business functions – such as technology, accounting, and marketing – can take a toll on the time and focus that can be otherwise directed towards business development. But it’s not just that; having an outsourced expert to help your business can free up money too. In today’s competitive business world, having expertise and money can level the playing field and help you compete more efficiently.
Why is business agility so important?
Agile businesses can immediately grab opportunities – both in the present and in the future. Business agility can determine whether lights will stay on or doors will be closed for good; and any business owner looking to grow their business will take on strategies to enable business agility and seize every opportunity.
Outsourcing has been proven time and time again to do exactly this.
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