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Do What You Do Best And Outsource The Rest!

Faith Chukwuka

Faith Chukwuka

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Many business owners are the chief cook and bottle-washers and as such end up stifling the growth of their businesses. You may have been hearing the term outsourcing and wondering what it is or pondering about utilizing it.

Outsourcing is “the practice of having certain job functions done outside a company instead of having an in-house department or employee handle them; functions can be outsourced to either a company or an individual.” (Maidan, Nivel, & Murphy)

You need to spend your time doing what you are highly skilled in and can complete in short order. Outsourcing areas you are unskilled in and that prove overly time-consuming leaves space open for you to pursue other income-generating activities.

The practice of outsourcing isn’t new it began in the 1970s and increased in popularity in the 1990s.  It was mainly used as a way for companies to reduce their operating cost.

For a market that emerged in the ’70s outsourcing has grown tremendously. According to (“Global Outsourcing” 2019) the outsourcing market is worth $26 billion globally and the “market is expected to grow by $ 76.90 bn during 2020-2024” (Reportlinker 2020)

Outsourcing in Barbados

Outsourcing is growing in Barbados and has seen the creation of agencies that link contractual workers with businesses. For instance OutSourced Services provides HR recruiting, Marketing and Business Consultancy to businesses.

Many other entrepreneurs are also offering their services to businesses that are seeking to outsource some of their workloads. Prestige Admin Services offers Personal Assistant, Data Entry and Admin Tasks to other businesses. Ashthom Consulting Inc offers management consultancy ranging from attendance and records management to policy development. The creative industries are also getting into outsourcing, with graphic design firm Selman’s Design Group covering Brand Strategy and Design Consultations and Jill Media providing Social Media Marketing, Coaching, One-on-One Training, Digital Marketing Plans and PR.

On the flip side, Barbados has also been the hub for many international firms who wanted to find skilled workers at a fraction of the cost and with faster turnaround time. Nigel James general manager of Enherent, a Dallas-based IT solutions provider, with a solution centre in Barbados says, “If the skill isn’t there, we can import it from Asia and anywhere else.” He went on to explain that Barbados is preferred because English is the native language, US currency is accepted, and the plane ride is short.

Types of Outsourcing

Outsourcing comes in many forms; a single task can be outsourced; these would usually be things that you find too time-consuming or are part of your administrative process and can include a database creation. You can outsource business processes which would include things like payroll. In knowledge processing outsourcing, you allow a third-party to carry out a complex task this could include your search engine optimized text for your marketing plan. Selective outsourcing is also another method whereby you choose a task within an overall business process to hire out. It would be more extensive than a single task but not the entire process and could include graphic design for a marketing campaign.

Reasons to Outsource

Along with cutting operational cost, there are other reasons outsourcing is utilized. Here are some of those reasons that you too may have to outsource some of your workloads:  

Saving cost: While you have read that it can save cost, this is how it can be possible. An external business or individual has high degrees of specialization as it relates to their services. This allows them to work more cost-efficient and therefore can offer discounted rates. WiFetch a local shopping and delivery company outsources drivers; therefore, they don’t have to purchase vehicles and it lessens the pricing they extend to customers. 

Increased efficiency: Through outsourcing, you can focus on your core competencies and allow for more efficient work to be produced. Local apparel brand odBoih creates their designs but has to outsource the manufacturing of T-Shirts, Caps etc.  

Scaling business: Your potential labour pool increases when you outsource, therefore you can scale up production when necessary. You can also cut back if your business has a lesser need for that service. Annually Hanschell Inniss employs seasonal workers; they only work for the holiday season to help cover the increase in customers. 

Implementing change: When you can get an expert in the area to oversee or assist in making a change you are more receptive to it. Outsourcing that task increases your sense of security towards making the change and therefore, it can be done more quickly. Bridgetown Duty Free formerly Cave Shepherd is well known for eye-catching show window displays; a service that is outsourced to Renaissance Designs Inc. 

Improving quality: Using an expert or a business more experienced and skilled in performing a process or producing a product can bring improvements to the quality. The National Housing Corporation has contracted Preconco Ltd. in the building of high-rise units at the Grotto.  

Lacking the know-how: You or your employees may lack the knowledge or skills necessary to complete a new process that is key to the success or growth of your business. By outsourcing it saves you having to hire new skilled workers to complete the task. When local physical fitness centre Holos Health Inc. wanted to rebrand, they worked with Marketing agency Kreative Edge Co. 

Before you Outsource

The first thing you need to do is ensure that the company or individual you are considering can get the job done. Request references and check them out, also where possible reach out to current and former clients about their satisfaction with the provider. You should also request samples of their work or a portfolio where appropriate so you can gauge quality. 

You also need to know if they have worked in your industry before and what level of workload, they are accustomed to handling. Another aspect to consider is how are they with deadlines, are they able to maintain your project as a priority. Time zones should also be taken into consideration when talking deadlines 8 A.M. here maybe 11 P.M. for them. 

Carefully consider time; while you may want a task done within a particular time, you need to be practical about what is possible given the nature of the task to be done.

Finally, are you comfortable with them? You will need to be able to discuss your needs and openly. 

We often believe that multitasking will save us, but as the adage goes, if you become a jack of all trades you become a master of none. Don’t you believe your brand deserves to be mastered? 

What are your views on outsourcing? Have you tried it, are you willing to? We want your feedback!

“David D2 Davis: Guardians of Music.” David D2 Davis | Guardians of Music, guardiansofmusic.com/users/david-d2-davis.

“Outsourcing.” IONOS Startupguide, 1&1 IONOS Inc., 2018, www.ionos.com/startupguide/grow-your-business/outsourcing/.

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