Small and medium sized enterprises (SME) otherwise known as small and medium businesses (SMB) comprise a major part in economies worldwide.Â In the US, 99.7% of US companies are SMEs, with the Small Business Association estimating that more than 30% of which would not make it past two years in business.Â Given the sheer number of SMEs in the market and the recent global downturn, competition is even fiercer with companies struggling to keep out of the red.
While small and medium business owners may feel that their options are limited given that budgets can be restrictive, outsourcing presents a viable option for businesses in order to survive without adopting drastic measures such as layoffs.Â Outsourcing presents a win-win solution for SMEs to grow their business, while staying on budget.Â By outsourcing, an SME could realize a range of benefits including:
* An improved workflow
Non-core business functions can take up a lot of time and effort, and it can also eat up a lot of resources without adding a proportionate amount of value to the business.Â Outsourcing some non-core business functions can improve your workflow by having your outsourced partner who specializes in those functions to worry about accomplishing those tasks for you.Â An added benefit would be if it is an offshore outsourcing partner, then they can be working while you are sleeping, giving you access to 24 hours of operation, significantly reducing your turn around times.
* An improved customer service
Keeping customers happy should be a priority within a company, and all efforts must be undertaken to ensure that this is not forgotten.Â In the age of the internet and social media where customers now have numerous outlets to air out grievances towards companies, it's more important than ever to be able to provide the best customer service.Â Whether that's through providing the services needed quickly or even just answering inquiries or solving problems, partnering with an outsourcing provider that specializes in providing great customer service allows you to show your customers that you value their business, so much so that you help them and respond to them efficiently and promptly.
* An increased cash flow
Who wouldn't want to have extra cash on hand to further invest on the business?Â By outsourcing some functions to a low cost outsourcing provider, you can free up as much as 50% of the original cost of that function.Â You can use those savings to upgrade your technologies, invest in new areas, or even to hire more people at your end to complement your outsourced team.
* An expanding business
By outsourcing, you gain more time to focus on your core activities, allowing you to evaluate your business and maybe even innovate it towards offering a new product or a new service.Â It also allows you to hire more people at your end who can be focused on growing and improving your business.
* An edge over competitors
Customers can be fickle, one minute you could be on top, and the next minute you could be at the bottom, which is why as a business, you need to take advantage of all resources available to you to ensure that you are not left behind.Â By being able to offer services that you normally would not have been able to afford, at par with your relatively bigger competitor, it keeps your customers from shifting their attention from you to them, and you might even attract their customers to you.
Business is competitive by nature and the bottom line is a top consideration, especially for an SME.Â The key to a successful outsourcing partnership is finding an outsourcing partner who will take care of you and your company as much as you take care of it as well.Â By doing so, you can ensure that you will realize the above benefits and more out of your outsourcing partnership, and your business will part of the more than 60% of SMEs who succeed.
Audrey B is a Strategic Solutions Executive of Infinit Outsourcing, a leading outsourcing company that caters to small and medium enterprises. It offers boutique outsourcing services that allow companies to gain a competitive advantage in their respective industries.