If you need just a little help with your business, but don’t have enough work in a specific area to employ someone, even part-time, then it’s time to consider outsourcing. Here are five reasons why it can bring great benefits to you and your business:
You can hire suitable workers (almost) instantly Outsourcing agency websites, freelance work websites, online job boards and websites of professional associations are all places where you may be able to employ someone suitable on the same day that you need them to complete a task for you (although it’s always best to search and hire in advance). Many of the services required by modern businesses can be done remotely, so your search isn’t limited to people who live under half an hour away and can turn up at the office – and this is handy if you work from home and don’t actually have an office to put them in.
You can employ people with a variety of skill sets to meet your needs You need help. What you need is a little copywriting here, some letters there, a few hours a week spent on social media, a day of work every week on the company finances, a new leaflet designed, a little IT support… hmm. You need all these things at different times, and the chances of finding one person who can do the lot and remain ever ready to drop in when you need them is slim. When you outsource, this isn’t a problem. You can either search for suitable freelancers when they’re required or engage a freelancer to perform a service for just a few hours every week. Outsourcing gives you genuine flexibility.
You can employ people for as short or as long a time as you need them
Whether you need someone to do a couple of hours of work updating your database or you’ve got a week or two of work on a specific, one-off project, you will be able to find someone who can do it for you. You don’t have to worry about employing someone in the knowledge that next month there will be no work for them.
You don’t have to worry about their sick leave, maternity pay, holiday requests, NI, pension contributions… The day-to-day legal and financial worries of employment and payroll matters aren’t down to you. They invoice you for the work they have completed and you pay the invoice.
They don’t need a desk, a toilet, a place to eat their lunch… Outsourcing means you don’t need physical premises in which to house your worker. You don’t need to buy a desk or computer for them, buy extra licences for your software, or install a kitchen so they can heat up their sausage roll at lunchtime. They won’t trip over that loose carpet in the hallway and sue your for a health and safety breach.
One note of caution: there’s a flipside to the lack of responsibility that outsourcing brings you; the responsibility and costs are now the province of the freelancer doing your work.
So if you do choose to outsource and you employ a freelancer, before you raise your eyebrows at their rate and complain that they want cost more per hour than an employee, remember that the costs usually paid by an employer will fall to them instead:
They have no paid annual leave or sick pay, so they need to earn enough to cover those days when they’re ill, their parents are ill, their children are ill, they have a hospital appointment, the plumber is due… oh, and when they can’t find work. If you have a quiet week in the office, your employees will be sitting twiddling their thumbs and getting paid to do so. Freelancers don’t have the security of getting paid to twiddle their thumbs.
They pay their own pension and national insurance contributions.
They pay for all their own work equipment and consumables – desk, computer, printer, software, pens, paper, tea, coffee – as well as for services like their broadband, heating and lighting, landline and water.
They pay for their own training to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date.
So outsource away, but remember you’re paying for the privilege of being an employer without the responsibility of having employees.
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