There are so many options available during this difficult economic time to reduce costs. Trying to make the right decision regarding which way to go can be daunting. So many companies are making decisions that while thought to be short term, have long term effects. So every decision has to count!
With the internet, however, there are lots of ways a company can outsource functions without giving up control. In the past, if you were outsourced, you were transferring oversight to a third party. There are now effective ways to stay in control while reducing company costs.
It may be more effective to to automate a process that was previously handled manually than to give control to a third party in order to reduce administrative staff. A great example of this is payroll services such as CompuPay. You handle all the data entry and have full access to all the information and reports without having to maintain knowledge of all the laws governing payroll, a never ending series of updates.
Another example is using Quick Books. Your company information can be stored centrally with templates for entering data in a way in which you can then retrieve valuable financial data. This allows data entry to be handled by an administrative individual and then reviewed by management/owner. Another example is an HR service such as EffortlessHR.com where company and employee information can be stored, managed and the company can remain compliant, all while managing the information themselves. Along this line, when hiring, Jobing.com is also an excellent resource in the recruiting process.
The intent of using these automated systems is to free up the owner and company administrators so that they can spend more time on revenue producing activities such as sales, customer service and employee retention. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up on all the changes happening in these three areas and run a business unless you have a large enough staff, and those are at a premium right now. A perfect example of this was the recent changes in COBRA because of the economic stimulus package enacted this year.
For the small business owner with 20 or more employees, this was a major interruption in business that had to be attended to immediately and has created a need for meticulous actions and record keeping. Have expert systems in place certainly helps alleviate some of the stress of this one change that occurred.
Another avenue to consider is hiring experts for specific needs. This way you do not incur additional employee expense or increase the workload of current employees to handle certain functions and needs. These experts could include trusted financial advisors, (such as financial consultants, a bookkeeper), marketing specialist, benefits coordinator, etc. You don’t have to figure all these things out by yourself and still try and run a business! If you needed a product expert, you would hire one. Think about the other aspects of your business too. This is surrounding yourself with the best to ensure that your company is operating profitably and you will be geared up for the future as the economy changes for the better.