I met with a new client this week, and over coffee, we observed a growing trend in our stage of life. Individuals who reach an age… usually around 40 and decide that they no longer wish to be part of the corporate life. They value being able to choose how they spend their time and prioritise happiness over a steady reliable income. Ironically, in this changing and unpredictable world, people are starting to feel safer and more comfortable going alone and following their dreams.
Growing trend for Small Business
The number of new businesses springing up is at an astonishing rate, given our current times of economic uncertainty. According to figures published by The Centre for Entrepreneurs in London, there were more than 216,000 new businesses registered last year, which represents a 6.45% increase on 2017. Across the UK as a whole, the number of new companies registered last year rose by 5.7 per cent to over 660,000 – a record high.
Building a team of expertise
There’s no doubt that for an organisation of any size to thrive it needs to carry the right level of skill across all functions. The most successful leaders are often recognised by surrounding themselves with talented individuals who share the same vision. The challenge here is finding the right people with the skills to facilitate growth. The most recent Employer Skills Survey conducted in 2015 reported that 25% of job vacancies went unfilled due to a lack of adequately skilled applicants. For a growing business with limited resources, recruitment can be costly and rising overheads need to be managed carefully against sales forecasts. Outsourcing skills and services is an option if hiring proves difficult at the right level of investment.
The alternative skill sources
When we use the word ‘outsource’, it often conjures up interpretations of distance, using offshore services and a loss of the personal touch. There is also a fear of lack of control when tasking an external organisation with a key function of your business. Traditional outsourced services used by smaller growing organisations include accountancy, managed IT support and bringing in contractors to deliver services. With the changing face of business structures this model is now expanding to administrative, HR and Marketing. The introduction of more flexible remote working environments in smaller enterprises and the adoption of technology collaboration and productivity tools, has made creating an extended team more accessible and easier to facilitate.
Seeing through fresh eyes
In addition to the reduced risk and financial benefits of trusting essential services to an external partner, it is also advantageous to bring in a new perspective. In his book, “The Business of Expertise”, business leadership speaker David C Baker explains that it’s often difficult to read the label on the jar when you're inside the jar yourself. In areas where a business leader may have limited knowledge or there is a diversity of opinions within the organisation, it is often beneficial to invite in external expertise to see though fresh eyes.
When appointing a supplier to provide an outsourced service, the same rules that are applied to the company recruitment policy need to carry through during the selection process. Does the provider have the best skills for the task at hand? What are their credentials? Do their values and business culture fit with ours? How we will measure success? Regardless of the source, it is far more productive and motivating to become one team with a shared goal, rather than operate under a supplier versus client relationship model. With the lines blurring between the role of bringing talent inhouse or partnering with outsourced service provider, the decision ultimately rests on the availability of the right resources at the optimal investment level.
If you are a growing business considering outsourcing an area of your Marketing expertise, get in touch to find out how we can help.