The word outsourcing used to be a dirty word in business simply because it was seen as only something the big, bad corporate conglomerates did when they cut costs and laid off huge swaths of staff to hire cheaper (and often offshore) labour in their place.
But attitudes, mindsets and the world in general have changed and the word is no longer feared as it once was. In the past, a person would get a job in their 20s and expect (and plan) to work their way up the company until they retired and collected their pension. If their employer turned to outsourced labour, their job and their pension was in jeopardy.
Today, few people stay at a company for life so outsourcing doesn’t necessarily come at the expense of a pension. And while big companies still export jobs, the word outsource is not always seen as dirty anymore.
Which is good for small business owners, because for them, outsourcing has always meant something different. It’s still about exporting work but in this case it’s about hiring expertise that likely isn’t already in-house.
By definition, outsourcing is the practice of using independent contractors or outside firms to complete work that, historically, would have been performed by employees of the company. For small businesses that often can’t afford to pay full time staff for certain duties, outsourcing means being able to hire the expertise they need when they need it.
It’s about handling temporary work overloads, reducing costs, simplifying distribution, allocating resources and staying competitive with the deeper-pocketed competition. It’s not uncommon for small businesses to outsource areas such as payroll processing, accounting, distribution and marketing.
By outsourcing, small business owners can focus on their core strengths and meeting their clients’ needs while reducing their overall operational costs. All the while still getting the benefits of having a professional workforce with years of experience. And there’s nothing dirty about that.