Need to grow your business quickly? Learn to let go.
Outsourcing, once solely considered the purview of IT professionals, has become a best practice for companies of all industries and sizes. Advancements in digital communication have made it easy for any firm to hand over tasks, projects, and roles to contractors anywhere in the world. As the traditional model grows stale, companies are blending internal and external resources in innovative—and often invisible—ways. Think of the last purchase you made for yourself or your business: which goods or services were provided by full-time employees, and which were rendered by outsourced departments? Chances are you probably cannot answer the question. Aside from seamless integration with the business, here are a few of the myriad benefits outsourcing offers:
- Less drain on in-house resources. First and foremost, outsourcing saves companies time and money.
- Financial flexibility. Need tax assistance immediately, but cannot afford it year-round? Outsource accounting for a couple weeks, and pay for only what you need.
- Enhanced product and service quality. Outsourcing helps firms meet customer and client needs that fall outside of the business’ specialty. Why reinvent what another company does best when you can simply pay for the same thing?
- Partnerships and co-marketing opportunities. Beyond its immediate, practical uses, outsourcing can lead to long-term collaboration between mutually supportive businesses.
In order to save resources and maximize the quality of their offerings, companies should routinely examine where when and how they provide each business solution. Are certain in-house departments miring your company? Here are three responsibilities small and medium-sized businesses should consider outsourcing:
Marketing and advertising are almost never number one on a small business owner’s list of priorities. Members of the internal team typically split their energy between marketing and another, more essential role at the company, e.g. administration or sales. This bifurcated approach leads to stalled projects, missed goals (if goals were in fact established), and lack of accountability. By contrast, an outsourced marketing department can devote itself exclusively toward the task. Better yet, outside marketing and advertising professionals bring in specialized knowledge and broad-ranging perspective; they can assess your business in terms you may be too close to see or imagine. Outsourced marketing is not always a good idea, however. If your business relies on highly-sensitive information or patents, or if you are the type of supervisor who needs round-the-clock access to their team, think twice before extending responsibility outside your company.
A survey conducted by Ovum Research found that the primary reason companies outsource accounting and finance departments is to improve efficiency. But apart from that very compelling reason, an external accounting provider can ameliorate common gaps in small businesses’ economic management and auditing systems. Like an external marketing department, outsourced accounting offers a fresh point of view on your business and industry. Contractors can help your business stay current with technology standards, understand the competition, and institute processes for financial growth. You are likely to get paid faster, close any gaps in your account chain, and walk away with detailed financial and tax records.
Not all companies need a full-time, in-house legal department. For many smaller organizations, the need for legal help may only arise during critical moments in the business lifecycle: development of a product/service offering, the implementation of a new business structure, a merger or acquisition, et cetera. In cases like these, in-house counsel may lack the specific legal knowledge the event requires, or may be under-qualified to represent your company. If your business needs express legal assistance for a limited duration of time, consider hiring an outsourced legal department, like Offit Kurman’s New Paradigm Counsel®. With New Paradigm Counsel, clients receive access to Offit Kurman’s capabilities as a full-sized general law firm on a project-by-project scale. We take the same approach as any contractor, submitting a scope of work based on hourly rates and conducting regular on-site visits to your office to discuss projects and participate in meetings. And you get the full benefit of all our practice areas and skill levels, from paralegal to associate to attorney. For more information about New Paradigm Counsel, including a full program overview, a typical client profile, restrictions, and frequently asked questions, click here.
About Jonathan Wachs
Jonathan Wachs provides strategic counseling and operational advice to clients in the areas of intellectual property, commercial transactions and outsourced legal departments. As head of the firm’s Intellectual Property Group, Mr. Wachs works closely with clients to develop, register, analyze, enforce, and transfer intellectual property assets in a customized, cost-efficient, and highly effective manner. Additionally, he conducts intellectual property audits through which clients learn the nature and value of their intellectual property assets and the steps needed to protect such assets from misappropriation or dilution. As a business lawyer, he has successfully negotiated and completed several multimillion dollar business transactions and has served as general counsel to several small and midsize businesses and organizations in various industries and professions. He also manages a blog about intellectual property issues, Friday Factoids. Mr. Wachs co-manages New Paradigm Counsel, a service through which Offit Kurman delivers customized, comprehensive and cost-effective outsourced legal departments. Through New Paradigm Counsel, Jon served as outsourced general counsel for a government contractor, a large printing business, a payment processing company and an identity theft restoration business.