The back office is often considered the backbone of the company. It’s where all the essential administrative and customer support functions take place, and when back-office processes run smoothly, it sets your business up for financial and operational success!
But what happens when these tasks start to take up more and more of your time? Time could be better spent thinking up new ways to grow your business rather than getting involved in mundane tasks such as issuing invoices, maintaining payroll, or collating data. And what do you do when all these processes start to pile up and leave you feeling overwhelmed?
Managing the back office is crucial for maintaining your business’ good standing, especially with a new startup, where you’ll need all hands on deck at all times. Many CEOs and executives subject themselves to enormous pressure to deliver results. For instance, working long hours and checking everything themselves to ensure that work is being completed on schedule, or even jumping in to do the work themselves.
This can lead to a lot of stress, and probably isn’t what you visualized when you started your business. And of course, a vacation would be a nice way to blow off steam, but how can you expect to get time off when your staff can’t?
Back-Office Outsourcing Started Way Back
There’s a ready solution to all these problems … outsourcing!
In the 1980s, a number of companies began outsourcing a portion of their back-office work offshore to help mitigate costs. What began with relegating simple data entry tasks to business process outsourcing (BPO) centers abroad has expanded to take in jobs such as accounting, customer service, HR and payroll, IT, marketing, research, and other non-core functions.
Your goal is to improve operational efficiency, reduce pressure, and maximize quality time for business growth. Imagine the time and cost savings you’ll generate by outsourcing some of your back-office tasks to BPOs? You may even finally get that vacation you’ve been putting off forever.
Let’s go over the top five benefits of outsourcing your back-office operations.
1. Outsourcing Helps You Narrow Down Your Focus to More Important Things
Most business owners want to make sure things are being done, and that they’re being done right. While it sounds good, this kind of thinking can also be counter-productive. If your back office is constantly in the spotlight, who is going to attend to other, more important objectives, like realizing your company’s vision?
Reaching out to external providers for assistance with your back office needs can take the worries of the daily grind off your mind. By delegating these day-to-day operations, you don’t have to worry about what your employees are doing 24/7. The only thing you'll need to know is that the back-office team is doing their job somewhere else, and doing their job well enough not to warrant your attention.
Business outsourcing is also critical for streamlining your work processes, giving you more time to percolate ideas, perform research, and come up with the best plans and strategies for growing your business in the short-, medium-, and long term. And you can’t do that while overseeing daily tasks in the office.
This is where a BPO company can step in and take over the responsibility for both core and non-core business functions, while not sacrificing quality and reliability. The result is enhanced back-office efficiency along with increased productivity … and at a lower cost too. At the same time, your business is freed up to invest in other areas, such as targeted training, innovation, and process improvement.
Furthermore, outsourcing can expose your business to new technologies, giving you the opportunity to revitalize operations without the drag of expensive learning curves and added equipment costs. And partnering with a reputable BPO can also ensure you have access to cutting-edge expertise and other benefits which you wouldn’t necessarily have the time or money to invest in yourself.
2. Outsourcing Allows for Back-Office Flexibility
In today’s uncertain business landscape, flexibility can be a huge advantage, allowing you to adapt to changing circumstances as and when they arise.
By delegating back-office responsibilities to a BPO, you can turn your attention to the tasks that require your particular set of skills. This flexibility can only happen if you feel confident enough to let a contractor work on your back-office requirements. Once you let go, you’ll find more things to do at work that can help grow the business.
Flexibility also means anticipating change from the outset. Businesses don’t always follow their original path to greatness or profitability. Every now and then, they encounter setbacks that require them to change their plans or retool their strategies. The best companies are the ones that anticipate the potential issues, document them, and made contingency plans should they happen.
In addition, outsourcing allows your company to adapt to seasonal ups and downs. Not all months will be great months for revenue. You might require more sales and customer support during certain periods, and less at other times. Outsourcing brings with it a degree of labor-force agility that your business might be lacking. After all, you should be focusing on growth, not worrying about hiring or laying off staff every time the season opens or closes.
Imagine having a business partner who is able to adapt to external circumstances. Someone who can expand back-office staff when necessary, or trim them back when conditions change. When you decide to outsource, this flexibility is a crucial advantage, giving you the option of reshaping your workforce depending on your business's current needs.
3. Outsourcing Can Save You Time and Money
One of the prime advantages of outsourcing back-office business processes lies in the substantial cost savings that can accrue to your company. And if that doesn’t sell you on the benefits of outsourcing, then nothing will!
Many fledgling companies, and startups, in particular, will need all the cash they can hold onto in order to survive those early years of unprofitability. Sometimes money might be so tight that you’re worrying about whether you can make the next payroll.
With outsourcing, your operational cost could go down between 30% and 60%, depending on your business scope and service levels. In fact, your company could feel the impact of cost savings in as little as six to nine months. And when the situation improves, you could find yourself in an even better position to allocate resources to other needs, such as research, marketing, or advertising. Moreover, even with these substantial cost savings, you won’t have to cope with a downgrade in work quality.
The cost savings of back-office outsourcing don’t stop at payroll. You can save substantially by allowing a BPO partner to handle recruitment, onboarding, and training. In terms of time-saving, outsourcing is also an attractive option. By handing over the entire back-office operations, you don’t need to get involved in the slog of daily work anymore. And, if you need to change strategies and refocus your team, it’s easy to do. As a result, you can devote your time and talents elsewhere in the company, or even take a vacation with loved ones.
From Fixed Cost To Variable Cost
An added benefit of outsourcing is how it changes back-office operations from a fixed cost to a variable cost. This can be extremely helpful when having to deal with the whims of the market. In a conventional business, costs remain fixed even as sales go down, forcing you to raise your prices and possibly deal with a heap of negative consequences in the process. Outsourcing can help to eliminate the fixed cost model by offering unit transfer pricing (UTP), an approach that subjects transactions to a per-unit basis. This approach could help give you the resilience to cope with volatile costs, even during downtimes
4. Outsourcing Helps Lighten the Workload
Stress is the silent killer at the office. Numerous studies show that stress affects not just the mind but the body as well. Chronic stress build-up when you subject yourself to stressful conditions on a regular basis.
The solution, while remarkably simple, is something many executives have yet to learn. It’s called detaching yourself. Avoiding your sources of stress can markedly improve your body’s reactions. It can lower your blood pressure, reduce creases and frown lines on your skin, and improve your disposition. However, like most simple concepts, walking away from stress is easier to think about than to actually do.
When you outsource your back-office operations, you create a physical and mental distance between yourself and the office. One, two, or more sources of stress are falling away, depending on how many services you decide to outsource. The departments in themselves are not necessarily the problem, but what they represent could well be. For example, accounting might start you thinking about outstanding invoices, debtors and creditors, tax season, and more.
Outsourcing also helps lighten the workload by leaving it to the experts. As a founder/owner/executive, it makes sense for nominal, daily tasks to continue uninterrupted (and maybe out of sight) whenever possible. By securing the services of a competent, experienced, and cost-competitive third-party provider, you’ll have fewer problems dealing with back-office issues.
5. Outsourcing Helps You Run Your Business 24/7
The COVID-19 crisis fueled the rise of e-commerce, along with the expectation of being able to purchase anything, anytime, online.
Outsourcing allows companies to hire from different locations and time zones. Business owners can keep their organizations running even when they’re out of the office. Being available around the clock is especially important for businesses that provide customer support.
With more and more people moving their businesses online, the need for customer services on these platforms has also skyrocketed. Chances are, they’ll want answers to one or two questions before checking out with their purchases, and will likely abandon their shopping cart if they don’t get a timely response.
Businesses need a particular set of resources to provide 24/7 customer service. However, getting local help to work three shifts of eight hours each would be beyond most company budgets. This is especially true for startups and new businesses.
By outsourcing customer services, you’ll be able to offer your customers constant online support—without breaking the bank. It’s a more cost-effective option, that’s also simple to scale according to current demand. This is why even small companies with a small client base can benefit from outsourcing: a few callers won’t justify employing a dedicated team, but not offering the service can potentially damage a company’s reputation.
6. Outsourcing Ensures You Have People Who Can Use The Latest Tools And Solutions
Equipment and software upgrades can end up being a very expensive investment. What’s more, you’ll need to enroll your staff in training programs to upskill them for the latest work solutions. This could all add up to quite a sizable outlay.
On the other hand, outsourced staff will already be skilled and proficient in your chosen software and technology solutions. BPOs are often the first to learn about new developments in their field. And in order to gain an edge over their competitors, many are more than willing to invest in new technologies. This means you can expect to have your operations up and running with the latest software solutions and updated processes in the least possible time.
Is Outsourcing Right for Your Business?
If you’re a business with limited resources but unlimited potential, you might want to consider outsourcing your back-office operations. Cost savings are only the tip of the iceberg. With outsourcing, you have less to worry about regarding day-to-day operations. Because back-office processes make up their core competencies, BPO companies supply the best results in respect of accurate, efficient, and reliable work.
As a trusted provider of back-office support, Helpware is more than ready to join your organization and deliver the quality of work you deserve. We don’t just hire “en masse”, we create custom teams, provide excellent training programs, and establish systemic and efficient processes.
You can count on Helpware for everything from onboarding to recruiting to training to production. We’ll be happy to start you on your Helpware journey; and afterward, maybe you can start planning your own vacation as well.
Learn more about how Helpware can provide solutions to your back-office pain points and more. Contact us today so we can talk business.