November 2013

Outsourcing - why not now? It's no longer just for the big companies

Why outsource or more positively why not? Outsourcing used to be something that was just for very large organisations. Increasingly though, small and medium sized businesses are realising the benefits of outsourcing some of their functions to reduce costs, increase resilience and allow them to do what they do best, run their own business.

A great example of this for BookCheck recently was our online Sage service. In short it was a huge responsibility and a big worry. Computer 'problems' just seemed to become more serious each year. We had been proudly providing a service for 9 years which made us way ahead of the field. Nine years ago most businesses would not have risked this novel way of holding data - now it's called "The Cloud".

We woke up one day to realise that our core business is book-keeping with Management Accounts, not providing hosted Sage online. So we outsourced the whole task and boy do we feel so much better. We're also saving many £'000s which makes us smile and on top of that our quality of hosted service is considerably better. I call that a win, win, win.

Arguably a business should get on with what it does best and find someone else to handle as much as possible of everything else. Payroll is common with the vast majority outsourced but there are plenty of other areas. Website, HR, IT are the most obvious but there's also our own service book-keeping with Management Accounts for example. We outsourced our whole telephone answering system 15 years ago and that was one of our best ever decisions.

One of the reasons why outsourcing is become more the norm is the huge rise in the availability of data and support online - everything from i-Phone apps to social media. It's a fact that data is moving from the floor to the Cloud, in the process transforming the ways in which businesses are run - that in itself is a form of outsourcing.

We're running a free Outsourcing Seminar at Gloucester Rugby Club on the 22nd November at 8am - I hope to see you there for a valuable hour and a half.

Anthony Pilkington

MD, BookCheck Ltd