Small Business Week: Is Outsourcing right for your business?

We’ve mentioned it before but we’ll say it again: outsourcing is an awesome idea for a small business.

Welcome to small business week here at the Active Care blog. ICYMI, we tackled turnover yesterday. Today, we’re going deep discussing outsourcing. (My football analogies are running rampant. It must be the NFL Draft hangover effect. Or it could be that I just read that Aaron Rodger’s is supposedly dating Olivia Munn. Liking that matchup.)

Outsourcing gets a bad rap sometimes. People complain about jobs heading overseas or customers not being able to understand call center employees or the money it costs to pay contract workers or the lack of in-house control. Outsourcing, however, comes in a variety of options and we bet at least one of them is right for your small business.

Outsourcing 101

The Small Business Encyclopedia from Entrepreneur.com does a great job explaining the basics of outsourcing. Here’s some snippets for you:

  • Outsourcing is when you hire/contract/retain an outside professional or firm to perform certain jobs
  • It can save you money
  • Independent contractors are more flexible and, in most cases, uniquely skilled and qualified
  • You need to verify their references and work under a contract

Here’s what we love most about outsourcing – it allows both entities (that’s big speak for you, the owner, and you, the firm/independent contractor) to focus on your strengths. Why is that important? Not only does this streamline your operating procedures and budgets, but it produces an exemplary product because you’re both doing what you do best. In our case, that’s background checks.

Examples:

Me. As a freelance content writer, I’m an independent contractor. I hold a master’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s degree in economics. I have nearly two decades of professional multimedia writing experience – web, radio, magazine, advertorial, TV, documentary, marketing, newsletter, etc. etc. Writing is what I do best. Companies like Active Screening, Fit Revolution, Buzz360, and i1Biometrics recognize this talent and know it’s a smart investment to have an outside professional do their content writing. It allows them to focus on delivering a top-grade product or service, invest in more research, add more classes to their roster, or devote precious time to networking or sales.

Bookkeeper. This is an economical and intelligent way to get your finances/payroll done as a small business. Chances are you need a bookkeeper about one day a week for most of the year… maybe a little more if they’re knowledgeable about annual budgets and tax preparation, too. Hiring a full-time or even part-time person for this position is silly. You need a professional who understands numbers better than anyone, works well on deadline, is flexible, and has impeccable references. And you need them for just one day per week. Outsource it.

Background checks. ‘Nuff said.

What You Need to Know

There is some things to consider before sending projects out of house. We consulted this Microsoft Business article and have some takeaways for you.

1.) What’s Your Mission? If your goal is to offer the most innovative fitness classes with the most professional staff available (here’s looking at you, Fit Rev!), then that’s where your focus should be. Don’t waste time on creating and maintaining your website. It’s a time suck and will take you away from teaching classes, recruiting instructors or keeping tabs on trends and trainings. Hire an independent contractor to do that for you.

2.) Test The Water. We’ve hooked you on the idea of outsourcing, but you’re not ready to jump into the boat? Good for you. Go slow. There’s no need to offer a two-year contract from the get-go. Try three months, six months. Whatever works for you to see if the relationship works well and both your needs are being met. Keep the communication lines open and offer feedback.

3.) Find a Quick Learner. You don’t want to spend a lot of money or time training someone to meet your needs. Either have the training materials ready to go for them to read on their own or find someone who is willing to do some homework on their end, on their own dime.

4.) Metrics What are your deliverables? When do you need them by? How will you measure success? When will you pay your contractor? Follow through on all of this.

Send us your outsourcing tips. We’d love to share them!

Tags:  Small business outsourcing, small business, outsourcing

This entry was posted in Background Screening, General, Human Resources and tagged , by Patricia Carlson. Bookmark the permalink.

Patricia Carlson is a content writer who specializes in B2C and B2B inbound marketing. She blogs regularly for clients about the background screening and finance industries, and generates newsletters, white papers and email campaigns for a variety of businesses. Patricia also produces a heavy rotation of editorial material for home design, law enforcement, and family magazines. She’s been writing professionally for more than a dozen years, and for Active Screening for more than two of those. Check out LinkedIn for a roster of Patricia’s clients and links to published works. When she’s not interviewing sources or researching trends, she’s living a fast-paced Florida life questioning the antics of her two young children, partner and mischievous cat. Patricia loves to talk tennis and TV on Twitter – give her a shout @pattycfreelance.

 
        
Active ScreeningBarbara S.
Healthcare Industry

"Here at Holland Hospital, we have been extremely pleased with Active Screening. The report results come back quickly, usually within 24 hours or less.  The staff at Active Screening is easy accessible, knowledgeable and responds to our questions promptly."

Active ScreeningLynn C. Staffing Industry

"Benton Mobley has been and remains my Main point of contact at Active Screening from the beginning; so aside from the comfort of dealing with the same person all these years, there is the most important fact of all;  customer satisfaction. Benton knows the business like the back of his hand; and that is what we need in our fast paced industry of staffing. He is the all-time BEST!  MY employer, Leslie, believes in the notion that great service deserves to be rewarded, so we are here for the duration.We get immediate and personalized attention for any and all concerns we need addressed, and in the staffing industry, this is vital."

Active ScreeningCayce R. Education Industry

"My experience working with Active Screening for our background check process has been very positive.  The reports are almost always completed in a very timely fashion. The information reported appears to be very thorough and accurate.  On the rare occasions that we have questions or problems, the customer service team is always very quick to respond and resolve the issue.  Overall, I am very pleased with the service I receive from Active Screening."

Active ScreeningCraig H. Staffing Industry

"Your customer service is excellent.  The turn around time on background checks is quite fast.  Excellent work.  I haven't had a single problem."

Active ScreeningJackie C. Education Industry

"I wanted to thank you and your staff for being so patient and working so diligently with the Human Resources staff during our recent endeavor to process all of our work study students through background screenings.  We have never had to process so many requests within such a short period of time before, but thanks to you and your staff we made it. Again thank you, we made a good choice in selecting Active Screening."

Active ScreeningLindsey W.  Financial Industry

"I wanted to share my appreciation for your wonderful service...switching background screening companies could have been a stressful task, but your company made the transition seamless. Your website was extremely easy to navigate and the turn around time has been great. I appreciate when information is missing or entered incorrectly during ordering, your company notifies me right away to ensure that my error does not hold the reports results, causing us a delay in hiring an individual...Active Screening has been great to us and I would definitely refer them to others."

Active ScreeningTerry S. Property Management

"Working with Active Screening over the last year and half has been a wonderful experience. They deliver fast and informative results at the best price. Their level of professionalism and the speed they respond to our issues is a benefit that any company can value from. I would highly recommend using Active Screening and their amazing team."

Active ScreeningYulesis D.  Staffing Industry

“Interactive Response Technologies (IRT) has more than 2,000 employees at multiple locations across the United States. IRT has been using Active Screening to conduct criminal background checks since 2006. During this time, Active Screening has consistently returned accurate reports, usually with less than 48 hours turnaround. If there are any problems or inconsistencies with the reports, their staff has called to notify us so that we can attempt to rectify the situation. The staff at Active Screening is always courteous and congenial over the phone. In our opinion, Active Screening is outstanding.”

Active ScreeningAndy N. Software Provider

 "Active Screening has helped us screen our applicants in record time for more than two years.... we are very impressed with the professionalism and speed with which their service team responds to our questions. They understand our needs and are a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend them."

Active ScreeningCassie J. Staffing Industry

"The Active Screening team is very informative; they provided a complete consultation on all the services, so I understood what I needed, and saved me hours and hours of my time learning the various services. Their reputation, as being on the cutting edge of employment screening best practices, certainly held true in this instance. The expertise they brought to the table was invaluable to our understanding of our applicants backgrounds. I highly recommend Active Screening to anyone with the task of screening large numbers of applicants and needing reliable customer support."

Active Screening

With over 20 years of law enforcement experience I can attest to the fact that the strongest predictor of future criminal behavior is a person’s criminal history. As the manager of campus safety at my church, I depend on Active Screening to provide a thorough assessment of every criminal history background check we request. For more than 3 years, Active Screening has been faithful to this task with timely, accurate and reliable service.

Active Screening

We have benefited from knowing that we are not exposing the communities we work with or ourselves to unnecessary risk. We continue to have a perfect record in that we have never had a serious incident with a trip participant causing harm or acting inappropriately with any community member or fellow team member- thank goodness!

Active Screening

I would highly recommend any association or organization who conducts background checks to use Active Screening. In addition to my involvement with WAHA, I am an officer in a corporation with over 500 employees who provide treatment, mental health, and correctional services for children and adolescents. Our company is mandated by law to do comprehensive background searches and I can say with the utmost sincerity that Active Screening product rivals that of any government or other private sector process.

Active Screening

We have used Active Screening and their solution VERITY to screen all our coaches and volunteers working with youth. The online system gives us an easy and cost-effective solution to collecting forms and payments from our applicants...and we simply login to view the results of who passed or failed. It's so easy....thank you Active Screening.